Numbers Update Shows Housing Inventory at Record Lows, Confirm Greater Job Losses in 2015

Shale Slump

While prospects for Midland-Odessa’s economic recovery remain steady and strong, a recent article by The Midland Reporter-Telegram suggests growing problems over housing availability. Citing information provided by the Permian Basin Board of Realtors, The Reporter-Telegram reports that housing inventory reached a new low last month.

The PBBOR’s February report revealed a housing supply of 348, which was nearly 300 fewer than July and the fewest of any month going back 28 months when there were 323 homes on the market in October 2014.

The number of homes on the market is also considerably less than the 900 to 1,100 homes that according to Realtor Victoria Printz make up a balanced market between the seller and buyer.

Record lows in housing inventory make record sales, as well. The Permian Basin Board of Realtors reports housing sales in the area show a six-year high.

More evidence of the pronounced buyer’s market was seen in the number of homes sold in February. The 159 homes sold were more than any February going back at least six years, according to PBBOR statistics, and was 62 more than in February 2016.

“February once again proved to be a record month based on statistics from the previous six years for Midland County,” wrote Carroll Nall, MLS/Member Services director for the PBBOR. “Residential home sales continue to be strong with mid-range pricing being the most sought after and sold.”

Meanwhile, in an updated report by the Texas Workforce Commission, data concerning the 2015-2016 job losses for the Midland-Odessa area confirmed earlier suspicions. Losses were much greater than earlier reports indicated, according to The Reporter-Telegram.

The revised employment numbers showed Midland-Odessa suffered even deeper job losses than believed. Ingham said an estimated 23,300 jobs were lost between the time Midland-Odessa employment peaked in December 2014 and when the bottom was reached in September 2016.

Of that, Midland lost 11,100 jobs or 11 percent of its total employment and Odessa lost 12,200 jobs or 15 percent, Ingham said.

While the two-year job losses were staggering, and experts do not foresee regaining all of those losses, job growth has been steady and roughly 1,700 new jobs were added through the first of 2017. The residential housing market also shows record double-digit growth.

January’s home sales total is the highest January figure on record. There were 224 existing homes sold in January, up 43.6 percent from 156 sold last January. The average sales price of $233,270 is 2.3 percent above the year-ago average of $227,969.

In Midland, there were 159 homes sold, up 59 percent from 100 the previous year. The average sales price was $257,725, up 2.5 percent from $251,364.

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