Home Sales on the Rise

Tuesday, March 17th 2009, 6:53 pm
By: News 9

By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Construction of new homes is up, along with sales of existing homes.

Despite the recession, the housing market in Oklahoma appears to be faring well.

The experts say the housing market has remained stable throughout the housing boom that hit other parts of the country. And now people have a big financial incentive for moving into home.

Last year was rough for some Oklahoma homebuilders, but the new year has seen a rise in new construction.

"It seems it's no secret anywhere else, but here that Oklahoma City is still doing very well compared to the rest of the country," Jeff Click, President of the Homebuilders Association, said.

Click is a builder himself. He says last month building permits in the area were up 21 percent over the number pulled in January.

"One component of that would be that our inventory levels or more in check with our demand right now," Click said.

The U.S. Commerce Department reports a rise in new construction in January in all regions of the country except out west which lead the housing boom.

In Central Oklahoma, real estate agents are also busy selling existing homes.

"We've had our best pendings since August of last year, and we're up 9.6 percent over homes under contract than this time last year," Brian Preston with the Oklahoma Realtors Association said.

Realtors say low interest rates and a new $8,000 tax credit in the president's stimulus plan for first-time homebuyers is help to fuel the market.

"It's a true credit," Preston said. "It does not have to be repaid, but most of it has to do with confidence in the market compared to other areas."

Also, if you have not owned a home in the past three years, you can still qualify for that $8,000 tax credit.