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Builders, buyers all smiles for Parade of Homes in Oklahoma City

Historically low mortgage interest rates — 3.69 percent here in August, according to the Metro Association of Realtors — are driving buyers to make decisions before the election, builder Kurt Dinnes said. Usually, uncertainty leading to an election sends potential buyers to the sidelines.
by Richard Mize Modified: October 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm •  Published: September 29, 2012

One amenity that's been scarce for several years will probably be seen in every one of the 120 new houses in this year's Parade of Homes:

Smiles.

The parade, sponsored by Womble Co., state distributor of Pella windows and doors, has 120 homes open free to the public from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. through Oct. 7. A smart app is available help guide guests. Free parade guides with maps and home descriptions are available at metro-area Arvest Bank and Best Buy locations or go online to www.paradeofhomesok.com.

Building is booming again, with Oklahoma City 30 percent ahead of this time last year in home starts and consumer and homebuilder confidence both on the rise.

“(Judging from) everyone I've talked to, it seems to be the best year we've had in the past four years, by far,” said Kurt Dinnes, president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association and owner of Sun Custom Homes.

Unlike previous election years, people seem to be rushing to buy before Election Day, he said, because the uncertainty after the election is outweighing the questions people have before the Nov. 6 vote.

Persistently low loan rates — 3.69 percent here in August, according to the Metro Association of Realtors — are driving buyers to make decisions now, he said, because people worry that rates will rise next year after the election, depending on what the federal government does regarding the economy.

Oklahoma housing and the state's low unemployment rate — 5.1 percent in August, compared with 8.1 percent for the nation — still are getting the national attention of builders, said Dinnes, just back from the National Association of Home Builders fall board of directors meeting in Austin, Texas.

“Oklahoma shows being almost back to the normal levels and has remained one of the top five states leading the nation in homebuilding recovery, thus leading the nation with respect to the economic recovery,” he said.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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