Not even the dog days of summer could collar housing's recovery in Oklahoma City.
The metro area headed into the second half of 2012 with construction and sales on a sustained increase.
Realtors ended July with another five-year low of houses for sale on the Multiple Listing Service — 7,639, a 17 percent decrease from 9,208 homes on the market at the end of July last year, according to the Metro Association of Realtors.
Houses sold in an average of 75 days, the same as in June, and 12 days faster than last summer, the Realtors said. The average loan rate was 3.86 percent.
The market is coming out of “a trying time” dating to the start of the downturn in 2007, said Bob Linn, who just joined his former Edmond agency, Bob Linn Real Estate, with Tulsa-based Coldwell Banker Select.
“The last year, in my opinion, it has really picked up and I think the future is absolutely phenomenal,” Linn said. “You know, Oklahoma and Oklahoma City, Edmond, Tulsa, I don't think we've really experienced what they have in other parts of the country. So, overall, I think we're very, very fortunate to be here and to know that the future's going to be better than it is today.”
Homebuilders are busy — and not just readying projects for the annual Parade of Homes from Sept. 29 through Oct. 7. The parade, supported by presenting sponsor The Womble Co., distributor of Pella windows and doors, will feature 120 new homes in five neighborhoods open free to the public from 1 to 7 p.m. for nine days.
Home starts, gauged by building permits issued, were up year-to-date through July 31 almost across the board, according to the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association: 31 percent in Oklahoma City, 46.2 percent in Edmond, 16.4 percent in Midwest City and 3.9 percent in Norman. Permits dropped 14.6 percent in Moore.
The metro area as a whole saw an increase of 26.2 percent.
“We are all showing significant increases in home sales, both custom and spec,” said Kurt Dinnes, builders association president and owner of Oklahoma City's Sun Custom Homes. “The clients that have homes to sell before we can start their new custom homes are seeing their existing homes sell relatively quickly.”
Association members — builders, developers and associate members such as suppliers, subcontractors and marketing specialist — working together to present “the very best of the best” of the industry, he said. This year's event will be the 67th annual Parade of Homes.
“We are very blessed to live in a city and state that remains a leader on a national front with respect to the homebuilding recovery, which is a prime indicator of our national economic recovery. This year's Parade of Homes is a shining example of our economic improvement within the homebuilding industry,” Dinnes said.
Oklahoma housing is helping lead the national recovery, agreed Lorna Koeninger, president of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors and an associate with Paradigm AdvantEdge Real Estate.
“It may be a slow recovery, but it will still be a recovery. Nationally, the economists are seeing the same trends. Buyers are looking locally to buy a home and settle in a strong Oklahoma economy.”
Linn said his agents were busy with relocations even before he joined his company with Coldwell Banker Select. He said he expects that kind of brokerage to just increase as the year progresses.
“We have a lot of relocation coming in here. We've got several of the energy companies that are transferring in here. We're working with several of those clients, for example, Continental Oil out of Enid, Okla., and we're also working with the Boeing Co. out of Wichita, Kan., who are building a new facility here.”