Texas Shale Oil Town Named Nation’s ‘Hottest’ Housing Market

A Hawkins-Welwood Homes employee applies the final touches to a foundation as construction on a luxury townhome is shown at rear Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in Plano, Texas. A measure of future U.S. economic activity fell in April, the first setback after six months of increases, reflecting weakness in housing …
AP File Photo/Tony Gutierrez

A West Texas shale oil town was named the nation’s “hottest” housing market, according to Realtor.com.

Midland, Texas, in the heart of the Permian Basin, took the top spot for the real estate website’s June Market Hotness Index. This also marked the third consecutive month Midland ranked as the nation’s hottest residential real estate market.

Each month, Realtor.com ranks the nation’s hottest housing markets based on how long it takes to sell a house and the number of potential buyers looking for a property.  According to the index, Midland buyers can get a decent size home at an attractive price. Also, their real estate analysts pointed out that “with the economic momentum of Texas behind it, Midland has plenty of buyers with down payments in hand.”

The median number of days a house remained on the market in Midland was 29. Housing inventory also moved 25 percent faster than last year, and 25.5 days faster than any other city overall. Midland properties received an average number of online views 2.8 times higher than the U.S. average. Midland’s May median age of inventory was 28 days.

People are flocking to the region for good paying shale oil industry jobs. In May, the Texas Workforce Commission found the Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the state’s lowest joblessness rate of 2.1 percent. However, Bloomberg cautioned that low joblessness also means labor shortages amid a ferocious hunger for energy workers. The business publication noted that people are coming to Midland at a time when its housing inventory is the lowest on record.

Single-industry cities like Midland and neighboring Odessa can fall prey to boom or bust economies, although the June LinkedIn Workforce Report indicated stateside oil industry job hirings are on the upswing since mid-2016 — rising by 5.2 percent over the past year. In 2016, the American City Business Journals predicted Midland’s population could jump 75 percent to reflect nearly 300,000 residents by 2040. They expect neighboring Odessa to see a 67.5 percent growth to almost 267,000 people.

The market could stay hot, too. Breitbart Texas reported that industry experts anticipate the Permian Basin, a 17-county region across West Texas and into eastern New Mexico, will double its output to reach a “stunning” level of growth over the next five years, exceeding the production of every OPEC member nation except for Saudi Arabia. IHS Markit forecasted that oil from the Permian Basis will account for more than 60 percent of net global production by 2023.

Following Midland in the top five “hottest” markets were Columbus, Ohio; Boston, Massachusetts; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Boise, Idaho. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington placed 17th, climbing up two spots since May.

Javier Vivas, director of economic research for Realtor.com, said the top 20 hottest markets list points to an overall shift away from “overheated markets to less expensive secondary markets.” He called this “proof that buyers are starting to feel the affordability crunch.”

Additionally, the online realty service said California ended its “historic” streak of dominating the hotness list, dropping out of the top five for the first time in six years. Still, San Francisco MSA placed sixth; Vallejo-Fairfield ranked seventh; and Sacramento, the state government’s seat, rated 13th. Only Santa Cruz at 20th moved up five spots.

Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter.


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