BRAC, low interest rates, low prices help Lawton home sales

Lawton_While the rest of the nation struggles with falling home sales, it's business as usual in Lawton.  The National Association of Realtors says the rate of national homebuyers dropped because many held out to wait and see how the economic stimulus package would affect them.  However, house hunters in Lawton kept on buying, and a Lawton realtor says he has closed on 106 homes since the beginning of this year - and there are more lined up.

Realtor John Naberhaus says some of Lawton's home buying activity has to do with Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), but most of it is because of lower interest rates and affordable prices.  So, Lawton is bucking the national trend.

While you may see a lot of 'for sale' signs in the area, you also see more 'sold' signs.  "We have seen the real estate market pick up recently - 2008 was a pretty rough year," said Naberhaus.  He says 2009 looks promising.  "You do have prices that are stable, you have great interest rates - some of the lowest in 40 years," he said.  "5.25% is a pretty common rate that we are seeing today."

Nationally, home sales dropped almost 5.3% in January, but in Lawton that's not the case.  It's because of first-time homeowners such as Rachel Lebel.  "With the economy, this house fit our price range and what we wanted," she said.  With the mortgage rescue plan that President Obama announced last week, the market is as good as it gets for first-time homebuyers in Lawton.  "I think it is a great motivation," said Naberhaus.  "In a market where average homes sell for $110,000, and an $8,000 incentive for that first-time homebuyer that is a big deal."

Rachel says she isn't too disappointed that she bought her house before the new plan was announced.  "We are really happy for it," she said.  "Some catch it and some don't, so we are happy we did."  Naberhaus says that with the population increase Lawton is expected to experience in the next couple of years, it will be an even better time to buy a new home.  Other realtors in Lawton also say that January was a good month for home sales.