Although Oklahoma is ranked as the 4th cheapest housing market in the U.S., the real estate market in Oklahoma City is still on a roll. As one local newspaper recently reported, every sign points toward values increasing for single-family homes.
Real estate investors buying and holding cash flowing rental property for the long-term may find exactly what they’re looking for in Oklahoma City.
As one local real estate broker observed, “Nice thing about Oklahoma is we actually stay pretty steady in our pricing with a slight increase. It doesn’t jump up really high and it doesn’t drop low and it’s because of our industries here; we are really diversified.”
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city in Oklahoma. Government, defense, and the natural resources sectors are the largest economic drivers in the region. Thanks to business-friendly government incentives to grow the job market, the aviation and aerospace, bioscience, financial services and international trade sectors are helping to keep the economy diverse and the housing market robust over the long term.
Keep reading to learn why rental property in Oklahoma City can be an attractive investment in 2021 and beyond.
The population of Oklahoma City has grown twice as fast as the national average, according to the OKC Chamber of Commerce. In fact, between 2010 and 2015 Oklahoma City was the 10th-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S.
Key Population Stats:
- About 655,000 people live in Oklahoma City, and nearly 1.4 million people reside in the greater metropolitan area.
- Oklahoma City spans more than 620 square miles and is the second-largest city in the U.S. by area just behind Houston, with plenty of room for growth and development.
- Population of Oklahoma City has grown by 0.92% year-over-year.
- Between 2010 and 2018 the metro population of Oklahoma City grew by nearly 14%.
- Based on an annual population growth rate of 1.55%, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area will be home to 1.52 million people by 2023 and will have nearly 2 million residents by 2040.
- The population of Oklahoma City is diverse: about 70% are white, 13% Hispanic or Latino, 11% African-American, 4% Native American, and 3% Asian.
- Median age in Oklahoma City is 35.6 years, with 41% of the population between the ages of 20 and 49.
Job Market Trends
There are over 680,000 employees in metropolitan Oklahoma City. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as the economy continues to recover, jobs sectors showing the quickest signs of rebounding include construction, trade and transportation, financial activities, and education and health services.
Key Employment Stats:
- GDP of Oklahoma City is nearly $79.5 billion, increasing about 42% over the past 10 years.
- Job growth in Oklahoma City has increased 2.55% year-over-year, with unemployment at just 5.9% (as of Oct. 2020).
- The cost of living in Oklahoma City is 6% below the national average.
- Chesapeake Energy and Devon Energy are two Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Oklahoma City.
- Major government employers in Oklahoma City include the State of Oklahoma, the Federal Aviation Administration, the City of Oklahoma, and United States Air Force – Tinker AFB.
- Major healthcare and biotechnology employers in metro Oklahoma City include Integris Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, SSM Health Care, and OU Medicine.
- AT&T, Sonic Corporation, The Boeing Company, The Hertz Corporation, United Parcel Service, Johnson Controls, MidFirst Bank, and American Fidelity Insurance are some of the other major corporations and large businesses in Oklahoma City.
- Economic sectors in Oklahoma City showing the healthiest annual job gains include oil and gas, administrative support, leisure services, wholesale trade, manufacturing, and business and professional services.
- Forbes lists Oklahoma City as the 54th best place for business and careers in the U.S. and among the top 40 cities where the cost of doing business is low.
- Major universities and colleges in metropolitan Oklahoma City include the University of Oklahoma, University of Central Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City Community College.
- Over 89% of the residents in Oklahoma City are high school graduates or higher, and nearly 32% hold a bachelor’s or advanced degree.
- Oklahoma City is the hub of the transportation system in the Midwest with Interstate 35, Interstate 40, and Interstate 44 bisecting the metro area.
- Will Rogers World Airport provides direct non-stop service to nearly 30 major cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Seattle.
- More than 4.3 million people passed through Will Rogers World Airport last year, setting a new passenger record for the second year in a row.
Real Estate Market
Home sellers in Oklahoma City are getting top dollar for their listings, at least for the time being. According to the Southwest Ledger, listing prices are up nearly 8% year-over-year while total listings in the OKC market are down by over 40%.
While one real estate agent questions how long the trend will continue, WalletHub has ranked Oklahoma City among the top 100 real estate markets. The favorable outlook for the Oklahoma City real estate market is based on the same criteria that real estate investors use, including a healthy real estate market, affordability, and overall economic environment ranking.
Key Market Stats:
- Median home value in Oklahoma City is $167,135 according to Zillow (as of June 2021).
- Housing prices in Oklahoma City have increased 13.2% over the past year.
- Median listing price of homes in Oklahoma City is $233,200 and the median selling price is $230,000, according to Realtor.com (June 2021).
- The median per-square-foot list price in Oklahoma City is $129.
- Average days on market is 43.
- Of the 247 neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, Downtown Oklahoma City is the most expensive with a median listing price of $575K.
- CEENA is the most affordable neighborhood, with a median listing price of $105K.
Strong Renters’ Market
Even though more new homes are being built in the last seven years, demand for homes in Oklahoma City is still greater than the supply. With prices high and inventory low, over one-third of the households in OKC rent rather than own.
In fact, WalletHub ranks Oklahoma City as one of the top 50 best cities for renters. Factors used to rate the best markets for renters include activity in the rental market, overall affordability of renting, and quality of life.
Another reason the rental market in Oklahoma City and state remains strong is students and job seekers flocking to the metro area. Oklahoma is a very landlord-friendly state, helping to keep the rental market strong over the long term for real estate investors.
Key Market Stats:
- Average rent in Oklahoma City is $845 according to the newest report from RENTCafé (as of June 2021).
- Rents in Oklahoma City have increased by 7% year-over-year.
- 46% of the rental units in Oklahoma City rent for between $701 and $1,000 per month.
- Renter-occupied households account for 38% of the total occupied housing units in Oklahoma City.
- Most affordable neighborhoods for renters in Oklahoma City include Horseshoe Lake, Capital Hill, and Central Capitol Hill where monthly rents are $610 or less.
- Neighborhoods in Oklahoma City with the highest monthly rents include Bricktown, Deep Deuce, and OK Health Center with rents averaging $1,339 per month.
Historic Price Changes & Housing Affordability
Reviewing the historic price change of housing and the affordability index are two of the many tools rental property investors in Oklahoma City use to forecast future investment performance.
Each month the Freddie Mac Home Price Index (FMHPI) report reveals the change in home prices for every major metropolitan area in the U.S. According to the most recent FMHPI for the Oklahoma City MSA:
- May 2016 HPI: 155.9
- May 2021 HPI: 206.0
- 5-year change in home prices: 32.1%
- One-year change in home prices: 11.9%
- Monthly change in home prices: 1.0%
Rental property investors can find housing affordability rankings and short-term changes of home prices in Oklahoma City from Kiplinger, one of the leading publishers of business and personal finance information in the U.S. According to the most recent report:
- Since the last real estate cycle market peak in May 2006, home prices in Oklahoma City have increased by 22.2%.
- Since the last real estate cycle market bottom in March 2012, home prices in Oklahoma City have increased by 21%.
- Oklahoma City has an affordability index of 1 out of 10, meaning the metro area is one of the most affordable places to own a home in the U.S.
Quality of Life
Oklahoma City is one of the best places for home buyers and investors. It’s also a perfect location for people looking for a great quality of life, according to News 4 TV in Oklahoma City.
Key Quality of Life Stats:
- Oklahoma City is the 5th-best largest city for first-time home buyers.
- Oklahoma has the lowest electric rates in the U.S.
- Livability recently ranked Oklahoma City as one of the best places for people to get a fresh start.
- Oklahoma City ranks as one of the top 50 cities for veterans to live in the U.S.
- Water taxis, private charters, and dinner cruises are easy to find in Downtown Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Entertainment District.
- NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder play their home games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Get Out the Map
Where to begin your search? Roofstock created a heat map of Oklahoma City based on our Neighborhood Rating, a dynamic algorithm that enables you to make informed investment decisions by measuring school district quality, home values, employment rates, income levels and other vital investment criteria.
DARK GREEN: 4-5 star neighborhood
LIGHT GREEN: 3.5-4 star neighborhood
YELLOW: 2.5-3 star neighborhood
ORANGE: 2 star neighborhood
RED: 1 star neighborhood
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