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Oklahoma City-area Realtors see best numbers in five years

Oklahoma City-area Realtors are parading into the second half of what looks to be a post-housing slump banner year, with tattered 2007 statistics furled in the back of their minds.
by Richard Mize Published: July 28, 2012
/articleid/3696193/1/pictures/1785096">Photo - Harbor Homes built this home at 308 SW 171 in the Talavera addition in southwest Oklahoma City. Photo by PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMAN
Harbor Homes built this home at 308 SW 171 in the Talavera addition in southwest Oklahoma City. Photo by PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMAN

Last spring, renewed confidence had builders building spec homes again — those without buyers lined up — but now they have to sell some before building many more, he said.

Buyers seem to be in a rush to take advantage of historically low home loan rates, he said, with some worrying the November presidential election could usher in rising borrowing costs. Koeninger agreed.

Dinnes said that's the opposite of what sometimes occurs, when buyers grow reluctant to take the plunge during the uncertainty leading up to a national vote.

The average mortgage interest rate for homes sold here in June was 3.96 percent, down 16.8 percent compared with June 2011, the Realtors said.

However, tight lending is making it difficult to buy, even for seasoned homeowners with good credit and considerable equity to use for a down payment, Dinnes said.

Dinnes said he knew of a doctor who wanted to contract for a new house and was able to provide a 30 percent down payment, but her usual bank balked because she had left one hospital and affiliated with another one in the past year. Dinnes said he worked with her to find a willing lender.

The remainder of 2012?

“Mortgage rates remain low, and as long as a buyer can find credit, the buyer will buy a home versus rental. The dream of homeownership is still alive in Oklahoma,” Koeninger said. But, “(it) depends on the interest rates staying at the all-time low, temperatures dropping, credit available to the buyers and listing inventory becoming available over the next few months.”

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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