Housing Starts in Metro

Tulsa, OK – Metro Tulsa housing starts up 55 percent in February

Fueled by motivated buyers, positive weather conditions and busy builders, housing starts in metro Tulsa received a boost in February, increasing by 55.6 percent over January totals, according to information released today by the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa. There were 207 starts logged during the month, which is also 15.6 percent higher than starts reported in February of 2009.

Year-to-date, there have been 340 new housing permits issued in metro Tulsa, based on a report from permit-tracking service New Orders Weekly. That total is approximately 9 percent ahead of the 312 starts recorded over the same period one year ago. Tulsa, Owasso and Broken Arrow had the most new home starts in February with 34, 29 and 28 building permits, respectively.

The industry is still on the front edge of the peak building season, which typically begins in March, and higher February numbers are likely due in part to the time-sensitive financial incentives being offered by the government.

"The deadline for the home buyer tax credit is fast approaching and home buyers are taking action," said Gary Soderstrom, a veteran builder and president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa. "We estimate that more than 50 percent of new construction leads are related to the expanded move-up credit of $6,500. And there is still time for interested buyers. The deadline to qualify for the credit is April 30, with a two-month allowance for closing. Qualified buyers planning to take advantage of this incentive must begin the process now for the best chance to meet the deadline.

Not only are people deciding to invest in new homes, but additionally, the industry is seeing increased activity in other types of home improvement business. During the Home Builders Association's annual Greater Tulsa Home & Garden Show in March, exhibitors reported increased sales in all types of products ranging from safe rooms to landscaping, and nearly 35,000 attendees visited the four-day event.

Local housing start figures reflect permit information for the entire Tulsa metro area, which includes Bartlesville, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Collinsville, Claremore, Coweta, Glenpool, Jenks, Kiefer, Muskogee, Owasso, Okmulgee, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Tulsa, Verdigris, and Wagoner along with Tulsa, Rogers and Wagoner Counties.