Forbes magazine has ranked Tulsa, Okla.’s housing market fourth-best in a survey of 100 U.S. metro areas.
The city’s housing market has experienced the greatest increase in home prices over the past two years, going from a median list price of $219,833 in September 2018 to $292,300 in September of this year, a jump of 33%, the magazine said.
Tulsa’s available inventory has dipped significantly, too, in recent years. From having over 4,400 homes for sale in September 2018, Tulsa’s available inventory now stands at 1,863, according to the magazine.
In addition, average days on the market for Tulsa has dropped from 36 in September 2018 to 11 days in September 2020, Forbes wrote.
“Despite the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to see positive trends indicative of the Tulsa region’s resilience,” Mike Neal, the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s president and CEO, wrote in an email to the Tulsa World.
“Just last month, we celebrated the grand opening of Alabama-based Milo’s Tea Company’s $60 million production and distribution facility in Owasso, as well as the groundbreaking for Green Bay Packaging’s new 550,000-square-foot ‘super plant’ in west Tulsa. The confidence displayed by a strong housing market and significant capital investment demonstrates the Tulsa region is primed to lead, rather than lag behind, our nation’s economic recovery.”
Boise, Idaho; Provo, Utah; and Ogden, Utah; were ranked ahead of Tulsa on Forbes’ list. Ranked fifth through 10th were Killeen, Texas; Allentown, Pa.; Stockton, Calif.; Richmond, Va.; Indianapolis and Worcester, Mass.
A driver of strong sales in Tulsa, explained Rich Stephens associate broker Joyce Calvert, is the city’s cost of living that has attracted transplants from larger metropolitan areas interested in affordable homes featuring spacious lots surrounded by readily accessible attractions conducive to a reserved lifestyle that Oklahoma provides.
“I consider us land of milk and honey,” said Calvert. “You get a lot of amenities for the price that you’re paying, and usually typically I find that people find that they can afford so much more when they come to this part of the country.”
Chris Martin, a Coldwell Banker real estate agent, said the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t had a negative impact on buyers’ prospects. In fact, Martin said, the current state of affairs increased demand because of low interest rates available to families in the market for homes.
“The biggest driver right now of sales seems to be low interest rates, and various opportunities buyers have to borrow money whether it’s a government loan FHA loan, a VA loan with zero down payments,” said Martin. “You can really afford to go above and beyond what you’re already paying in rent and get your own house. And sometimes the payment is considerably lower than some of the local interest rates have been rising over the last few years as well.”
Inventory is at an all-time low thanks to a 20% increase in sales over the last calendar year, Martin said.
“The sales were already increasing prior to COVID and they have not slowed down, which is surprising most people,” he said. “But you’re going to have a place to call home.”