Oklahoma City homebuilders are working to beat the rush — to the annual Parade of Homes.
It's three weeks away, Oct. 19-27, which means finishing touches are about all that's left for the 116 new houses on the parade, the 68th new-home show organized by the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association. The homes will be open free to the public from 1 to 7 p.m. all nine days.
In addition to individual homes across the metro area, seven additions will be spotlighted: The Hill, in downtown Oklahoma City; Golden Gate at Twin Bridges, in Edmond; Birnam Woods in Edmond; and Cobblestone, Griffin Park, Savannah Estates and Pleasant Grove in the northwest Oklahoma City area.
In Yukon, the Oklahoma Home Builders Foundation will have its annual “House of Hope” open. Built by Carolyn Schluter of Raymond Homes, the home is at 3504 Sagebrush in the Raywood Manor addition.
The builder and foundation will present proceeds from the home to the Cavett Foundation, which will provide Christmas for children at Children's Hospital. Since 2000, the foundation has donated more than $600,000 to children's charities.
With the local economy still humming, the parade is what's on builders' minds right now, said Robert Crout, president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association.
“They go all out to be accommodating and show off all the new technology and products. We're really looking forward to it,” said Crout, a Mustang developer.
Builders here are not flinching even as housing slows a bit nationally.
“I haven't seen any (concern),” he said. “I certainly watch what's going on in the national economy. Builder confidence is down a little bit (nationally) because of rising interest rates. But locally, the employment market is so strong and hiring is strong. People are working. I haven't really seen yet that we're seeing any slowdown.”
Locally, he said, builders — like many others — are keeping an eye on Chesapeake Energy and its restructuring and job cuts. But Crout said the reduction in workforce came as no surprise.
“You have that always in the back of your mind. One announcement is not going to change things much,” Crout said. “Several announcements” from “different players” in “different industries” would be cause for concern, he said.
Realtors aren't worked up over Chesapeake, either, said Keith Taggart, president of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.
“There are so many good things happening in Oklahoma City, I'm not sure it'll have all that much effect,” said Taggart, managing broker for Coldwell Banker Select's office in Mustang.
Builders in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Midwest City, Moore and Norman started 3,681 houses through August based on the number of single-family permits issued, according to the builders association.
That was an 18 percent increase compared with the first eight months of last year.
Moore issued 385 permits through August, 158 percent more than the same period last year, as the city starts to rebuild from the May 20 tornado. Since the tornado, Moore has issued 218 permits for new construction, 377 permits for storm-related remodeling; and permits for 897 storm shelters, said Jared Jakubowski, special projects coordinator for the city.
The Realtors tracked an increase in sales of 4.7 percent in August compared with August 2012; and a median price of $154,981, an increase of 6.9 percent.