One Year After Disaster: How Oklahoma City Is Doing Now

Housing in the Oklahoma City area has shown great resilience in the wake of the deadly, destructive tornado that hit the City of Moore one year ago, according to a report from RealtyTrac.

In fact, the area has started to ‘exceed pre-recession levels in all categories of the market,’ according to Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick/Alliance Realty, covering the Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., markets.

Foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions) were reported on 898 properties in Oklahoma City in the first four months of this year – a decrease of 19% compared to the first four months of 2013, prior to the tornado.

‘The decrease of overall foreclosure activity in Oklahoma City is economically driven by the growth and expansion of the city since the tornado hit,’ explains Detrick. ‘Unemployment is down, resembling pre-recession levels, and Boeing just completed its move into Oklahoma City, which has helped elevate the economy in the city and its surrounding communities.’

The Oklahoma City market continues to show improvement, with more equity-rich homes than seriously underwater homes. Out of all properties with loans, 14% are equity rich while 10% are considered seriously underwater.

In the four months following the tornado (June to September 2013), 458 properties in the Oklahoma City area were foreclosed on and repossessed by the lender (REO) – a 58% increase from the four months before the tornado (January to April 2013).

‘These properties were being held off the market by banks and lenders to keep from further devastating the market with an influx of defaulted properties,’ says Detrick. ‘This created a large backlog of REO and foreclosure auction properties. As the market continues to get stronger, these properties are being released, which explains the fluctuation and large increase in REO properties following the tornado.’

In the first four months of this year, 323 properties were repossessed by lenders – a 12% increase from the first four months of 2013.

As of the first quarter of this year, 11% of the 1,267 properties actively in the foreclosure process in Oklahoma City had been vacated by the owner, compared 21% of all foreclosures that are vacant nationwide.

The median price of residential properties sold in Oklahoma City in March of this year was $119,250 – down 1% from a year ago. March marked the sixth consecutive month where Oklahoma City median home prices decreased on a year-over-year basis.


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