Slight decline in May housing sales attributed to low inventory, higher prices

July 02–Real estates sales in the state of Oklahoma are a mixed bag when comparing statistics from 2018 to 2017. Depending on the specific criteria viewed, things can appear to be booming or slowing down. Carter County reflects this trend.

To begin with some good news, according to the Oklahoma Association of Realtors there have been 18,973 single-family property type homes statewide that have closed as of the end of May 2018. This compares with the 18,490 homes sold during the same time frame in 2017. Additionally, the average pricing has also surged. At closing, home costs averaged $187,693 in 2018 as opposed to the average price of $181,597 in 2017. The average days on the market has also shrunk from 65 days in 2017 to 62 days this year. There have been 33,083 new listings for the year, down from 33,248 in 2017.

The month of May, however, has been a month which displays the mixture of good and bad in the state’s sales figures. In May 2018, 4,786 homes closed as opposed to the 4,977 homes that closed the previous year. This shows a decrease of almost 4 percent. On the bright side (at least from the perspective of the seller), the average price has grown nearly 2 percent from $187,004 in 2017 to $190,324.

Moving closer to home, the figures reflect a small slow down. According to the Carter County Assessor’s website, there have been 318 residential homes sold through June 30, 2018, as opposed to 478 sold in the same time period in 2017. The month of May illustrates this downturn as there were 77 homes sold in May of 2018 as opposed to 89 sold in 2017. These figures were compiled using the www.cartercountyassessor.org. Parameters utilized were “Residential Accounts Only” and a minimum sale price of $5,000 and a maximum sale price of $3,000,000.

Local realtor, Jessica Buck, described what these figures mean to area residents.

“I’d say the average number of days on the market here is around 90 days,” Buck said. “Some areas sell more quickly than others, but that really just depends on the buyers. ‘Good school districts’ are important to some but if a couple is retired and don’t have any children, a lot of them like to live in Dornick Hills or the Southwest.”

“Pricing is higher now,” she continued. “We’re down in inventory, so the pricing is higher compared to the average pricing of last year. It’s simply a case of supply and demand.”

In other words this means there is a bit of a “seller’s market.” She went on to point out that there was not an abundance of homes currently on the market that were “move in ready” in what she finds to be her customers average price range.

Another issue she says she faces is the expectations of home buyers.

“We’re just not in the market right now where you can get something for $50,000 under the listing price unless it was overpriced to begin with,” she said. “Customers want a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with 1,800-square feet in the Plainview district for $125,000. Yeah, so does everybody else! It’s just not going to happen.

“I also find that many buyers have difficulty visualizing anything different other than what is already there. They’ll walk in somewhere, and it’s cosmetically challenged, so they’ll just want to walk right back out.”

She then pointed out that a realtor can help with this challenge by pointing out how simple changes like painting, flooring, or carpeting can completely change the feel of the location.

Buck continued by pointing out why now this is still a good time for citizens to purchase a home.

“I’ve heard a lot of people saying sales are down and that it’s a bad time to buy, but it’s really not because interest rates are still low,” she said. “They are going up, but I don’t think it’s going to be like when people bought houses with 14 percent interest. Right now, I’m seeing rates of around 4 to 4.5 percent, but of course that depends on credit.”

She concluded by mentioning all of the programs available to home buyers.

“There are lots out there. Some of the programs even come with no money down. So people just need to be aware of all the resources there are. They need to get with their realtors who can match them up with a program to help them save the most money.”

Buck offered this advice for those thinking of dipping their toes into real estate market, be they first time buyers or seasoned buyers and sellers.

“Find somebody you trust and you’re comfortable with — realtor or lender. Read online reviews because those can speak volumes. Do your research because it can really cut the stress level way down.”

This article provided by NewsEdge.