Your Guide to Oklahoma City's Thriving Real Estate Market

Virtually nobody saw the homebuying boom coming out of the fog of the coronavirus pandemic, but by last summer the market had exploded. A volatile mix caused it to almost spontaneously combust: Coronavirus-related pauses in...

A home that sold earlier this year in Edmond.

Virtually nobody saw the homebuying boom coming out of the fog of the coronavirus pandemic, but by last summer the market had exploded.

A volatile mix caused it to almost spontaneously combust:

Coronavirus-related pauses in construction as well as the manufacture and distribution of building materials sucked down the supply of new houses in the spring of 2020.

That combined head-on with federally engineered low mortgage interest rates that sparked demand — including from investors swooping in to buy houses to turn into rentals.

Face mask requirements and social distancing didn't deter potential buyers. However, safety precautions made potential sellers reluctant to put their homes on the market — lest they have to let strangers inside to look — further tightening supply.

It's been a wild ride. Here's your guide to the housing market in Oklahoma City. This list will be updated as coverage continues and the market evolves.

What Do I Need to Know About the Oklahoma City Housing Market if I'm Looking to Buy?

Home Parks on the Rise

Home parks are on a roll in the hot housing market. Oklahoma manufactured housing demand is driven by the same factors as demand for site-built homes: low borrowing costs and, for investors, a good rate of return.

Coastal Dollars Go a Long Way

Keller Williams co-owner states that the housing market is as crazy as it seems. People who leave the biggest coastal cities for Oklahoma find that even with rising prices, coastal housing dollars buy a lot more house here.

Rent a Pool

Oklahoma City homeowners are cashing in on the 'Airbnb for your pool'. Swimming pools are for rent by the hour in 125 markets in the United States, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa, on the Swimply online platform.

Top Homebuilder

OKC's Homes by Taber ranks above the rest in the state on national reports. It was the only Oklahoma-based builder among the top 100 of the 250 companies ranked by Professional Builder and Builder Magazine.

Vacation Homes

One Oklahoma county is tops in the vacation home market. Oklahoma has a top market for vacation homes, a top female executive-turned-company owner, top business leader, and some top-dog places to live.

Bidding War Zone

Buying a home? Prepare for a bidding war zone for OKC housing. The housing shortage has sellers and buyers both playing hardball. Multiple offers have been the rule, not the exception, at entry-level and move-up price ranges. Houses have been selling for more than their appraised value. Some buyers are even buying houses sight unseen.

Love Letters Beware

Homebuyers, throw that 'love letter' in the trash can; it could be a legal liability. Writing a "love letter" to the owner of a house you really want might give you an edge in this housing market. But it also might get you in trouble, so think twice.

Coping with Unusual Demand

OKC-area housing market struggles to cope with unusual demand. The housing market is exploding. Investors, including out-of-state companies paying cash for houses and turning them into rentals, are pushing prices up, as well as people moving to Oklahoma and the rising cost of building materials.

Custom House Challenges

Ready for a custom house? You might not be able to buy one. Homebuilders are turning away customers — for custom-built homes at least — because of uncertainty surrounding soaring lumber prices.

New Trends

Homebuilding boom is building in the Oklahoma City area. New houses built in the COVID-19 era are different. Buyers want double home offices. Outdoor living areas, already in demand, are more popular than ever. "Healthy" homes are moving into the mainstream.

Lumber Trade Dispute

Your new house could cost less if the U.S. and Canada keep working through their lumber trade dispute. Skyrocketing lumber prices have added $10,000 to $15,000 on average to the cost of a new house, so a reduction in duties on Canadian imports has local as well as international impact.

Stable Market

Could OKC run out of houses? Forecasting "more of the same" of anything from 2020 in 2021 could strike fear in the heart — but not in the housing market, which is ending the year on fire, with scarcely more than a single month of local inventory.

Rental Scams

Scammers target renters where it hurts — in the (fake) security deposit. Renters, beware. You could be hit with a scam when looking for a house, thanks to the incredibly tight housing market. Scammers fool renters by posting property listings they don’t own as rent houses — on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or elsewhere — then collect a security deposit from someone who wants to live in the home, then disappear.

What Do I Need to Know About the Oklahoma Real Estate Market if I'm Selling My House?

Virtual Home Tours

Through the roofs, home sales soar to the cloud. Virtual home tours were already taking off before the pandemic, but the coronavirus and its stay-at-home requirements changed how we shop for and sell homes.

Seller's Market

It's a seller's market in the Oklahoma City metro area. Metro-area homebuilders are building more houses than they have in seven years, but the market keeps soaking them up, as well as previously owned homes. It doesn't seem to be putting a dent in the housing shortage.

Encouraging Sellers

Wear a mask; get the vaccine; the housing market needs more sellers to get out of the house. There's a growing housing shortage, partly because there's a seller shortage, partly because of the coronavirus.

Running Out of Houses

The country is close to running out of houses. Imagine zero houses for sale. You have to imagine it. The market will not allow the housing inventory to fall to zero. Everything has a price. What's yours (even if you're not looking to sell)?

No Bargains in This Basement

No bargains in this basement: OKC home sales booming on short supply. Homebuyers are rushing up a down staircase: Sales are booming, supply is in the basement, and sellers have the upper hand in negotiations. The Edmond-area market — Edmond, Deer Creek, and Oakdale public school districts — provides a look at the hottest seller's market here in at least a generation, if not ever.

Record Home Sales

Record home sales defy exclamation. What a year it was for home sales in Edmond. We saw it coming. Home sales have blazed through the coronavirus pandemic to the point of a shortage, nationally and locally.

What Happened in the Housing Market Last Year?

Take a look back at some highlights from the roller coaster market Oklahoma City saw in 2020.

Changing Space Assumptions

What is 'home'? Where is 'work'? 2020 changed assumptions about both the form and function of space in a house. "The pandemic has caused a renewed sense of home as a sanctuary, and a shift to the suburbs away from high-density options such as apartments is keeping everyone in the new home construction industry busy," said Shawn Lawrence, vice president of sales and acquisitions for TimberCraft Homes.

Homes for Generations

Grandma is moving in sooner than expected as demand increases for homes for the generations. The coronavirus hasn't just kept people at home and spurred many to buy a new home — it's bringing Grandma to the kids' home faster.

Virus Impact

Housing market on edge; Oklahoma City Realtors brace for the impact of the virus. "Is this coronavirus craziness going to affect our home sale?"

Continuation of Home Inspections

Visual but not virtual, home inspections go on. Presale home inspections are still going on despite the coronavirus pandemic, health safety concerns, and maybe some pressure to skip them — because home sales, while slowing down, are not out.

Delayed Spring Events

Spring won't be the same without home shows. Spring has sprung, but with the usual popular spring events delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak, it will seem broken.

Upward Trend

Home sales, pending sales, and prices: Up, up, and up in Oklahoma City. With so much out of whack, housing is one of the few bright spots outside of light reflecting awkwardly off somebody's glasses in another Zoom meeting.

Blast from the Past

Blast from the past: Parade of Homes Spring Festival. Enjoy this look back at parade entries and other show homes from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

For more real estate news and updates, please support the work of Richard Mize, Oklahoman real estate editor, and other Oklahoman journalists by visiting The Oklahoman.