Tulsa area housing market on rebound

TULSA - The area's housing market appears to be solidly back on track, according to analysts.

Unlike many U.S. cities, Tulsa stayed far away from the gloom and doom accompanying the U.S. housing bubble, but the metro area's housing market still experienced a decline in 2011.

"That's when we hit bottom," said Paul Kane, executive vice-president and CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa.

Kane describes the down cycle as one of the worst he has seen.

He says 2012 was the turnaround year.

"It was almost like somebody flipped a switch. We could just start seeing it month by month get better and better and better," said Kane.

Area realtors say housing prices are up, and according to their latest report, the average number of days a home sits on the market declined by nearly three days, to 60.

The positive news is not just for existing homes.

Homebuilders like Allen Jenkins, with Celebrity Homes, Inc., says new home construction is also up.

"Sales have been good through the month of November, December, January even - normally times that we would be down," said Jenkins.

Tulsa realtor Carol Rippe, with Chinowth & Cohen, says consumer confidence and low interest rates explain much of the recovery.

"Jobs are pretty stable," said Rippe. " With the low interest rates staying low, I think people are now deciding that this is the time to take advantage of that."

Industry analysts are optimistic about the future.

"The housing market should be in great shape for several years," said Kane.

The only question many are left with now: How long will it last?

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