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Housing market stays healthy through pandemic

Demand remains high in eastern Oklahoma County

By Jeff Harrison
Managing Editor

The coronavirus has slowed many businesses.

The local housing market is not one of them.

Home sales remain strong in eastern Oklahoma County and the metro.

“After that second week of the shutdown, it’s like someone opened the floodgates,” said Shane Willard with Century 21 Goodyear Green. “The rates dropped, and things just took off.”

In June, the metro housing market saw double digit closings, pending sales, new listings for single family homes, while inventory dropped 14.3%, according to the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.

Demand has been heavy in Mid-Del, Choctaw and Harrah.  As of June 15, there were 66 homes for sale in the Mid-Del school district with 181 pending. In the Choctaw-Nicoma Park school district, there were 71 houses for sale with 125 pending.  And the Harrah school district had 19 houses for sale and 36 pending.

“The numbers have been ridiculous for the Mid-Del, Choctaw and Harrah area,” Willard said.

Willard said the coronavirus has caused many people to hold off on selling their home.

“A lot of people are holding off on putting their house on the market because they haven’t found something better and they don’t want people coming in their house and are worried about the spikes in cases,” Willard said.

The real estate industry responded with precautions and more virtual listings and showings.

The virus has also created many new buyers.

“A lot of people have been working from home and their kids are out of school, so they’re all crammed into their house together,” Willard said. “They don’t normally spend this much time together and want a bigger house.”

While buyers are enjoying low interest rates, getting the right home is a challenge in this seller’s market. Willard said the coronavirus has weeded out many people who are “kicking the tires” on homes.

“People looking are serious, they’re pre-qualified and ready to go get something under contract,” Willard said. “If you see something, you better write an offer because it’s not going to last.”

The housing supply has been especially low in the Mid-Del school district, Willard said. Last month, the housing supply in Mid-Del dropped to 15 days with about 2 ½ houses selling per day.

Willard anticipates that the housing inventory will increase a bit before the fall.

“There is usually a spring rush of people putting their house on the market, but we didn’t get that this year,” he said. “We’re starting to see it a little bit now, but not for the number of buyers out there.”

Homebuilders have helped with the supply. Home starts through May were up 4.8% in the metro compared to the first five months of 2019, according to the Dharma Inc.’s Builder Report. But in Midwest City, there were 70 starts through June, which is down from 87 in 2019.

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