Local & Regional
1:58 pm
Mon November 23, 2009

Local Housing Starts UP

Tulsa, OK – Local housing starts reached their third-highest monthly total this year, with 249 new building permits issued in October, according to information released by permit-tracking service New Orders Weekly. This is a 36 percent increase over the 183 starts reported in September and 38 percent ahead of starts logged in October of 2008.

"The industry saw a pronounced increase in activity during October, which is a good indication that the local market may be starting to gain momentum on its road to recovery," said Brandon Perkins, a local developer and president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa. "Year-to-date, housing starts now total 2,108, only 14 percent less than the same period in 2008, and well ahead of the national average."

This gain in momentum is not likely related to, but should be accentuated by, the
extension of the first-time home buyer tax credit and the expansion of the credit to move-up buyers. The deadline to take advantage of the credit has now been extended through April 30, which is expected to continue to bolster the industry through the slower winter months. In addition, the new $6,500 incentive for move-up buyers should broaden the credit's impact on the industry, helping to drive sales of homes over $200,000 as well as the starter home category.

Tulsa had the highest number of starts in October with 43, bringing the city's total number of starts year-to-date to 318. Broken Arrow reported 40 starts in October, and has 320 starts year-to-date. And Owasso recorded 25 starts during the same period, bringing their year-to-date total to 261 starts.

Local 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.