Drilling industry creates housing demand locally

PARKERSBURG – The local housing industry has been impacted as the Mid-Ohio Valley experiences a resurgence in the energy market because of drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale fields.

Motels, hotels and RV camps are full and people working in the industry, they are beginning to set up more permanent residences. Construction has begun on more motel or hotel properties.

For now, though, the drilling industry has had its greatest impact on the rental segment with a slight growth in sales of existing properties.

Linda McClain of Coldwell Banker, Landmark Realtors, said the real estate market has seen an increase of sales of properties tied to the influx of people in the drilling industry.

“We have sold several houses to people moving from that industry,” she said.

However, she said many are opting to rent rather than buy and that has led to a boom in another industry.

“What is really booming right now in the rental market,” she said. “It is very hard to find a good rental in the area now and we have seen rental prices go up recently.”

McClain said as the demand grows the rental rates will continue to climb.

Bob Wright of Warfield Realty said while there has been more purchases of houses, most of those relocating for the gas drilling industry are seeking rentals.

“We have more requests for rentals,” he said.

Lisa Lyons, an assistant broker at Warfield Realty, said, while the emerging industry has brought more people and families to the area, it has boosted the sales market, but she agrees the rental industry is what is seeing the effects from the industry.

“With the increase in the oil and gas industry there has been an increase demand for rental property,” she said. “We see an increase for unfurnished apartments and houses for families.

“We have fewer and fewer vacancies in rental property now.”

Gail Gaines, a property manager for Old Colony, said the demand for rentals has grown in the last two years.

“We have seen an increased demand, especially for houses,” she said, “Most of the people coming here are coming with families and they want houses for their families.”