Balance seen in Oklahoma City housing market

Shrinking inventory, healthy sales, low mortgage interest rates and warm winter weather combined to encourage home shoppers, according to the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors in January. Meanwhile, metro-area homebuilders started 2012 with a bang.
BY RICHARD MIZE richardmize@opubco.com Published: February 25, 2012
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Strong sales and reduced offerings combined to chip away at the inventory of homes for sale last month, Realtors said, restoring equilibrium in the market.

January ended with a 5.6-month supply of homes on the Multiple Listing Service, using the average monthly sales for the past year, 1,316.8, as a sales pace.

In other words, if no more were listed for sale, it would take 5.6 months to sell the 7,361 houses on the MLS at the end of January. The listing and sales figures came from the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors. The inventory estimate does not include houses sold directly by builders or owners not involving Realtors.

“Inventory is shrinking, balancing the market,” said Lorna Koeninger, an agent with Paradigm AdvantEdge Real Estate and president of the Realtors association.

Koeninger said continued low mortgage interest rates “should help the market” and that the early-in-the-year momentum has sales “looking toward positive.” The average home loan rate here last month was 4.17 percent, down just a trace from 4.2 percent in December but down 13.8 percent compared with January 2011, when the average interest rate was 4.84 percent.

Fair skies this winter have encouraged home shoppers, as well, she said.

“Warmer weather this year has helped the market. Buyers do not have to battle the snowdrifts to view the homes,” Koeninger said.

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