Does the kick in activity indicate another “boom” cycle in the Permian? While it’s likely that we won’t see $100 oil, and the scramble to “drill, baby, drill” isn’t quite the same as in 2013-2014, activity in the Permian basin continues to increase more than in other shale plays across the country. One result–fewer homes available for purchase.
A lack of affordable housing has been a problem associated with any oil boom, and the cities of Midland and Odessa have seen such problems in the past. North Dakota’s real estate market in the Bakken was so inflated during the boom that cities like Williston and Watford City, in the heart of the Bakken oil patch, had a difficult time recruiting teachers and police officers, who work for far lower wages than those working oil and gas jobs. New apartments popped up overnight, and now that Bakken activity has slowed to a “new normal,” rents have finally come down to a more affordable rate. Empty apartments and houses plague the real estate market across the area.
In the Permian, the story is different. The rig count is over five times that of the Bakken or Eagle Ford. As a result–fewer houses on the market. The Midland Reporter-Telegram reported the number of available homes on the market in Midland County has dropped by nearly 200 since July, according to statistics from the Permian Basin Board of Realtors (PBBOR). Another stunning statistic showed January as the fourth straight month the number of available homes dropped in Midland County and the lowest number of homes since May 2015.
Whether it’s the flourishing Permian basin, or if it’s just a great place to live, one fact remains: houses are a hot commodity. It’s a seller’s market, and if you’re searching, you may have to jump quickly when you find the right place.