Overall the Tulsa-area real estate market is doing pretty well. The mortgage interest rates are low and houses priced in the $150,000-$250,000 range have typically been selling rapidly.
Holli Woodward, broker manager for McGraw Realtors and the 2020 president of the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors, points out the local market is reflecting trends across the nation.
“It is the perfect time to look at making a move,” says Woodward, who is based in Owasso. “If you need to sell your home first, it is also an opportune time, since we have a limited inventory. We are blessed in northeast Oklahoma. We have exceptional school systems and have a diverse region that is very welcoming. Every area is sought after, depending on the consumer.”
Moderately priced homes and neighborhoods in the Tulsa area are most in demand, while the market cools a bit as price range increases.
“The area we are seeing homes move at a record pace is the $150,000-$250,000 price range, if positioned or priced properly — some literally selling within hours of hitting the MLS and often multiple-offer situations,” Woodward says. “Our luxury market, $500,000 and up, is typically a little cooler; however, we are still seeing consistent showing, especially with new transfers to the Tulsa market.”
Overall, 860 homes were sold in Tulsa County in December 2019, the most recent month that statistics were available, an increase of 9.69% over December 2018. The average sale price of those homes was $191,036, a decrease of 2.13% over the $195,266 average the prior year. The length of time a home was on the market also decreased, averaging 38.95 days before selling compared to 47.87 days in 2018, a 18.65% change.
The current low mortgage rates certainly help, and although they change regularly, sometimes daily, industry experts believe 2020 will hold the same low rates we have now, although no one can be certain.
“Rates are near historic lows in the 3-4%,” Woodward says. “Rates do fluctuate, but it would be unusual to see more than a half-percent movement in one day. Many factors affect rates. The three primary factors are mortgage-backed securities, inflation and the Federal Reserve’s desire to influence the economy by changing key benchmark rates.
It might also be a good time to refinance your home, although Woodward notes certain factors should enter into such a decision.
“If you are considering refinancing, it is best to consult with a local mortgage expert, but here are a few questions you need to ask yourself,” Woodward says.
First ask, “How long do I plan to keep this mortgage?” “If you plan on selling your home or paying off your mortgage quickly, it might not be worth the cost of refinancing,” she says.
Next ask, “When do I want to have my mortgage paid off?” Many people plan to have their mortgage paid off by the time they retire, so that may help you in selecting a term that is right for you.
Lastly ask, “How much will I save on monthly interest, versus the cost of refinancing?” “Knowing this will help you determine how long it will take for interest savings to equal your refinance cost,” Woodward says.