Tulsa, OK – Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa announced today that there were 292 new housing starts in Greater Tulsa in March, a substantial improvement over numbers from the same period of the prior year, and compared to the previous month's totals. Consistent with seasonal expectations for the peak building season, which is typically from March through October, new home starts in March jumped approximately 40 percent higher than the 207 starts logged in February.
Local building industry leaders were more encouraged by the comparison to totals from one year ago. March housing starts finished ahead of the March 2009 total of 172 by 70 percent. In addition, with 638 new houses started year-to-date in 2010, the annual total is now tracking 31 percent ahead of 2009, during which 484 starts were reported during the same period. Start totals are based residential construction permits recorded by tracking service New Orders Weekly.
Tulsa had the highest number of starts in March, with 55 new permits issued, and boosting the city's total number of starts for the year to 107, the highest in the metro area. Owasso recorded 44 starts and Bixby followed with 34, bringing each city's year-to-date totals to 83 and 62, respectively.
"March was a great month for new home construction in the Tulsa area," said Gary Soderstrom, a veteran builder and president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa. "The industry is remaining focused on ways to achieve smart and solid growth. That will require scaling building starts to match the demand for new homes and control inventory levels. In addition, builders are challenging themselves to provide home buyers with added value, in order to attract new customers to the market as certain national incentives expire."
Most notably, the deadline to qualify for the federal home buyer tax credit is April 30, with a two-month allowance for closing.
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.