Friday, April 27, 2012

Home sales looking up: Sales reach four-year high

Tulsa-area home sales aren't just having a better year - they're having the best year so far since 2008. Approximately 992 homes changed hands during March, according to data from the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors. That's a 28.5 percent increase from February and a 28 percent increase from March 2011. The three-month total of 2,446 is 23.5 percent above the total for the same time period of last year and is the highest recorded in the area since 2008. It also marks a full 12-month streak of year-over-year monthly home sales improvements. March's local figures were better than the overall U.S. performance. National sales of single-family home sales declined 2.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.97 million in March from 4.07 million in February but are 5.9 percent above the 3.75 million-unit pace a year ago, according to figures from the National Association of Realtors. Rodger Erker, president of the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors, said traffic at local real estate agencies has picked up dramatically over the past few months. "Back last year, an open house might draw three or four groups looking at it," he said. "Now we're getting 15 or 16." Sheryl Chinowth, broker/owner and CEO of Chinowth & Cohen Realtors, said her business has already generated $20 million more in sales so far this year compared to this time last year and sellers are seeing more competition. "We're starting to see some homes with multiple offers coming in," she said. Chinowth and Erker both said that improved consumer confidence is the main factor bringing buyers back into the market after worries about a collapsing national home market and unemployment kept them on the sidelines. "Job confidence is certainly a good thing for us," Erker said. ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer Published: 4/26/2012 2:36 AM Last Modified: 4/26/2012 7:46 AM

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tulsa-area commercial vacancies decrease

Vacancies for office properties in Tulsa improved slightly during the first quarter, a new study indicates.The percentage of empty office buildings decreased from 21.1 percent at the end of last year to 20.6 percent at the end of March, according to a report compiled by real estate data service Xceligent. Brian Hunt, author of the report, said interest in office property has picked up, especially from companies specializing in energy, law, engineering, staffing and medical tenants. Industrial properties improved slightly, from 9.7 percent at the end of last year to 9.6 percent now. Hunt noted industrial activity also picked up, though smaller warehouses continue to find tenants more easily than larger spaces.

By ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer Published: 4/16/2012
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Tulsa Women CEO's

When Sheryl Chinowth first came to Tulsa in 1996, she really just wanted to be an outstanding real estate agent, help clients and make sure they got the best possible service.

She never really envisioned becoming CEO of her own real estate agency.

Today, Chinowth with her husband, Lee Cohen, who is chief financial officer, oversees Chinowth & Cohen Realtors, which has about 330 licensed, full-time real estate agents and another 80 or so who are referral agents.

To get the business to that level has taken long hours and lots of work. In those first few years of starting the company, neither Chinowth nor her husband took a vacation or a day off work.

"To be a woman CEO and to start your own business, you have to understand you're going to be working 80 hours a week for the first four or five years ... You're not going to get a lot of sleep," Chinowth said. "To be an entrepreneur, you have to really have a strong drive. You have to have passion for the business that you're in and really, really enjoy it and just an extremely hard work ethic."

Looking back at it now, Chinowth jokingly said she wonders if she weren't a "little bit crazy." But she has no regrets. She loves people and real estate, and with the combination of the two, "it's been a great fit." "When your job is something that you enjoy doing every day, it's not work," she said.

She is glad to know that she and her husband helped achieve and build something that will last long after they are gone. If she were to do it all over again, Chinowth said she would have started the company 10 years earlier.

"I really do believe there are no limits. The only limits a person has in life are the limits they put on themselves. If you work hard, there aren't any limits." Women don't hear the term "glass ceiling" anymore like they did when she was growing up, although there are still a lot of men who own their own companies. The playing field is changing, however, and Chinowth sees a society that increasingly values individual talent, skills, knowledge and personal integrity. "Those are the things that will rise you above everyone else - whether you're male or female," she said.

By LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer Published: 4/1/2012 2:26 AM Last Modified: 4/1/2012 5:20 AM

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