Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Existing Home Prices Up 11.6%

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Existing Home Prices Up 11.6%

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Cost of a previously owned home in Oklahoma City rose 11.6 percent to $67,600 in the first quarter of 1994 compared with the same period a year ago, according to a report Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors.

Oklahoma City and Portland, Ore., tied for 15th place among 135 metropolitan areas surveyed across the country. The 11.6 percent increase they experienced for the quarter was way ahead of the 3.5 percent U.S. average. Average price of a home nationally was $107,400, the survey showed.

Overall, the Realtors survey indicated prices for the quarter increased modestly as pent-up demand and concern about future mortgage rates pushed consumers into the marketplace.

Prices ranged from $48,100 in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area of Iowa, an 8.6 percent increase, to $355,000 in Honolulu, a 2.3 percent gain. The median is the midpoint, meaning half of the homes cost more and half cost less.

Tulsa's average price for the quarter was $73,500, up 7.8 percent.

Robert H. Elrod, the Realtors president, said interest rate concerns and pent-up consumer demand resulted in sales of homes at both ends of the scale.

"We are seeing a lot of first-time buyers looking for the right-priced starter home, and this is boosting activity in the move-up market for higher-priced homes," he said.

"In either case, consumers are choosing to purchase now, rather than waiting to watch what mortgage interest rates will do later on," he added. "Current rates are still some of the lowest we've experienced since the '70s, and people are realizing this."

Fixed-rate, 30-year mortgages averaged 7.3 percent during the first three months of the year, down from 7.72 percent a year ago, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. But last week the average was up to 8.32 percent. …

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