What does $1M buy?
OKC homes are bargains compared with bigger markets on the coasts
Someone’s idea of a dream home in New York City would be an Oklahoman’s nightmare: one bedroom, one bath, 766 square feet — for sale for $1 million.
One. Million. Dollars. That’s $1,305.48 per square foot. Plus $1,170 per month in property taxes and another $715 per month for commons fees.
And while you won’t find a similar “full service white glove condominium” like this one on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in this state, Oklahoma City does have more million-dollar homes than ever before.
Oklahoma County currently has 1,829 homes valued at $1 million or more, County Assessor Larry Stein said. In 2005, there were just 274.
The current number of million-dollar homes is 12%
higher than last year, even with the housing supply being historically tight.
Those homes look drastically different from what can be found on the coasts, due to Oklahoma City’s affordability.
New York City is the least affordable market in the country, according to RealtyHop.com, an online housing marketplace. Oklahoma City is still among the most affordable, even after a 12% jump in prices the past year.
Buyers get somewhat more bang for their buck along the west coast than they do in New York, but it’s still nowhere near that of Oklahoma.
In Los Angeles, third least afford able according to RealtyHop, $1 million just bought a 97-year-old, three-bedroom, two-bath, single-family home. The 1,157-square-foot house, 8 miles west of downtown, was remodeled, making the price easier to take.
Money is funny, though. Head north 400 miles to San Francisco, sixth least affordable, and you’ll find a 101-year-old house with two bedrooms and one bath and just 1,000 square feet. It’s on offer for $999,999.
Pacific Northwest? Similar. In Seattle, 24th least affordable, $1 million just bought a 1,400-square-foot house with three beds and 1 1/2 baths built in 1904.
That same $1 million in Oklahoma City will buy a mansion.
Oklahoma City homes for sale are relative bargains
One house currently for sale in the metro area is listed for $1 million at 6219 Riviera Drive, near Villa Avenue and NW 63. It has six bedrooms, eight baths, 7,793 square feet, was built in 1963 and remodeled after a fire in 2001.
At 617 NW 5, there’s another one, for $1,079,000, that has two stories, four bedrooms, four baths, is 2,494 square feet and was built in 2011.
If city life doesn’t suit, there’s one at 2900 Vasco Drive, in the Cross Timbers just north of Arcadia. That one is 3,619 square feet, has four bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths and sits on 2 acres. Its price? $1,025,000.
Outside Edmond, at 2588 NW 222, is a 5,982-square-foot home with six bedrooms and baths, built in 2012, on 4.5 acres, for $1,195,000.
Back in town, if someone wants to really splurge, historic 1703 N Hudson Ave., in Heritage Hills, is on the market for $1,475,000.
The two-story Georgian Revival was built in 1915 for heirs to hotelier Joseph Huckins Jr. of the Lee-Huckins Hotel. In 2014, it received the Restoration Award from Heritage Hills Historical Preservation Inc.
For that, a buyer will get 4,572 square feet of vintage but remodeled space, five bedrooms, four baths, two half-baths, and elegant features including an ornate entry with classical pilasters and oversized gables supported by ornamental brackets and exposed rafter tails. Plus a garage apartment.
Oklahoma County has more $1 million houses than ever
Million-dollar homes can be found across the county.
Oklahoma City had the most, with 752. Nichols Hills was second with 556. Edmond followed with 423. In teeny-tiny upscale Lake Aluma, 14 of the 40 homes are worth $1 million or more. Luther has five and Choctaw two. Another 77 are out in the county.
Why the 12% increase after a slight dip in 2020?
“The Oklahoma County real estate market is hot,” Stein said, “and home prices are on fire.”
But why are homes still so relatively inexpensive here? Why does $1 million buy so much house here and so little in those other cities?
Housing supply and demand interacts with income and wealth
It’s not complicated. Oklahoma City’s relatively inexpensive housing and the other cities’ sky-high prices come down to supply and demand, but also income and wealth, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.
“San Francisco and New York are expensive partly due to higher income and exposure to stock market and stock options,” Yun said in an email. “Aside from demand, supply also influences price.”
There’s not enough supply to meet low-interest-rate-driven demand anywhere, but especially on the coasts, he said.
“Not enough means higher prices and it is very difficult to bring new supply in San Francisco and New York, partly due to geography and coast limitations,” Yun said. “More importantly, due to the high cost of getting a permit to build, environmental review studies, and other government regulations.
“In Oklahoma, extra demand is met with extra supply within a reasonable time,” Yun said. “So home price reflects mostly the physical cost of building a new home like lumber, cement, and construction workers.”
“The Oklahoma County real estate market is hot, and home prices are on fire.”
Larry Stein County assessor
Oklahoma City homes: ‘Big-city experience,’ not ‘big-city prices’
Here, while Oklahoma City home builders have struggled to deliver because of material shortages, price hikes, and supply chain challenges in recent months — like they have everywhere — builders still build.
Relative affordability is one reason Insurify, an online insurance marketplace, recently named Oklahoma City as a top city for young families, along with diversity in school district choices, access to parks and outdoor facilities, and general safety.
Realtor Jared Kennedy, a broker and owner of LIME Realty, said schools are important, but home prices are extremely attractive, as well.
“For young families, schools are definitely a factor in home-buying decisions” he said, citing the diversity of school districts in the OKC metro area. “But the No. 1 factor, especially for families moving in from out of state, is cost of living.”
“Here in Oklahoma City, you get the big-city experience without paying bigcity prices.”
Senior Business Writer Richard Mize has covered housing, construction, commercial real estate, and related topics for the newspaper and Oklahoman.com since 1999. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.