Oklahoma City might not carry the cachet of Miami, Las Vegas or Los Angeles, but as of 2016, it had become one of the most popular cities in the United States for relocation. Its metropolitan statistical area (MSA) population stands at 1.35 million, up from 1 million in 2000. This Midwestern metro offers low unemployment, a diverse job market and a surprisingly robust entertainment and cultural scene, which includes the lively Bricktown neighborhood, the Boathouse District and an NBA franchise, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Affordable real estate is a big draw to Oklahoma City, particularly for young people and hipsters who increasingly find themselves priced out of trendy cities such as Portland, New York and Austin. According to 2014 U.S. Census data, Oklahoma City is the second-least house-poor city in America, with only 28% of its residents spending 30% or more of their income on housing. A 2016 study by SmartAsset ranked Oklahoma City eighth in the country in millennial homeownership. Thanks to its influx of young residents, many neighborhoods encircling downtown that had fallen into disrepair are now revitalized and thriving.

While rising demand has put upward pressure on Oklahoma real estate prices since 2011, homes are still affordable as of 2016 relative to income levels in the city.

Market Insights

The median home sales price in Oklahoma City stood at $115,000 in May 2011. By April 2016, it had risen to $172,000. Over the five-year period studied, appreciation was slow and steady from 2011 until the end of 2014, and then the median sales price jumped by over $40,000 over the ensuing 12 months. As of May 2016, prices have been treading water, with no material appreciation or depreciation. Also, seasonal fluctuations have been minimal since 2011, and sales volume has been fairly consistent, hovering around 1,500 home sales per month in the city.

Renting is more affordable in Oklahoma City than nearly anywhere else. According to a 2016 Forbes study, Oklahoma City is the only place in the United States where apartment dwellers pay less than $1 per square foot in rent.

Property and Transfer Taxes

Residents of Oklahoma County, which includes Oklahoma City, are subject to up to four levels of property taxes. All homeowners pay the county tax, and all pay a tax that corresponds with the local school system and another that corresponds with the local technical school or junior college. In addition, homeowners who live within the municipal boundaries of Oklahoma City must pay a city tax. Each of these taxes is calculated in mills. A mill is defined as $1 per $1,000 in tax-assessed value. An Oklahoma County home's tax-assessed value equals 11% of its market value.

Homeowners can expect a total property tax rate between 100 and 130 mills, depending on the school system and whether the homeowners live in the city. A home valued at $150,000 has a tax-assessed value of $16,500. If its property tax rate is 120 mills, the owner's annual property tax bill comes to $1,980.

Transfer taxes in Oklahoma consist of a deed stamp tax of 75 cents per $500 and a mortgage registration tax that varies between two cents and 10 cents per $100, depending on the terms of the mortgage.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods

With a median home sales price upwards of $400,000, the Witcher neighborhood in northeast Oklahoma City ranks among the city's wealthiest and most expensive enclaves. The median annual income of Witcher residents ranks in the top 2% of all neighborhoods in the United States.

Bricktown residents pay a premium to have an abundance of entertainment, dining and shopping in their backyards. The median sales price in Bricktown is over $350,000.

Top Real Estate Websites

Oklahoma City home shoppers enjoy numerous resources online. OklahomaCityRealEstateHomes.com allows visitors to search for homes in Oklahoma City and its suburbs and to narrow their search by price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, property type and geographic area. The site also lists available apartments and homes for rent. Otherwise, Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com offer valuable real estate information for Oklahoma City, including specific homes for sale as well as information about broader real estate market trends in the area.

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