Incoming! Oklahoma Gets Influx Of Residents

Americans are a migratory bunch, and in the past when they've moved they've typically headed westward. But in 2009, relocators showed surprising patterns, according to research Atlas Van Lines. Among the surprises in Atlas's research: Oklahoma, for the first time in five years, is now seeing more arrivals than departures.

"Moving trends have really migrated to the Southwest--and to the Southeast," Kerri Hart, an Atlas Van Lines spokeswoman, tells HousingWatch. "It's hard to say what's driving this. Certainly jobs are a factor, but there are some states like South Dakota and North Dakota that have low unemployment and are still seeing more people move away."

Sorry, Yanks. People are moving to southwestern states like Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, and to mid-Atlantic states like Maryland, Washington DC, or North Carolina.

But we were a little bit stumped on Oklahoma. So we poked around, and found that when it comes to old-school as well as renewable energy sources, Oklahoma is a major job creator.

In fact, Site Selection Magazine, which covers corporate relocations, in July profiled the state as an economic development success story, with a new $750 million headquarters forthcoming for Devon Energy, $180 million facilities expansion by Terra Industries, as well as major efforts to produce and supply wind power.

And, of course, Oklahoma did see a few high-profile relocators in recent years: The Seattle SuperSonics basketball team, under Oklahoman Clay Bennett, moved with NBA approval to the state just in time for the 2009 season.

The influx is manifesting itself in a tightening housing market -- at least in Oklahoma City. According to new stats from HousingTracker, Oklahoma City housing inventory was down 7% during the past week, making it the second highest inventory shrinkage rate next to Nashville's among the 54 cities HousingTracker watches -- and backing up the Atlas findings.

If you're planning on moving to Oklahoma City, keep in mind that inventory has shrunk 15% year-over-year, according to HousingTracker. But the price is right. The median price of a home in Oklahoma City? It's fallen slightly to just $156,990. What can you get? For under $160,000 we found a 1920s charmer, a Very Brady 1970s house, and even some speculative construction.

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