MIDLAND - The August 2013 Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index was recorded at 212.3, an 8.7 percent increase from the August 2012 recording of 195.3.
August 2013 represented the 45th consecutive month of economic growth, according to Amarillo economist Karr Ingham.
Average housing prices in Odessa and Midland reached a record high of more than $250,000 in August 2013. The August 2012 to August 2013 increase in housing prices was about 17 percent. In Midland, the average price was more than $300,000.
However, the number of sales actually declined, which Ingham attributed to people not being able to keep up with prices. “Not every household income is going up at the level housing prices are,” said Ingham. “In fact, most people’s probably are not.”
There are normally between 500 and 600 homes on the market, but a low of 215 was reached in July 2013; Odessa reached a low of about 200 from an average of about 400, according to Bobby McCourt, president of the Permian Basin Board of Realtors.
During summer 2013, houses were selling in an average 28 days in Midland and an average 38 in Odessa, said McCourt.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported a 7.47 percent increase in second quarter 2013 Midland housing prices compared to 2Q 2012. In Odessa, the increase was 9.53 percent.
While the region’s oil-fueled economy continues to expand, the rate of growth appears to be normalizing to levels that might allow infrastructure to catch up.
The Energy Information Administration and others have forecasted that crude oil prices in 2014 will average in the mid-$90 per barrel range. Ingham said those prices would sustain growth at a high but less extreme level.