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Oklahoma City housing better defined by pending deals than done deals

Every major statistic in home sales here last month was positive, except the number of sales. Looking to the rising number of houses under contract, but not closed, provides a better gauge of the market, according to Realtors.
by Richard Mize Published: March 23, 2013
/articleid/3770443/1/pictures/1990280">Photo - Builder Caleb McCaleb, right, and closer Aaron Peterson  talk in  McCaleb’s model home at 732 Road Not Taken  in Edmond. Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman
Builder Caleb McCaleb, right, and closer Aaron Peterson talk in McCaleb’s model home at 732 Road Not Taken in Edmond. Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman

February ended with 6,548 houses listed for sale, 11.7 percent down from a year ago. Taggart said that was a 4.4-month supply — well within the range of what is considered healthy for the market.

Further, he said, multiple offers “have drastically increased” — but those aren't tracked.

Homebuilder Caleb McCaleb said he has been selling lots of new homes to newcomers moving in to work for Devon Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Continental Resources — and Boeing Corp.

“We're selling a bunch to Boeing engineers,” McCaleb said of his Edmond neighborhoods.

Preston said Edmond is seeing something of a shortage at some prices.

“The updated homes are selling like hoecakes in certain price ranges,” he said. “We have multiple offers on these houses when they do come on the market because buyers are seeing the homes that are currently on the market that need updating or are in poor shape.

“We also have sellers inflating their prices because of the market and buyers are overlooking these. We cannot get the appraised value on these.”

For their part, homebuilders are still responding to demand by rushing to meet it with supply, although less than desirable appraisals are slowing financing, said Mustang developer Robert Crout, president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association.

Through February, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Midwest City, Moore and Norman issued 804 permits for single-family buildings, up 16.8 percent compared with the first two months of 2012, the association reported.

“It seems to me like this past four or five years of slowdown, I think people were doubling up. Family units were staying together,” Crout said. “It seems to me there are more family units out there — kids who were living with their parents now can go out and have a home of their own. People who can get out and have a home of their own are (doing so), because they can.”

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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