Arkansas is a great place to live for many reasons – its low cost of living, low property taxes, and reasonably priced homes are just a few of them. However, like much of the rest of the country, home prices are on rising as competition increases and inventory decreases. But there’s still reason to be optimistic – unemployment rates are fairly low here, and Arkansans rank 37th in average credit card debt with a balance of $4,791.
Arkansas Consumer Debt
According to the latest Household Debt report from the Federal Reserve, the following is a breakdown of the average consumer debt in Arkansas by type.
Total household debt: $35,211
- Mortgage: $20,010
- Student Loans: $4,650
- Credit card debt: $4,791
- Auto loans: $5,760
The number of Arkansans filing for bankruptcy decreased last year, with 7,287 filings compared to 10,676 the year before.
Arkansas employment and income
In the state of Arkansas, employees have the freedom to work without being forced to join or leave a union. This also means that employees are not obligated to pay union dues, but they can still enjoy union benefits if they choose to do so.
In Arkansas, employment is not guaranteed. An employer can terminate employment at any moment, for any reason. Likewise, an employee can resign at any time and for any reason. This means that both parties do not have to uphold the employment agreement.
In 2020, Arkansas saw low unemployment rates, averaging around 4.4%. By early 2022, that number had dropped even lower to 3.2%. This was nearly a full percentage point below the national average at the time.
Benefits for unemployment:
- The minimum weekly payment is $81
- The maximum amount per week is $451
- Benefits are available for a maximum of 16 weeks
Arkansas Banking and Taxes
Income taxes in Arkansas range from 2% to 5.9%. The state also imposes a sales tax of 6.5%, which can increase to 12.625% with local taxes factored in.
The state of Arkansas has a lower percentage of residents with checking or savings accounts when compared to the rest of the United States. Only 7.1% of people living in Arkansas don’t have access to these financial resources.
Housing Market in Arkansas
Unlike many other parts of the country, housing in Arkansas is still relatively affordable. The average price of a home in the state is $233,100, which is far below the national average of $388,965. However, prices have been rising rapidly in recent years, with a 21.7% increase over the last year alone. This has caused inventory to drop sharply, by 47.1%.
As the housing market becomes increasingly competitive, more homes (31.8%) are selling above the listing price. Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, has seen median home prices rise to $235,000, while in Bentonville, average listing prices have reached as high as $925,000. However, if you’re interested in moving to the northwest, you may be better off searching for homes in Fayetteville where you could find one for half the price ($398,950) of what you would pay in Bentonville.
Arkansas offers an unlimited homestead exemption, which means homeowners can protect the full value of their primary residence. This is a great benefit for anyone who owns a home in the state.
- In Arkansas, 65.6% of people own their own homes
- The median mortgage payment is $1,071
- The median rent payment is $745 per month
According to a recent study, the average Arkansan will need $728,000 in order to retire comfortably. This number is quite alarming when compared to the average savings of residents, which is only $345,267. This means that the average retiree would be $382,733 short of what is needed to live comfortably in retirement.
As retirees look for affordable places to live out their golden years, many are finding that Arkansas has a lot to offer. Low property taxes, mild weather, and a relatively low cost of living make the state an attractive option for those on a fixed income. And while the state’s income tax rates are average (between 2% and 5.9%), retirees may find states without an income tax more appealing.
Arkansas Insurance Premiums
In the United States, car accidents are typically handled using a fault-based system. If you cause a collision, you will be held responsible for the damages and other expenses. Arkansas, auto insurance premiums are relatively high at $1,462.
Home insurance premiums in Arkansas average $2,405 per year. Health insurance premiums are slightly higher, at an average of $5,112 annually.
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