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Oklahoma City housing market splits with strong sales, slowing construction

Sales of pre-owned homes have been strong all year, as homebuilders watched for a construction rally that hasn’t happened.
by Richard Mize Published: August 22, 2014

For seven months, buyers kept buying, homebuilding kept slowing and it looked like something was going to have to give.

Buyers could expect to give — more dollars — judging from statistics from the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association and Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.

The housing supply is still dropping. But demand, while strong, slipped this summer, and prices are up just slightly, statistics show.

With a robust local economy, Oklahoma City employment among the highest in the nation and mortgage lending rates still at historic low rates — for years now — the market for single-family housing is a puzzle, builder Steve Allen said.

No rally yet

There are no easy answers for why homebuilding has declined even as sales of pre-owned houses have remained strong, said Allen, president of the builders association. Allen is president and CEO of AllenStyle Homes and Allenton Custom Homes in Bethany.

Construction started slow this year, he said, and an especially wet spring kept builders slogging.

“We thought we’d see a rebound,” Allen said.

Starts slowing

At the end of July, home starts were down 8.9 percent compared to this time last year across Oklahoma City, Edmond, Midwest City, Moore and Norman, according to the number of building permits issued by each city. The cities issued a combined 2,867 permits the first seven months of 2014.

Permits were down 10.3 percent in Oklahoma City, 23.3 percent in Midwest City, 23.7 percent in Edmond and 3.4 percent in Norman.

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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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