“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.