Share “Builders have lots to be concerned about”

Builders have lots to be concerned about

Oklahoma City is in the unusual position of being in step with a national homebuilding trend. Metro-area builders have faced lot shortages and rising prices since at least late 2012.
by Richard Mize Published: June 21, 2014

— Oklahoma City has lots in common with at least one national housing trend:

Lots. Lots for building are lacking.

Severe lot shortages and record prices are obstacles to housing’s recovery in many markets, according to Metrostudy, a housing research company of Washington, D.C.-based Hanley Wood.

“Lot production is increasing, but it is not increasing as fast as home construction,” Metrostudy said in a report presented in Houston at the National Association of Real Estate Editors annual conference. “Lot shortages will continue to be a significant issue for the builders all year.”

Metrostudy’s Brad Hunter added: “There are lots, but not where builders want to build and people want to buy.”

That puts Oklahoma City in the unusual position of being in step with a national homebuilding trend. Metro-area builders have faced lot shortages and rising prices since at least late 2012.

That year, it became clear that the industry had dug completely out of the bottom of 2009, when just 3,380 building permits were issued in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Midwest City, Moore and Norman; those cities issued 4,684 permits in 2012 and 5,438 in 2013.

Metro-area permits were 5 percent off last year’s pace through April. Across the country, builders ended 2013 in a slump, but construction recovered in the first quarter of this year, according to Metrostudy.

Oklahoma City is OK

Oklahoma City has been out of step with the nation in housing for at least a decade: The metro area missed most of the bubble in 2004-2006 and most of the crash in 2007-2009 — and so missed much of the recovery.

Homes sales and construction did take a hard hit, sending some longtime builders into retirement and lots of sales agents — those who were used to easy pickings — packing. But there was less to recover in Oklahoma.

Thanks largely to the resurgence in the energy business, low unemployment and the strong local economy in general, prices didn’t plummet, although they wheezed and the highest-end homes sat unsold for 18 months to a couple of years. Foreclosures didn’t skyrocket, although they increased significantly.

U.S. sales still off

New home sales rose 6.4 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 433,000 from 407,000 the month before, according to the National Association of Home Builders. However, they were down 4-plus percent from a year earlier.

Continue reading this story on the...

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...
+ show more


  1. 1
    Summer well spent: Youths shadow professionals in mentoring program
  2. 2
    Norman residents disturbed after seeing vulgar, racist graffiti on homes, vehicles
  3. 3
    Vinita police chief: Extreme sunburn case still under investigation, drawing international media...
  4. 4
    Hundreds pack memorial service for man killed at north Tulsa park
  5. 5
    There’s a New Restaurant That Specializes in Potato-Chip Sandwiches
+ show more


× Trending business Article