Broken Arrow has the most affordable homes in the state, according to a new report from HomeArea.com.
The report, which used Census Bureau data, compares local home prices and local incomes to determine how many years it would take for the median income to pay off the median home price.
The lower the value of the resulting median multiple indicates that incomes in an area are high enough to make it easier to pay off a home.
Anything under 3 is considered affordable.
Broken Arrow’s score of 2.4 was the best in the state. Lawton had a score of 2.5 and Tulsa and Oklahoma City both scored 3.0.
The median multiple for the state was 2.7 – a slightly more than 2 percent increase over the previous year.
The national median multiple is 3.6
Compared to cities across the country, Broken Arrow ranks No. 44 in terms of median multiple among cities with a population of 60,000 or more.
Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond said he’s not at all surprised to see Broken Arrow rank as having the most affordable housing in the state.
“One of the reasons we are a good place to be is our quality of life, safety, and schools,” he said. “We have been adding more than 2,000 citizens a year for several years and housing affordability has a lot to do with that. This is a great place for families to be.”
Thurmond, who has spent more than 30 years working in commercial and residential development, said one of the key factors to Broken Arrow’s affordability is that the industry isn’t overly regulated.
“Affordability comes with the price of land, the cost of construction and the regulations we have,” he said.
He said the costs associated with regulations can make up as much as 25 percent of the cost of housing.
“As I manage projects, there are communities where costs are higher because we are paying more fees. It takes longer to get done and it costs the builder and developer more, which is then passed on to the consumer.”
Amna Quraishi, senior loan officer with United Fidelity Funding Corps., said another reason for Broken Arrow’s affordability is that a large section of it that qualifies for 100 percent financing through a USDA loan program.
“Broken Arrow is a very hot area where more people want to buy and live,” she said. “They have someone of the best school systems, the taxes are lower than in Jenks and Bixby and it has the least crime.”