Oklahoma's real estate rebirth

Strong economy, jobs spell good news for Realtors

During the 1930s, tens of thousands of Okies and other victims of the Dust Bowl left their farms in the center of the country and headed west to California to find work.

It’s time to come back.

Not only is Oklahoma thriving (personal income growth at 8 percent is the fifth best in the country), but unemployment is well below the national average, all sectors are showing job growth including construction, and the housing market is very healthy.

What turned my attention to Oklahoma was a report from Hanley Wood’s Housing Intelligence Pro that showed two of the state’s biggest cities were in the top five in median price growth at the start of the year.

The Oklahoma City median housing prices jumped 6 percent, while Tulsa sported a healthy leap of 5.6 percent. Only two Texas cities, San Antonio and Austin, and Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Fla., looked better. The latter metro, one of the hardest-hit areas during the current recession, sported outsized numbers, up 19.6 percent, that was really a claw forward from near decimation of the market.

The salubrious numbers for Oklahoma are due to much finer stuff.