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Midland and Odessa Issue More Building Permits As Housing Prices Climb

(Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

By Mitch Borden

The Texas housing market has had a great few years. Sales are up, home prices are up, and the Texas Realtors Association is saying 2018 may have been a peak year. The Midland -Odessa area is no different.

In fact, both communities don’t have enough homes to meet the housing demand the current oil boom is generating, but the two cities are seeing signs that construction is on the rise. In 2018, the number of building permits Midland and Odessa issued was up, according to a new report by the Texas Association of Realtors.

Tray Bates, the chairman of the association, said, “There is a hyper demand in the Midland - Odessa market for homes and what we’re seeing is the market is finally trying to figure out how to meet that demand.”

The report states both Midland and Odessa saw home prices jump about 15 percent last year. The median price of a house in Midland in 2018 was about $290,000, while the cost of a home in Odessa averaged just over 200 thousand. Bates said the one thing that concerns him is the lack of wage growth compared to the rising home prices.

According to him, “We’re seeing the cost of housing going up in a significant way, but your wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of housing and it makes more and more people less able to afford a home.”

Bates said this a problem the entire country is facing. He also pointed out though, the high wages oil and gas workers make could help some afford the rising cost to purchase a home.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.