Someone—okay, a lot of “someones”—threw out doom and gloom about the housing market slowing down. For years, Oklahoma City has defied national statistics—in job creation and rebounding economy, for example. Although we did see a slight slowdown in the region, new home sales are moving in OKC (and at Homes By Taber). Are you keeping up?
Just about a year ago, economists predicted that the interest rate for home mortgages would hit 5% in the beginning of 2019, and then reach 5.5% by the middle of the year. If you’ve followed the path of rate changes, you know that it went in a different direction. Instead of a 5.5% fixed rate 30-year loan, homebuyers are enjoying 3.5%. Last summer, rates were expected to increase, but still low at 4.5%. This summer rates are an entire point lower at 3.5%. What does that mean? The difference in a buyer’s monthly payment on a $280,000 home went from $1,418 to $1,255 for the exact same home, costing them $58,102 over the lifetime of the 30 year mortgage. If your buyers are waiting to make a move, they are missing a huge opportunity to save money.
“The sales season in 2019 has been strange,” Taber LeBlanc said recently. “I expected that last year’s fourth quarter rate hikes would shake things up. But we’ve never bowed to trends and fully expected that people would overcome uncertainty. Our current sales activity is proving that to be right on track.” Every year in real estate is exciting, but this delayed sales season is something we should all be excited about.
Homes By Taber’s preferred lender, Great Plains Bank, also tells us that they are not seeing things slow down at all. People want quick move-in homes now, which is an indicator of a delayed selling season.
Rain, rain, go away!
Summertime is always active for homebuying. As a local homebuilder in OKC, Homes By Taber experienced some delays because of the rain, not the economy. Oklahoma had the second wettest spring on record in the state’s history. It rained for weeks on end, causing major construction delays and keeping shoppers at home.
When the rain finally stopped, Homes By Taber enlisted every concrete company in the area to pour foundations. Our construction team got us back on track, completing “Proudly Overbuilt” homes to sell. It turns out that homebuyers are needing these completed homes now.
Catching up and moving faster
The shift that we’re seeing right now is in the move-in ready homes for sale. Every summer, Homes By Taber sells more showcase homes than homes to be built—almost twice as many! This year, homebuyers rearranged that number, and more than half of the homes we sold were to buyers who want to start from the ground up.
Then came August. The weather cooperated enough for us to complete the showcase homes we planned. And people shopping for a new home are anxious to get moving—literally. The kids are getting back to school and parents want to start them in the right school district. In addition, these incredible rates aren’t going to stay low, so continuing to wait will come at a higher cost, particularly as new home prices increase. It could be because we have the inventory they’re looking for, but we are not seeing a buyer slowdown.
We finished August with 60% of our sales coming from move-in ready homes for sale throughout our 20 communities in Edmond (including Deer Creek School District), Norman, Moore, Piedmont, Mustang, and Yukon. In a recent article in The Oklahoman, “sales pace was hot in the middle of summer, up 4.5% in July compared with July 2018. Houses sold faster in July, in 33 days on average, two weeks faster than in the previous July.”
That’s an exciting trend, but past history shows that August is the month when people decide to get started on building a home. Maybe they want to spend the holidays in a brand new home, with brand new appliances, better space, and the amenities they’ve been missing out on.
The other indicator for a delayed sales season is the spark in activity. More OKC Realtors are bringing their clients through our models at a time when traffic traditionally slows a bit. Realtors are busy at work looking for homes that are close to completion.
If you’re in new home sales and not actively selling right now because of that past trend, you might want to rethink your strategy!
About Homes By Taber
Homes By Taber, a local homebuilder in the Oklahoma City metro area, offers new, energy-efficient homes starting at 1,500 square feet of indoor living space and going up to 3,350 square feet of indoor living space. Prices for these new construction, single-family homes for sale start from the low $200,000 and go up to the mid $500,000 range. Homes By Taber was founded in 2000 by Taber LeBlanc. We currently build in 20 different locations with new construction homes for sale in the OKC metropolitan area.