Oklahoma Realtors are taking the state's stubbornly bullish housing market by the horns.
They're spending thousands to get the word out that Oklahoma home prices rose last year — they rose — even as the national average dropped and certain major markets saw steep declines.
The national news apparently is drowning out Oklahoma's good news, so the Oklahoma Association of Realtors hopes to turn up the volume on the health of the state's housing marketplace:
The average sales price for an existing home rose last year 4.24 percent compared with 2006, from $143,669 to $149,758, the Oklahoma Association of Realtors said during its annual membership conference at the Oklahoma History Center,
That news is lost on most Oklahomans, the Realtors said, although the 2007 gain was no surprise to anyone who has been following the disconnect between housing in Oklahoma and markets in much of the rest of the country. The national average dropped 1.4 percent last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The Realtors will trumpet Oklahoma's realty reality in coming weeks with a $200,000 multimedia advertising-marketing-outreach campaign dubbed "Good Thing You're in Oklahoma.”
The association has weighed in with advertising in the past to get a political message out, spokeswoman Beth Payne said. This is believed to be the first time the group has paid to get market information out via mass media, she said. Other state and local Realtors groups are taking similar steps, she said.
Wilson Research Strategies found in a survey commissioned by the Realtors that 51 percent of respondents believed the housing market in Oklahoma was in good shape — meaning that almost half believe it is not.
"Real estate is local, and Oklahomans are not buying or selling their homes in a national housing market,” said Tammy McCullar of Eufaula, president of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors.