NORMAN — The missing piece of the national economic recovery has been housing growth. Many parts of America have been “underwater” in mortgages with high rates of foreclosures for many years.
Oklahoma escaped much of the problems. Since we learned our lesson in the oil bust years, we haven’t had rapid increases or decreases in property values. Lenders got better at what they did, too.
A mid-year report on housing from the Norman Board of Realtors showed that the number of houses sold in July were up more than 34 percent over the previous year. Realtors closed 325 sales in July compared to 242 in July 2012. Year to date, 1,604 home sales closed compared to 1,365 for the first seven months of 2012.
The report was distributed at the Norman Chamber of Commerce board meeting this week. Chamber chairman Andy Sherrer called the report a positive economic sign.
The dollar amount has increased, too. July closings totaled $55.82 million compared to $36.33 million a year earlier. Through July, year-to-date closings totaled $272.48 million compared to $216.70 million from January through July 2012.
Homes are selling a bit faster, too. The average number of days on the market was down nearly 16 percent, from 101 days to 85 days. The supply of homes is down to about 1,000 units, and the average Norman home sales price through July is up 7 percent to $169,873.