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Richard Mize: Home price drop barely noticeable

Home prices in the Oklahoma City area dropped 1.9 percent in the second quarter of the year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
by Richard Mize Published: August 30, 2014

Did you feel it? It measured minus 1.9.

No, not some kind of upside-down earthquake. A teeny change in home prices in the Oklahoma City area:

Prices dropped 1.9 percent in the second quarter of the year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Do not be alarmed.

That’s one particular index tracking certain properties — those bought with conventional mortgages sold to or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, therefore conforming to Fannie’s and Freddie’s underwriting guidelines. That means a loan limit of $417,000 in most of the country, including here.

But a slight drop seems to fit the housing slowdown across the country last spring, and it seems to fit, or at least it doesn’t grossly violate, the story here: This year is not last year, not in sales or construction.

For sales, it’s a case of a slowdown in the rate of growth, which, like figuring percent change, can cause headaches. In a nutshell, sales — those handled by Realtors — still increased here, but not as much as last year.

Through July, sales were up 2.58 percent compared with the first seven months of last year, and up 12.07 percent compared with the same period in 2012. That includes pre-owned homes as well as new homes bought from builders using a Realtor.

Supply is being steadily absorbed. The inventory of homes available through Realtors dropped to 4.2 months by July 31. That means if sales held exactly steady and no more houses went on the Multiple Listing Service, it would take 4.2 months for all to be sold.

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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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