Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Median Resale Prices for OKC Homes Up in 4th Quarter

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Median Resale Prices for OKC Homes Up in 4th Quarter

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Median resale prices for homes in Oklahoma City were up 9 percent in the fourth quarter of 1991 from the same period of 1990, it was reported Tuesday.

The median resale price in Oklahoma City for the quarter was $56,800.

The median resale price for existing homes in Tulsa was $64,300, up 0.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 1990.

Despite a stalled national economy, consumers forced up existing home prices at double-digit rates in 23 U.S. cities in the October-December quarter, a real estate trade group said.

The big increases occurred in inland cities where housing often is less expensive than that in coastal metropolitan areas, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.

Existing home prices compared with the same quarter of 1990 rose in all but seven of the 117 metropolitan areas as falling mortgage rates triggered heavy demand, particularly in the lower price range, despite an anemic economy.

Home buyers in Spokane, Wash., 300 miles from the Pacific coast, saw the median price soar 19 percent, to $67,500. The typical price jumped 16.7 percent, to $72,700, in Baton Rouge, La., which is 100 miles from the Gulf coast; and 16.4 percent, to $58,300, in Peoria, Ill.

The median means that half of the homes cost more and half cost less.

At the same time, prices fell 0.2 percent, to $119,500, in Providence, R.I., while rising just 1.1 percent, to 209,900, in Los Angeles on the other coast.

Regionally, the median price rose 7.9 percent, to $77,700, in the Midwest and 6.3 percent, to $88,400, in the South. Combined, that was nearly three times the meager 3.6 percent gain in the West, to $142,700, and 1.8 percent advance in the Northeast, to $137,300.

The national median for the fourth quarter was $99,000, 7.4 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 1990. Forty-five areas had price gains exceeding the national increase.

Sales increased in all four regions from fourth quarter to fourth quarter.

"When a lot of buyers start coming into the market at the same time, prices are going to move up," said Realtors economist John A. Tuccillo.

Dorcas T. Helfant, the Realtors president, said sales at the end of the year were concentrated in entry-level houses as first-time buyers took advantage of the lowest mortgage rates since 1973. …

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