Monday , 19 November 2018
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Midland, Texas Ranks No. 1 in the Nation in Home Price Gains (Fracking Has Its Benefits)

Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com

MIDLAND – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – The housing market in Midland, Texas, an oil and gas-rich town about 425 miles west of Houston, ranks Number 1 in the nation for price gains, says a recent survey released on realtor.com.

“Midland is the fastest-[price] rising housing market in the United States,” declares the report conducted by SmartAsset.

Midland’s economy is riding a wave of a resurgent energy industry. West Texas Intermediate crude closed at $68.53 a barrel Wednesday, a vast improvement from two years ago when oil dipped below $30 a barrel. Midland’s job growth is strong and the rig count is high once again.

Midland ranked ahead of Denver and Greeley, Colorado for rapid price hikes. The only other Texas city to make the top 10 was Frisco, a community north of Dallas. Seven other municipalities in the Lone Star State made the top 25, including Odessa, at Number 12.

“When houses sell quickly, you know there is not a lot of supply,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com. And that’s the rub in Midland – “not a lot of supply.”

Realtor.com said 850 homes are currently on the market in Midland. Forty-three rentals are available.

Hale said the median listing price for a home in Midland in June was $350,000, a 26% hike in the price. The SmartAsset report elaborated:

“For the second year in a row, Midland takes the top spot as the fastest-rising housing market in the nation, according to Census Bureau data. In the past five years, we estimate that the median home saw its value increase by 22 percent, the fourth-fastest home value increase in our data set.”

Midland has been Number 1 for three months in a row, the realtor.com economist noted. It was at the top of the list for four months in 2014, from August to November.

She also pointed out that “for the first time in six years, no California markets were included in realtor.com’s top five hottest markets for June 2018. Instead, we saw Columbus, Ohio; Boston and Fort Wayne, Ind., make it to the top of the list. Homes in these areas offer an opportunity for buyers because they are either priced below the U.S. median of $299,000 or growing more slowly than the U.S. overall of 9%.”

It’s not just the weather that’s hot in Midland. The oil boom is gushing again, generating many jobs. In fact, Hale said that while the unemployment rate in the U.S. is around 4%, the figure for Midland is 2%. “The job market is strong; income is strong.” She said the average wage paid to a worker in Midland is $84,700 – “considerably higher than the rest of the U.S.”

The SmartAsset report says Midland’s home value increase “is roughly in line with the growth in income for households in this city. The average household in Midland went from an annual income of $59,500 in 2012 to an annual income of $71,500 in 2016, a 20% increase. For that metric, Midland ranks first.”

Overall, says the report, “the fastest-rising housing markets in the nation are Midland, first, followed by Denver, Colo.; Greeley, Colo.; Vista, Calif.; Oakland, Calif.; Aurora, Colo. (Oakland and Aurora are tied for fifth); Seattle, Fort Collins, Colo., Frisco, Texas and Bellevue, Wash.

Also on the list of rapidly rising housing price cities are seven in Texas: Odessa (12th), Austin (15th), Pearland (17th), Round Rock (18th), Richardson (19th), League City (20th) and McAllen (22nd).

Midland is the county seat for Midland County, and a portion of the community lies in Martin County. Latest census figures list the city’s population at 132,950, and just over a quarter-million in the metro area.

The community was changed significantly by the discovery of oil in the Permian Basin in 1923. Soon, Midland, which sits atop the oil-abundant basin, became the administrative center of the West Texas oil fields.

The city has enjoyed several oil boom periods and, today, because of extensive drilling and fracking, the Permian Basin produces one-fifth of the nation’s total petroleum and natural gas output.

According to data issued on July 13, 2018, Midland County is seeing a swift rig activity turnaround. Over the past two weeks, 13 rigs have been added, reversing a steady decline that started 10 weeks ago. This week, Midland County jumped back to 51 operating rigs,  seven more than last week.

July 19, 2018 Realty News Report Copyright 2018

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