If you are told repeatedly the sky is falling, pretty soon — even with solid evidence to the contrary — people will begin to repeat as fact that the sky, indeed, is falling. So it goes with our current "real estate market collapse.” Fueled by a national media frenzy over the negative impacts of the subprime mortgage crisis, many Oklahomans believe our state and local real estate markets are experiencing a downturn. Perhaps we should all step away from the TV and the Internet, step outside and look up. In fact, the sky isn't falling on the Oklahoma real estate market. According to statewide MLS numbers, Oklahoma housing values were up 4.2 percent in 2007. Statewide, the average sales price for an existing home in Oklahoma increased from $143,669 in 2006 to $149,758 in 2007. And, the even bigger — and brighter — news: It's the seventh straight year that property values have increased in the Sooner State! Despite these facts, a survey conducted on behalf of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors also indicates that one in two people in the Oklahoma City metro and across the state believe what the national news is reporting must also be true here — the housing market is falling, people are losing their homes and everyone has a half-million dollar home purchased with no down payment. Well, perception may be reality, but I'm betting that when presented with the real facts, the smart, hardworking people of Oklahoma will figure out that residential real estate is still a huge bargain here, when compared with virtually any other market in the country, and, maybe more importantly, that property values are strong, steady and secure in our state. The OAR has commenced a statewide education effort we've named "Good Thing You're in Oklahoma.” It's designed to present facts, not media spin, on what is happening in our housing market. We have a great, positive story to tell. Maybe we should've named it, "No, The Sky is NOT Falling in Oklahoma!” Regardless, we're confident that common-sense Oklahomans will get the message. Yates is CEO of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors.
Statewide, the average sales price for an existing home in Oklahoma increased from $143,669 in 2006 to $149,758 in 2007.