Tracking the Economic Growth (Jobs, Housing, Investment & Information)
Due to Shale Play Developments in the Ohio Valley Tri-State Area
Real Estate Trends
It was recently reported in a Bloomberg Businessweek article that: "Since 2005, oil production in North Dakota has nearly quadrupled at the same time employment in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas has increased 185 percent."
The Bakken Shale play development in North Dakota has contributed to a huge boom where thousands of people have flocked to the state to find employment.
The 2010 census counted the population of Williston ND, a huge boom town, at 14,716, up from 12,512 in 2000. That's a population change of 17.6%! However, it is believed that the actual population is much higher as people living in temporary housing were not included in that count. It is estimated that the actual population is somewhere around 17,000.
The impact on housing has been incredible. In Williston ND home sales are shown as being at a median price of $80,000 in 2006 and doubling by 2011 to a median of $160,000.
A review of the major network real estate listings available on the internet showed the total of properties on the market in Williston to be less than 30 ... that is not a typographical error ... less than 30 properties! There are many reports of people sleeping in their cars, living in portable trailers, and even "man camps" being built out of railroad containers to house people!
The Ohio Valley tri-state area is somewhat quietly heading into the boom now due to the Utica and Marcellus Shale play developments. And, while it is true that this area has been depressed for some time to the point where it has become known as the "rust belt" since the exodus of the steel mills and many manufacturers, the area will be drastically changing from here on out. Ohio, alone, is expected to realize an additional 200,000 jobs by 2016! And, in the Ohio Valley tri-state area, the northern panhandle of West Virginia and western Pennsylvania will be growing as well. The Ohio Valley area will experience major growth and an influx of population.
With that information in mind, let's take a look at Steubenville Ohio, for example. Steubenville is at the epicenter of the Ohio Valley tri-state area boom. Steubenville is the largest city in Jefferson County, OH. It is the county seat. The 2010 census shows that Steubenville OH had a population of 18,659. Currently there are less than 175 homes listed for sale on the major real estate networks on the internet for Zip Codes 43952 and 43953, which encompasses Steubenville and Wintersville OH. Less than 175 homes! And, remember, Steubenville is the largest city in Jefferson County.
It is true that there are a lot of variables that go into projecting housing needs with a boom such as this. For example, 200,000 new jobs do not mean a population influx of 200,000 people. Ohio residents and other residents of the Ohio Valley tri-state area will surely get some of those jobs. And, this area of the country is more populated and developed than the Williston, ND area.
However, it is a safe bet that there will be thousands of people coming to live and work in this area and with less than 175 homes for sale in a city like Steubenville, it would indicate that housing will definitely be an issue. In other areas of the Ohio Valley, the same holds true. There are not a lot of houses available. Properties will be very much a sought after commodity as the boom continues to evolve and prices will increase dramatically because of the influx of people that will arrive to live and work in the area. History has shown, in places like North Dakota, California, Texas, Louisiana, etc., where booms have been in progress now for 3-5 years, that this will be the case.