Median Home Values Nearly Double Since 1990

Wednesday, September 12th 2007, 9:58 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Median home values nearly doubled in Oklahoma since 1990, but the state remained among the cheapest to live in last year, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Only Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi had lower median home values in 2006, according to the bureau's American Community Survey.

Oklahoma's median home values went from $47,600 in 1990 to $94,500 in 2006 _ a 99 percent change _ yet it remained a bargain compared to states such as California and Hawaii, where median home values came in at more than $500,000.

The California cities of Newport Beach and Santa Barbara, for example, had median home values of about $1 million, according to the census bureau.

``It's just been a slow and steady increase in property value over time,'' said Lisa Yates, chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors. ``That's why (Oklahoma) is still a great value: you aren't trying to catch up from the latest downswing.''

Additionally, Oklahoma added about 93,000 housing units from 2000 to 2006, equaling a 6 percent increase.

Housing units, which include homes and apartments, went from 1,514,400 on April 1, 2000 to 1,607,400 on July 1, 2006, according to the census bureau.

That jump put Oklahoma 36th in the nation in growth for the six-year period in total housing units.

Tulsa and Oklahoma counties registered nearly 6 percent and 7 percent increases, respectively, in housing units since 2000.

From 2005-2006, housing units in Oklahoma increased about 1 percent.

Nationally, Pinal County, Ariz., registered the highest growth rate of housing units of any county, increasing by 16.6 percent, or more than 18,000 units, from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006, according to the bureau. Neighboring Maricopa County, Ariz. had the highest numerical gain in units.

The U.S. had more than 126 million housing units as of July 1, 2006, representing a 1.4 percent increase since July 1, 2005, according to the data.

The bureau also found that overall home ownership increased slightly since 2000, with 67.3 percent of all occupied homes owned by the occupant, compared with 66.2 percent in 2000.