Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Metro Home Sales Up Fourth Month in Row

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Metro Home Sales Up Fourth Month in Row

Article excerpt

Home sales in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area were up for the fourth consecutive month during May with 574 sales closed, accordi ng to figures released Thursday by the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Board of Realtors Inc.

The May total was 7.4 percent above the 534 homes which were sold during April, and is the highest monthly total since August, 1984, when 685 homes were sold.

The May total was down 30.3 percent from 824 units sold in May, 1984, however.

The May performance was apparently bolstered by the usual seasonal influx of activity spurred by warmer weather and by stabilized interest rates, even though the 11.6 percent average interest rate at closing for May was slightly higher than the April figure of 11.4 percent.

"Though the average interest rate for May shows a slight increase from the previous month, overall, interest rates remain favorable for persons considering a real estate purchase," said board president D.J. Blanton.

Roy Avants, president elect of the board, said the higher average interest rate at closing during May as opposed to April is probably due to a shift in the way many of the sales are being financed.

"It's only a guess, but I'd say that a lot of buyers are returning to fixed-rate financing and moving away from the adjustable rates," Avants said. "The fixed rates are slightly higher than the adjustables, and that may be why the average rate was slightly higher in May."

He said that the current FHA and VA rates are 11.5 percent, which he termed "pretty good." By comparison, he added, adjustable mortgage rates vary between 9 and 11 percent.

Avants added that he feels local rates have "just about seen the bottom, and I expect them to level off."

That leveling off may prevent a repeat of the drastic slide in sales during June, which occurred last year, however. Home sales totaled 824 in May, 1984, and the bottom fell out in June, with only 227.

"I feel like the good rates this year will help us avoid a recurrence of that slump and help us through the period this year," Avants said. …

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