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The Oklahoma County Assessor’s Office has seen a near 200% jump in the number of plats filed and property accounts created in the county last year.
That came after about three years of declines as commercial and residential projects waned due to shelved or scrapped projects, and the difficulty for developers to secure financing.
But it looks as though things are changing. County Assessor Leonard Sullivan says the number of accounts filed peaked in 2007 with 4,737, based on 2006 development, and then started declining. For 2010, his office had 776 accounts filed, a record low.
“Now our rolls have been updated, and for this year, there will be a total of 2,257 accounts added from 2011 to 2012,” says Larry Stein, chief deputy at the Oklahoma County Assessor’s Office. “While we have had years with much more growth, it’s important to remember this shows optimism by the small and large residential and commercial property development companies in Oklahoma County.”
Despite economic woes and housing-market bubbles bursting nationwide, Stein says prices and values for existing homes remained stable here, “because we have small businesses that make up the home-building companies. In areas that were overbuilt, large corporate builders flooded the housing market with houses that were overpriced.”
Last December, the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors showed 1,283 homes closed, 198 more than in December 2010. The average price however, slipped from $158,577 in December 2010 to $156,909 in December 2011.
Stein admits he cannot predict the future, but says based on local economic numbers and a strong local energy sector, he expects home prices to hold their own in 2012, and expects to see more new development in the commercial and residential sectors.
“Each year, the assessor’s office is required to set the market value of every property in Oklahoma County,” he says. “Depending on market conditions in neighborhoods, prices go up and prices go down, based on the demand for similar properties in the county.”