BELLA VISTA (KFSM) – Bella Vista is seeing a huge increase in new construction.
At the end of September, the city had issued 146 housing permits, compared to 98 in 2016. That's a growth of almost 50 percent.
Mayor Peter Christie said not only are new people moving to town, some are moving from other cities in the area that have become too expensive.
“We're also finding families that are cashing out of Bentonville and doing very well on the sale and coming here and getting a larger home, still staying in the same school network and enjoying the back 40 trails is what we're hearing from a lot of them,” Christie said.
While it's great to have all this growth and property taxes increase, Christie said property taxes don't pay the bills for the city, the sales tax does.
“Unfortunately, we're still viewed as a retirement community and we are not and so we have a lot of hesitation by new businesses to come here and to open up. We are desperately in need of restaurants, the ones we have are packed,” he said.
Crye-Leike real estate agent Art Brunje said the view of Bella Vista by people looking to build or buy has changed.
“People are finding that prices are good in Bella Vista. Property isn't ticky tacky subdivisions, you are in the woods, great living. The new bypass is going in to make it quicker to get to Bentonville and Rogers. So we have a lot of things going for us,” Brunje said.
Already existing homes in Bella Vista are harder to come by, there are currently only 260 homes on the market. That's compared to the more than 500 in Bentonville.
On average, homes are only on the market in Bella Vista for just 50 days, but if it's a townhouse around $100,000 it typically sells within hours.