By Ashli Sims, The News On 6
PRYOR, OK - There are signs northeast Oklahoma's economy could be bouncing back. The housing market is offering some good economic news for a change. Tulsa-area real estate is showing signs of life with home prices rising.
Most economic news these days is all doom and gloom, but for sale signs may offer a ray of sunshine for the area.
The realtors say it's a good thing you're in Pryor. And, Don Harbison has to agree.
He'd been eyeing a brand new home in south Pryor for months, but he was concerned about his current home.
"We didn't know if the house would sell. We still had some work to do on it, but it still worked out. We were able to complete it even after the sale," said Don Harbison of Pryor.
Despite his worries about the market, the market surprised him.
"The first couple that looked at it that Friday evening gave us a contract that Monday morning," said Don Harbison of Pryor.
Pryor realtor Harriet Dunham says that kind of speedy turnaround may not be typical, but Green Country's real estate market is starting to turn around.
"The consumers were a little concerned before the election, with the weather and seasonal trends. But now, the sun is out and they're coming out and ready to buy," said Harriet Dunham with the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors.
January home prices are up 10% over last year, interest rates are still low, and fewer homes are for sale.
"It is a great time. I've visited with realtors from all over the United States. And, we're very fortunate to be in northeast Oklahoma," said Harriet Dunham with the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors.
Realtors say the Harbison's new neighborhood is a sign of the times. The brand new homes sat for months. Now, three have sold within the last couple of weeks.
"We cleared enough so that yep we're in it. Hopefully, close on both the same day," said Don Harbison of Pryor.
Dunham says as the housing market perks up, the rest of the economy won't be too far behind.
"Our service industry. We put thousands of people to work. And, I think if we get the housing market to move a lot of other things will follow," said Harriet Dunham with the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors.
Harriett Dunham says new home buyers are help fueling the comeback. She says they've been helped along by the stimulus package which offers them up to $8,000 in tax breaks.