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Buyers meet sellers, builders to keep Oklahoma City metro-area housing market balanced

The supply of homes for sale stood at 5.5 months on April 30, according to The Oklahoman's estimate using statistics from the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors. That level of inventory supports balance in the market, according to Realtors.
by Richard Mize Published: May 26, 2012
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/articleid/3678725/1/pictures/1730322">Photo - Moore-based Vesta Homes built this house at 17 SW 174 in the Rio Toscano addition. It was part of the recent Southwest Showcase of Homes. Photo by PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, The Oklahoman
Moore-based Vesta Homes built this house at 17 SW 174 in the Rio Toscano addition. It was part of the recent Southwest Showcase of Homes. Photo by PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, The Oklahoman

“People are taking advantage of low interest rates,” said Kurt Dinnes, owner of Sun Custom Homes and president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association. “It could also be pent-up demand — people who've put things off for a few years and are getting back in the game.”

In April, the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in central Oklahoma was 4.1 percent, the Realtors said. This week, Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey logged the national average at 3.78 percent.

Dinnes said improved confidence in the economy has builders constructing houses again on a speculative basis — that is, without a buyer lined up — and has homebuyers again contracting for custom homes.

The Realtors reported 1,548 houses sold in April, up 9.6 percent compared with April last year, for a combined $245.3 million, an increase of 12.1 percent.

The average price was $158,474, up 2.4 percent, and houses sold in 84 days on average, almost two weeks faster than in April a year ago, according to the Realtors.

“Good stats again this month — everything up except new listings and inventory,” said Lorna Koeninger, president of the metro Realtors and an agent with Paradigm AdvantEdge Real Estate. “Homebuilders are scrambling to build and new developments are opening citywide.”

The main negative, she said, has to do with financing itself, not loan rates.

“Tight lending still creates challenges for the homebuyer wanting to purchase an affordable home versus rental,” Koeninger said.

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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