Builders are still licking wounds from the slump, Dinnes said, and are being cautious not to go too far, too fast with construction.
“We want to be careful not to overbuild and find ourselves in a fallback position again,” he said. Other than uncertainty surrounding the “fiscal cliff,” he said, “We see no reason for it to slow down.”
For their part, Realtors through November sold homes valued at $2.75 billion, a 20-percent increase compared with $2.29 billion in the same period in 2011.
The Oklahoma City metro area ended November with a 4.6-month supply of homes for sale, according to The Oklahoman's calculations using statistics from the Metro Association of Realtors. With 7,066 houses listed for sale, it would take 4.6 months to sell off the inventory at the average monthly sales pace for the previous 12 months — if no more came on the market.
The estimate provides a way to gauge activity in the market. The last time The Oklahoman's estimate fell below five months was before the national housing bust and the local slowdown.
“Is the housing market back? Buyers are dictating the market (with) continuing favorable affordability in the metro area,” said Lorna Koeninger, president of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors and a broker associate with Paradigm AdvantEdge Real Estate. “(Will) interest rates remain at all-time lows for 2013? Buyers need to focus on whether they want to own or rent and move forward with plans to be part of the ‘American dream' of homeownership.”