Residential Living in Midland

Residential Living in Midland TX

Longtime residents of Midland have seen ups and downs in the local housing market over the years that were timed with the booms and busts of the oil industry.

Now that steady growth is predicted for several years – and possibly multiple decades – thanks to the generous energy reserves in the nearby Permian Basin, housing industry leaders have mobilized to make sure they provide enough housing for everyone.

It won’t happen overnight, but judging from the organized efforts of city and county officials, home builders, Realtors, foundations and nonprofits, there are signs the market is getting better already.

For example, there were more houses on the market in late 2019 than a year or two earlier, said Ernesto Calderon, president of the Permian Basin Board of Realtors.

“We’re adding some daily,” Calderon said. “The prices are still higher than normal, but it’s still cheaper to buy a house than it is to rent.”

The average price range for a home in Midland is about $310,000-$325,000, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage and about 1,800 square feet. The higher-end homes in the $600,000 and up range aren’t selling as quickly.

If homeowners are having trouble making a mortgage loan work in their budget, sometimes local banks can help them with closing costs, Calderon said.

Some housing growth is taking place within the city on vacant or “infill” lots in struggling neighborhoods, which is welcomed by neighbors, Calderon said. But most of the growth is on the outskirts of the city.

“They’re non-stop building as fast as they can,” Calderon said.

As the executive director of the Permian Basin Builders Association, Annie Parchman is in the middle of the effort to fill the ever-expanding need for more homes. About 1,000 new home permits were filled last year – a record. Expect that to continue, especially since most homes in progress have already been reserved by expectant homeowners.

“We have quite a few developments that are finishing or are in their second or third phases – northwest Midland, south of the loop and the interstate and a couple that are in the eastern part of town,” Parchman said.

The projects, which involve major builders such as D.R. Horton and Betenbough Homes, are expected to continue in 2020 and possibly beyond.

Parchman predicts the next large area of growth in the coming years is the northeast part of Midland, where a water tower and infrastructure improvements – such as water and sewer – are planned.

The public works investments “will make it easier for developers to come alongside that and have an area of growth,” Parchman said.

Even though there’s always a chance the need for housing might slow down a little bit, “we still believe we’re going to continue to grow at an exponential rate,” Parchman said. “As long as we have the infrastructure in place and lands to be developed, we will build houses to accommodate that need.”

Partnerships between nonprofits, foundations and financial institutions are filling an urgent need in the Midland area for affordable housing that is attainable for teachers, first responders and others.

One of the most important partnership projects is Hillcrest Village, a reduced-cost 200-unit apartment village targeted to first responders, teachers and other medical personnel who are vital to the day-to-day life in the area. The rental rates will be 30% below market to retain and attract staff in these positions.

Midland Community Development Corporation is developing the complex with assistance from the banking community and local foundations as  well as cooperation from the Midland Independent School District and Midland Memorial Hospital.

The building will be at 4610 W. Cuthbert, and is financed by $14 million in private funds – from businesses and foundations – with a $30 million mortgage secured through local banks. Rather than putting buildings on all of the available land, the apartments will be spaced out on the property, similar to Brighton Court near Lee High School.

The one to three-bedroom apartments (700 to 1,300 square feet) will have rents from $980 to $1,820 per month. It will be a low-density apartment village with quality amenities that is designed to blend into the neighborhood.

MCDC, a nonprofit, has developed more than $45 million in housing in the last 18 years. Projects include seven housing development projects – five single-family home projects and two apartment complexes.

“As a nonprofit, our board of directors has always pushed toward generating as may rooftops as possible for affordable housing,” MCDC Executive Director David Diaz said. “As long as the need is there, we will continue on that path.”

The need for affordable housing will continue for years, and the MCDC is ready.

“If future needs require additional multifamily units, Hillcrest Village is a model that could be duplicated,” Diaz said.