Friday, April 19, 2013

Boom Town

I think we bought our house just in time.

There is a new oil boom in this area of West Texas, and people are moving in to the area. When we signed the contract on our house back in December, there were just a couple of other foundations being poured in this neighborhood, but now there are about a dozen under construction. An area not far from us is being cleared to expand an existing neighborhood. Activity like this is visible in several areas around town. Plans for new RV parks are being developed and are awaiting approval of the city council.

House prices are expected to increase in the days ahead as the full impact of the boom is realized. I'm not sure when that will be, but I'm sure it is coming.

San Angelo is a traditional town. It's economy has been steady over the years, based largely on ranching and related activities. It is home to Goodfellow Air Force Base and Angelo State University (about 7,000 students) as well as 2 very fine hospitals which serve patients from all over the Concho Valley. Tourism in the area has traditionally been lively due to area lakes and the city's history.

But with the discovery of the Cline Shale formation, the personality of this community could change. Only the westernmost part of  Tom Green County, of which San Angelo is the county seat, is located on the Cline Shale, the part that is the panhandle of the county. Most of the boom from this formation will occur in the Midland/Odessa area, for the oil infrastructure is already in place there. But some of the growth will spill over into rural areas and San Angelo.

And local speculators are rushing to cash in on the boom.

A new apartment complex with about 200 units is nearing completion on the west side of town. If rumors are correct, then all of the units are already rented. A few days ago, I was speaking to the brick layer on the house going up next door, and he told me that they have 67 new homes to brick.

I do not know how our community is going to change, but I am sure that there will be changes -- some good, some not so good. I'm concerned about the demands on our already limited water supplies. If 10,000 or 20,000 or more new people move into the area, where will we find new water sources?

I do feel fortunate that I was able to get a house before prices began going up.

No comments:

Post a Comment