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2
Feb

When Midland/Odessa Busts, Does Lubbock feel the shake?

Taylor Swift just shakes it off.  But she is just a skinny young woman with boy problems and paparazzi worries.  Plus she is in good shape and is thus able to shake whatever she wants.  She might have 99 problems that need to be shaken, but an oil bust ain’t one.

An oil bust that is causing housing crises and infrastructural shake-ups in Midland and Odessa, as OPEC clamps down for the long haul.

For a long time, high quality short term furnished apartments were the placement of choice for the well-paid workforces who would come in as the oil flowed and then leave when the oil stopped being as valuable (market).  These short term housing options were perfect in that they gave workers a real sense of home away from home, without the permanency of signing leases or even buying houses.  But then the oil rigger workforce grew beyond what the Odessa and Midland corporate housing spots could hold.  This led hopeful city and county governments in West Texas to start building apartments and houses for this new population who just might be there for a long, long time.

But booms are not to be trusted, because they are always partnered with a bust that comes faster than anyone planned leaving the hopeful builders with a fleeing population and empty apartments and homes.

Such is the case in early 2015 in Midland and Odessa.

And they cannot just shake it off –

As a Lubbock native who has long been hearing the tales of the “oil oceans” spreading out from Midland to Buddy Holly’s doorstep, I wonder how this will affect us.  Beyond the disappointment of many who have bought up plenty of properties in the area with hopes to sell them at a significant markup to that moving workforce which is now moving away, there is a strong sense in my mind that there is a deeper quake to come – one that will influence our county leaders to make interesting decisions (read: dumb/short-sighted) in a future where oil will become famous again.

I’ll table this for now – but I can say that I am very glad I stuck with Lubbock short term housing instead of going all in with permanence…Oil always comes and goes – and so do I.

Feel Free to comment – What do you think about all of this?  How much will oil economies be affected?

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