Norman and Edmond are propping up Oklahoma City-area homebuilding statistics.
Through July, the number of building permits issued was down slightly â€” 1.7 percent â€” in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Midwest City, Moore and Norman collectively, according to the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association.
Meanwhile, home sales this summer have been as blistering as the blazing sun. Realtors handled the sale of 1,533 houses in July, a steep increase of 34.7 percent compared with July 2010.
Homebuilders in Edmond and Norman were humming compared with the first seven months of 2010.
Norman city officials issued 228 permits during the period, an increase of 20.6 percent.
Edmond issued 224 permits, an increase of 23.8 percent.
Permits were down 1.8 percent in Oklahoma City, 42.7 percent in Midwest City and 25.8 percent in Moore.
If Norman and Edmond had issued the same number of permits as during the same period last year, the metro area as a whole would have seen a decline of 5.4 percent, according to The Oklahoman's calculations using figures from the builders association.
Some of the increased building in Norman and Edmond could be because buildable lots caught up in receivership for months have been acquired by builders who are working them back into the market, said Curtis McCarty, owner of C.A. McCarty Construction, based in Norman.
Plus, McCarty said, â€œForeclosures are down and the houses are sold and off the market and sold and builders are building again.â€
â€œIf this trend keeps up we will do better than last year for the first time in four years. And the average price increased again this month,â€ Preston said in an email. â€œThe silver lining has widened a bit again on our dark cloud.â€
The jump up in home sales comes down to jobs and consumer confidence, said Steve Mann, an auctioneer and agent with Paradigm AdvantEdge Real Estate and president of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.
Oklahoma City's jobless rate of 5.7 percent in June, the most recent numbers available, jumped up from 4.9 percent the month before â€” but the city still had the lowest unemployment rate among the nation's biggest cities, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
State unemployment was almost flat in July, ticking up to 5.5 percent from 5.4 percent in June, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
The average price of the homes sold in July by Realtors, which does not include those sold directly by builders or other owners, was $166,824 â€” up 1.9 percent compared with June and up 1.3 percent compared with July 2010 â€” the Realtors reported.
The median price, considered the best gauge of the market because one-half of houses sold fetched more and one-half fetched less, was $139,900 â€” 1.4 percent higher than in June and 3.6 percent higher than in July 2010.