LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Lawton is ranked in the top 15 of most affordable rental and sales markets in the nation. That’s according to Zillow, an online real estate database company that looked at metropolitan areas with 100,000 people or more.
The results of the company’s study was shared with locals at the Chamber’s State of Housing Luncheon today. The study showed that Lawton was the second most affordable rental market in the nation. The median rental price was $736 a month.
And on the sales side, the average price was just under $100,000 making Lawton 11th in the country. Besides renting and selling, the quality of housing was another big topic at today’s luncheon.
“Without quality housing and without accessibility then it’s very hard to move a community forward,” said Brenda Spencer-Ragland, President and CEO, Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.
The Lawton Board of Realtors completed a survey in the beginning of the year to determine, if the Lawton-Fort Sill area has enough quality housing for the number of people coming into the community.
“We found we have plenty and that’s one of the messages we’re going to get to the pentagon which will help with any type of decisions the Army needs to make as far as doing something with Fort Sill and it also helps with business that are coming to the community,” said Barry Ezerski, real estate broker and VP of Industrial Affairs, Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.
In the middle of the decade, Fort Sill was impacted by draw downs in the Army. This caused the area’s housing market to fall.
“We saw that but now Fort Sill is starting to gain strength again and so is the housing market," said Ezerski. "So, we’re doing a lot better and there’s a lot of positive news out there.”
“You also have great financing options that are available," said Spencer-Ragland. "It’s truly an opportunity to really find the house that you want within the community that you want to live.”
“We’re one of the only predominately VA loan markets in the state," said Ezerski. "Very few other areas have as many VA loans as we do and it’s because of the military. But it allows people to get in for less money down so that more people can afford to buy a house.”
The number of new constructions is also increasing.
“We saw a downturn of course in the middle of the decade with that but now there’s a lot more builders getting back into things," said Ezerski. "We’re probably seeing about a 50% increase in new construction activity just in the last two years.”
Another thing that is interesting about our market right now is that the National Association of Realtors has determined that we’re a balanced market.
“For buyers looking there’s plenty of houses to look at in any price range and for sellers, there’s buyers able to look at their houses," said Ezerski. "It’s not a buyers market it’s not a sellers market it’s right in the middle, which is grood for everybody.”
According to the Lawton Board of Realtors there are 822 houses on the market in Comanche County with a 10% vacancy rate. If you add in rental properties, there are close to 3,100 units available.