Tulsa-area home sales slip a little in June

Though June marked the official start of summer, Tulsa-area home sales cooled somewhat.

Approximately 1,316 homes sold last month, according to the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors. That’s a 0.6 percent drop from May and a 3 percent drop from the previous June.

Even with the decline, June’s home sales were the second-highest recorded in the area for nearly a decade.

The six-month total of 6,580 is still 2.2 percent ahead of the year before and the highest first-half total in the last eight years for which data is readily available.

The nation as a whole fared much better than Tulsa — single-family home sales increased 2.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.84 million in June from 4.71 million in May, and are now 9.8 percent above the 4.41 million pace a year ago, the National Association of Realtors reported.

Pete Galbraith, president of Coldwell Banker Select, said part of the problem could have been the weather.

“June was a very rainy month, and weather can be a hindrance to people’s desires to get out and look at homes,” he said.

Galbraith and Paul Wheeler, owner of Accent Realtors, both said most usual indicators such as the economy, employment, buyer confidence and interest rates remain favorable.

Wheeler said a big obstacle to selling homes is not having enough homes to sell.

“Activity’s good, but not as many people are putting their homes on the market,” Wheeler said.

The inventory of homes in June reached an estimated 5.4 month’s supply, or 6,119. That figure is the lowest recorded by GTAR in recent years.

On top of that, new listings that have entered the market hit 2,153, again the lowest recorded in nearly a decade.

Galbraith said local realtors need more new homes built, but there’s not enough of them — home construction in June was at the second-lowest level for the year, and the year-to-date total is down 6.7 percent from the first half of last year.

“It’s very important for us to have new construction,” he said. It has a stabilizing effect on prices.”

The current average sales price of a home in Tulsa stands at $196,558, up 9.8 percent from a year ago.

By comparison, the national median sales price reached $226,500 in June, up 5.5 percent from the same time last year.

Pending listings, which include homes that have entered into contract but have not yet sold, reached 1,433 in June, which was the best for pending listings in the last eight years measured. Pending listings can often indicate the next month’s sales performance.

Galbraith said the rest of the year might see more modest growth compared to 2013 and 2014, though he’s assuming interest rates finally start to increase.

“Interest rates may creep up, but I’ve been saying that for three years. They just haven’t, and they’re not now due to what’s happening in Greece.”