Housing law of supply and demand to gas and oil workers looking for home

CAMBRIDGE — When it comes to local housing for oil and gas workers, the law of supply and demand is definitely in effect in the Cambridge and Guernsey County areas.

In a recent interview, Cambridge Board of Realtors President Peggy Parry pointed to the influx of “pipeliners” to the area as a boon to area motels and those who have rental properties.

“We really have seen little to no activity with the local or regional housing market as it relates to the oil and gas industry,” she noted. “Early on, there were investors who bought acreage, but that has died away to almost nothing now, since property owners are holding on to their land in anticipation of dollars from granting drilling rights.

“All of our local motels have profited greatly as well as individuals with properties to rent. If persons are buying property, it is usually with an eye to renting to oil and gas people. There are inexpensive houses everywhere.”

Parry and other realtors have been told that there may be about a 10-year window for area drilling. Thus, the influx of “out-of-staters” needing lodging should remain constant during that time.

“While there are inexpensive houses everywhere,” Parry continued, “there are still not enough in the eastern Ohio area to fulfill the demand because so many workers are coming to our area.”

Many local realtors have been contacted by oil and gas companies seeking lodging for employees. Area motels are nearly full. They and private owners appear to be making a “killing” by hiking the monthly rental rates. Parry reported hearing of some rentals going for $2000/month and up. She also has heard of many oil and gas workers being unable to afford rent because it is so high.

Overall, the number of homes sold across Ohio rose 15.5 percent in June, as the market posted year-over-year gains in activity for the 24th consecutive month, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors.

“Over the past two years the Ohio housing market – month-by-month – has made slow, steady and consistent progress in its effort to recover from the economic challenges wrought by the recession,” said Thomas J. Williams, president of the Association. “Attaining 24 consecutive  months of gains in sales activity – our longest stretch in uninterrupted growth in 16 years of tracking Ohio home sales – is a clear indicator of growing consumer confidence and a renewed appreciation that housing is a solid, long-term investment.”

Sales through the first six months of 2013 reached 61,297, a 15.8 percent increase from the 52,932 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The average sales price (January through June) this year is $139,649, a 6.4 percent increase from the $131,199 mark set during the period a year ago.

Total dollar volume this year is nearly $8.6 billion, a 23.3 percent increase from the six-month mark of a year ago of $6.9 billion.

“Sales activity during the second quarter increased 17.4 percent from the level posted last year… our eighth consecutive quarterly gain,” Williams said. “We’re also experiencing widespread sales increases across Ohio, with 17 of the 20 markets we track showing improvement so far in 2013…a significant indication that the recovery of the housing market is occurring across our diverse markets – from our largest locales to our  smaller, rural markets.”

Sales in June reached 13,019; a 15.5 percent increase from the 11,267 sales posted during the month in 2012, and reached the best mark since 2007. The average sales price of $161,498 is a 7 percent increase from the $150,992 average price posted in June 2012.


By: Rod Johnson Dix Communications

Published: August 1, 2013 1:25 PM


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