Amid An Oil Boom, A West Texas City Gets The Jitters

Sep 26, 2017

Midland, TX
Credit Hellorawr / Wikimedia Commons

Midland, Texas, is in the midst of an oil boom. Homes are selling for over $1 million. Real estate prices shot up almost 9 percent in the past year, and permits for new construction climbed 76 percent.

But, as Bloomberg reports, here in the world’s hottest oil patch, fears are mounting that a bust is on the way. And that’s part of the way of life in Midland. The city has been riding an economic roller coaster ever since oil was first discovered in the Permian Basin in 1923. But the latest boom is remarkable, given that oil prices still hover near $50 a barrel.

Victoria Printz, a Midland real estate agent, said “You would think oil is $100 a barrel the way the real estate market is going.”

What concerns many local observers is the fact that costs for rigging equipment rose 30 percent over the last year—and that’s a sign that this bubble may be about to burst.