SAN ANGELO - The oil boom is bringing prosperity to the region on numerous fronts — not the least of which is the housing market. Real estate agents are raking in commissions, and property owners are able to raise rents beyond what tenants — until recently — would have thought reasonable.
San Angeloans who depend on rental property to be their castle are finding the same domicile they leased for $1,150 per month suddenly valued at $1,700. Or an $800 apartment now going for $1,100.
“Rent is going up everywhere because of the oil industry,” said Susie Springer, counselor at Christians in Action. “Places are renting higher than they ever have. You just can’t find a house that’s less than $1,200 a month.”
That price would be citywide, and includes something in a two-bedroom, one bath.
Oil field operating companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of an anticipated bonanza when production starts from the massive Cline Shale tight oil play, which lies under counties bordering Tom Green County to the north and west.
Large international exploration and operating firms such as Devon Energy and Apache are expected to invest millions in leasing land, exploratory drilling and production.
The real estate community is looking at a tightened inventory of rental housing, and additional housing will be needed for the oil field workforce still to come.
Growth is certain, and it's happening fast.
"We have a lot of commercial and residential developers looking at San Angelo right now," said John Dugan, vice president of marketing for the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. "We will see some new investment in the community — multifamily and single-family development and hotels.
"We are going to have a thriving economy over the next few years. As we go forward, we are trying to maintain an (economic and industrial) diversity in addition to the oil industry so we can continue to keep the workforces here in other areas. The challenges we face are about workforce and housing, but we are working to maintain the quality of life that we enjoy now in San Angelo."