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Central Oklahoma home sales, prices up on low inventory

Home sales entered the fourth quarter stronger than last year here, up nearly 5%, and the median price was also surging, ending October at $179,000, according to the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.

The median price slipped a little from $180,000 in September, but both readings were up 6.5-7% compared with October 2018, the Realtors reported.

It's a countrywide trend. Home prices rose in more than 90% of U.S. markets in the third quarter compared to last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Here, "I think the numbers are related to consistent job growth, from small businesses in surrounding towns to big employers like Boeing and Tinker Air Force Base bringing people in," said Steven Ligon, managing broker at eXp Realty.

Nationally, there is talk of a housing shortage. Here, the number of listings plunged 15% between October 2018, when there were 7,366, to October 2019, when the month ended with 6,246 listings, the Realtors said.

Regionally in Oklahoma, Realtors sold 2,086 homes for $437.8 million last month, compared with 1,992 homes sold for $391.9 million in October 2018, according to MLSOK Inc., the metro-area multiple listing service, owned and operated by the Realtors association. That's a 4.7% increase in sales, and an 11.7% increase in sales volume.

Closer in, sales statistics from Oklahoma City, Arcadia, Bethany, Blanchard, Deer Creek, Edmond, Harrah, Luther, Midwest City, Moore, Mustang, Nicoma Parj, Norman, Piedmont, Tuttle, Warr Acres, and Yukon, showed higher prices and tighter supplies: a median price of $224,747 in October, up from $211,112 the year before; and 3,935 homes for sale on the multiple listing service, or a 2.5-month supply.

The lack in availability of lower-priced homes also could be pushing median and average sales prices up.

In Edmond, for example, September ended with just seven houses priced under $150,000 listed for sale in the Edmond, Deer Creek and Oakdale public school districts, said Brian Preston, of RE/Max at Home, 3224 S Broadway Ave., No. 225. Five years ago, there were 95, said Preston, who tracks the Edmond market area.

"The lower price ranges are harder and harder to find homes in, being no homes under $150,000 are being built," he wrote on his blog, Preston Report, at www.edmond4sale.com.

All in all, the Edmond area ended the third quarter with sales on the increase at the end of September, Preston said.

"Another good month with 371 closed transactions for Edmond, Deer Creek and Oakdale school systems, making year-to-date sales at 3669, up 193 over last year for a 5.55% increase," he said.

Heading into winter, both demand and prices are expected to remain strong, according to MLSOK.

"As we begin the slower time of year for home sales, historically low mortgage rates will continue to support buyer demand and may create additional lift to home prices as excellent affordability gives buyers the ability to offer more to secure their dream home," MLSOK stated in its October sales report. "Throughout much of the country, the continued low level of housing inventory also continues to constrain sales activity from where it would likely be in a balanced market."

Tribune Content Agency