Property values in some Tulsa neighborhoods soar, others sink
BY CURTIS KILLMAN World Staff Writer
Sunday, April 17, 2011
4/18/11 at 4:52 PM
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Kouri Carey searched all over Tulsa last year for a new home before settling on a neighborhood just north of the Tulsa fairgrounds.
Carey's home, purchased for $87,000, is in a part of Tulsa that is undergoing a resurgence of sorts.
With many homes in excess of 70 years old, there are no signs of residential housing woes here.
Since moving in last fall, Carey said, he has noticed that many homes in the neighborhood are looking better.
"There's been a lot of renovations," Carey said.
A graphic designer previously living in Kiefer, Carey said increasing gasoline prices and a shorter work commute were two main factors he considered when he began researching neighborhoods in which to purchase a home.
Indeed, home values in Carey's Summit Heights Addition have increased by 28 percent since 2006, a Tulsa World analysis of Tulsa County assessor appraisals shows.
Neighborhoods near Carey's have experienced similar increases in value.
The Fair Heights neighborhood, just east of Carey's and immediately north of the fairgrounds at 15th Street and Yale Avenue, has seen a 25 percent average increase in property values since 2006, the World analysis indicates.
The Tulsa World analyzed computerized land records gathered from the Tulsa County Assessor's Office to determine the average percentage change in value for each single-family residential subdivision in Tulsa County.
For purposes of this story, only data on detached, single-family homes built in neighborhoods before 2005 were analyzed.
The analysis indicates that while 2010 marked the Tulsa metro area's worst home sales in the past decade, home values across Tulsa County have ranged considerably since 2006.
While some neighborhood market value averages have increased 20 to 30 percent, other areas have felt the pinch, the analysis indicates.
Overall, home prices in Tulsa County subdivisions have increased in value by an average of about 8 percent since 2006, the World's analysis shows.
The data show that since 2006, many midtown neighborhoods and those just north of the Tulsa fairgrounds have experienced some of the biggest jumps in average property values.
In the Yorktown neighborhood, the Weaver Addition ranked No. 1 in the county in increased average market value since 2006.
The addition, west of 17th Street and Lewis Avenue, is composed of 1920s-era, single-family homes ranging in value from $72,000 to $214,000.
Andrew Boyd and his wife, Suzanne, shopped for homes last year in Tulsa after both graduated from the University of Arkansas.
"We spent a few weeks looking all over the place in Tulsa," Andrew Boyd said. "We were wanting to stick around the midtown, Brookside area. It kind of seemed like a younger crowd."
The couple settled on a 1,400-square-foot home in the Weaver Addition.
"We had heard that homes in this area tend to hold their value very well, so that was another reason for looking for houses in that part of town," Boyd said. "Our house was built in the '20s, and it's not without its fair share of projects, but for the most part, it's in great shape."
Homes in the Weaver Addition increased in value, on average, 39 percent from 2006 to 2010.
Another midtown neighborhood seeing strong growth in values is Greater Oakview Estates, near 36th Street and South Lewis Avenue.
The upper, middle-class neighborhood was developed in the 1950s and features homes on large lots. Styles include ranch homes and large, newly built two-story homes. The neighborhood has seen a 24 percent average increase in home values since 2006.
"We've had a lot of in-fill building in the neighborhood of what we call McMansions," said Harrison Townes, president of the Greater Oakview Estates neighborhood association. "The neighborhood is really rejuvenating.
"People, I guess, are wanting to move in closer to town. It's been a very popular neighborhood.
"Lots in our neighborhood would go from anywhere between $200,000 to $300,000 on average," Townes said.
"We had a lot of new building in the neighborhood where they build these great big homes, and that's kept the property values up I guess because the lots are worth probably as much as the house is."
Elsewhere, subdivisions south of Interstate 44 have experienced 10 to 16 percent average increases in value since 2006.
Homeowners living east of U.S. 169 have seen more modest average increases in property values since 2006, ranging from 1 to 5 percent.
Meanwhile, several subdivisions generally north of Admiral Boulevard have experienced stable to negative growth in property values since 2006, the analysis shows.
Decreases in neighborhood property values can be attributed to an inordinate number of sales due to foreclosures, officials said.
One northside neighborhood bucking the trend toward declining values is located just north of downtown.
The historic Brady Heights neighborhood, which encompasses several platted additions, has seen values increase by an average of up to 3 percent since 2006.
Brady Heights resident Nathan Pickard said it's been a block-by-block effort to improve the neighborhood.
"I moved in here four or five years ago, and the block that we moved in on had some crime and was generally a depressed block in our neighborhood," Pickard said.
Residents pitched in and established a community garden on a lot on which the home had burned down, he said.
"Pretty quickly we had a lot of young professionals move in, and that block is completely different now," Pickard said.
"The values are quite a bit higher, and a lot of houses have been fixed up and sold," Pickard said. "I think as downtown develops it has really been helping our neighborhood."
Subdivisions west of the Arkansas River have been seeing modest growth in property values. Several neighborhoods in the Redfork area of west Tulsa have seen 10 to 15 percent average increases in value since 2006.
Several neighborhoods in Jenks and Bixby have seen home values increase 3 to 8 percent. Additions constructed after 2005 were not considered in the analysis.
But while many neighborhoods have seen increases in market values over the four-year period, Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel said that trend has slowed in recent years.
Workers for the Assessor's Office appraise one-fourth of the neighborhoods in the county every four years. The visual inspections permit appraisers to see changes to properties they otherwise don't catch through a review of building permits.
Even if a neighborhood is not visually inspected, though, market values may be adjusted if a computerized analysis of sale prices warrants such a move.
But Yazel said that during the last two years, no neighborhood has seen a blanket increase in overall values via the computer analysis.
Other evidence of the housing market slowdown can be found in the number of notices the Assessor's Office sends to property owners when it increases the market value.
The number mailed out has decreased from 167,000 in 2000 to 54,000 this year.
Yazel said he doesn't foresee any big changes in the current market trend.
"There's nothing showing me anything changing direction," Yazel said.
Original Print Headline: Home values soar for some
Curtis Killman 918-581-8471
Brady Heights residents Nathan Pickard, his wife, Kristin Pickard (right), and neighbor Jenna Brennan gather for an event planning committee meeting at the Pickards' home recently. The historic neighborhood is among many where homes increased in value since 2006. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Mike Joyce cuts the grass at his home in the Timberland Addition recently. The neighborhood's homes have increased in value since 2006, according to a Tulsa World analysis. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World