Posted on March 5, 2019 by Jorie Helms

OKC-area home sales increase in 2018 By: Molly M. Fleming The Journal Record " March 4, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – Homes priced at less than $200,000 were in high demand in 2018, and that demand isn’t expected to slow this year.

Closed single-family home sales were up 4.1 percent compared to 2017, according to MLSOK’s year- end report, which was released Feb. 26. The median sales price increased almost 3 percent to $167,500.

MLSOK’s figures include statistics

from Edmond, Altus, El Reno, Midwest City, Moore, Yukon, Piedmont, Elk City, Oklahoma City, Weatherford, Norman, Del City, Shawnee, Mustang

and Nichols Hills.

Keller Williams Elite Broker Jennifer Arsenault said within a 40-mile radius, the metro has about two months of inventory, though there’s even more houses available in the higher price ranges.

“In the housing market, you want to see five to six months of inventory,” she said. “It’s a seller’s market when you have less than five months.”

The area that saw the biggest increase in new listings and pending sales was the 73064 ZIP code, which includes Mustang’s city limits and some of the school district. In that ZIP code, there was a 27.7 percent increase in pending home sales and a 20.6 percent increase in new listings.

Monty Strickland, managing broker of Realty Experts in Moore, said that while he works in the Moore area, he’s also seen a lot of deals in Newcastle and Blanchard.

He said he thinks there’s opportunity now for people in a lower-priced home to move into a higher-end home, which would free up the lower-priced home. Arsenault made a similar observation about the market.

“People that are holding onto their properties – now is a great time to move up,” he said. “They should definitely take advantage of that.”

The price range with the shortest market time was $150,000 and less, while the highest market time is for homes priced $450,001 and higher.

Arsenault said the higher-end price range isn’t stagnant, but moving slowly. Her firm has completed several deals in the luxury market, she said.

“We see a lot of cash deals with property going under contract,” she said. “It’s ones that are in great locations and look good. The money’s out there.”

Overall, she said 2018 stood out to her because typically in an election year, the sales slow down in September into the election, then pick back up in November and December.

That didn’t happen this year, she said. There’s a strong need for homes under $200,000, especially with such a competitive investor market.

Oklahoma State Home Builders Association Executive Vice President Mike Means said he thinks there will be about a 5 percent increase in newly built homes. Even as lumber prices have come down for the ninth month in a row, there’s a need for land.

“One of the biggest issues we have right now is there aren’t available lots,” Means said. “We have developers that are trying to get more land and get them ready to build.”

But it’s hard to find land in a good school district, Means said. There’s also a need for higher-paying jobs.

“Even the economists in Oklahoma will tell you that we’re creating a lot of jobs, but they’re not high-paying jobs,” Means said.

The OSHBA is doing what it can to reduce the costs of new homes. It has requested a bill to stop cities from regulating the aesthetical design standard. He said when a city requires brick when siding could suffice, that makes the home more expensive.

In Oklahoma, a $1,000 increase in a home’s price can keep 1,993 households from being able to afford it. In Oklahoma City, the $1,000 price uptick equates to 504 families getting priced out, according to study by the National Association of Home Builders.

Strickland said he’s optimistic about 2019. He said a lot of people were waiting out 2018 to see what would happen with interest rates, and he thinks they’ll finally make a literal move in 2019. He expects as the baby boomers continue to downsize, their homes will offer great opportunities for buyers.

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