NORMAN — Home prices rose 8.1 percent in January and economists had to go back more than six years to find the last time the rate was that high. Sales numbers are up, too.
In summer 2006 at the peak of the housing boom, prices rose that much. The credit crunch and recession of 2008 left many homeowners owing more than their property was worth.
Waves of foreclosures, mostly outside of Oklahoma, hit areas where prices rose quickly. Fortunately, Oklahoma didn’t have the rapid price increases, so the drops weren’t as pronounced.
Interest rates remain at record lows, further fueling an industry that has been among the last to recover from the Recession. It remains a buyer’s market, as prices remain 29 percent below the peak in August 2006, according to an Associated Press account.
A temporary homebuying spree in 2010 was attributed to a temporary tax credit. Sellers and buyers benefited from the surge. Sales this year are 12.3 percent higher than a year ago.
The crunch will come down the road. Analysts say the impact of federal budget cuts on communities tied to federal spending could be drastic. Demand for consumer goods, automobiles, trucks and aircraft remains strong.