Midland housing market sees largest increase, according to national index
Midland’s housing market is seeing the largest improvement in housing sales out of 400 metropolitan areas in the United States, according to the quarterly Nationwide Health of Housing Markets Report
The Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets measures the stability and profit of all national metropolitan areas on a scale of negative four to positive four, and while there were only 48 areas out of 400 that increased their ranking on this scale in 2017, Midland beat them all by leaping from negative one at the end of 2016 to positive one in 2017.
“Everything is selling from all price ranges,” said Realtor Victoria Printz. “But what’s different about this ‘boom’ we’re having is that oil prices are not up, yet companies are still moving large groups of people in. The Permian Basin is really the hot area right now.”
Printz said that as of Dec. 1, 2016, there were about 500 homes on the market, but by March 1 this number decreased to 300 available homes because of the housing demand driven by the frenzy of people moving into Midland.
Printz said the number of available houses to date has risen to 478 because the months of April, May and June are prime times for people to put their homes on the market.
“The newer homes have been averaging around 10 days on the market before they are sold,” Printz said. “On one newer home I sold last week, there were five offers right off the bat.”
Because of the growing housing demand in Midland, Printz said the prices of homes are currently at an all-time high, especially for newer homes.
“Typically, the buyers that are transferring in with these oil companies like something newer,” Printz said. “Midlanders tend to buy older homes, but people who are subject to transfer tend to buy newer because they know they are only going to be here for two to three years.”
Realtor Bill Lanier also said he noticed this increase in Midland’s housing market has not mirrored the oil prices this year, and that the numbers for Midland’s housing supply and demand are looking more stable than they have since 2014, which was a peak year for both real estate and oil.
“Oil prices don’t completely drive our market anymore,” Lanier said. “What we’re seeing (in real estate) right now is good, healthy growth.”
Lanier also said that when oil prices were $100 per barrel in 2014 the housing average selling price reached $287,000, and even when oil dropped to $27 per barrel in 2015 the average selling price was still running strong at about $275,000.
“This was not a tremendous leap,” Lanier said. “We have a good market showing stability, and that’s what we want.”
The average selling price has reflected the findings of Nationwide’s report as it leapt from $260,139 in January 2017 to the most recent average selling price of $315,522 for the month of May, according to the Midland County Residential Sold Information.
Since the lowest average selling price of $245,344 in January 2016, Midland’s housing market has earned its position at the top of the Nationwide report’s “largest increase” list.
With a difference of $55,383 over a five-month period and yearly difference of $70,178 within the average selling price per home, Midland Realtors are predicting a continued upward slope for the housing market in the coming quarter.
“We have a lot of Midlanders moving up in (housing) price range right now, and a lot of incoming folks buying their houses at a premium price,” Printz said.
Printz also said she anticipates another large influx of home buyers moving to Midland in the coming months, primarily due to oil companies bringing in more teams and employees to the area.
As far as predicting the future, however, Printz and Lanier said only time will tell when it comes to the housing market and its continued growth.
“I’ve ordered my crystal ball from eBay, but it hasn’t arrived yet, so who knows?” Printz said. “Personally, I think (this growth) is going to continue on through the fall and winter. I don’t really see a housing market slow-down in sight.”