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Rent prices fall in Midland and Odessa

According to the research website Advisor Smith, Odessa, and Midland are the top two cities with the fastest falling rent prices this year.
According to the research website Advisor Smith, Odessa, and Midland are the top two cities...
According to the research website Advisor Smith, Odessa, and Midland are the top two cities with the fastest falling rent prices this year.(Kate Porter)
Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 9:11 AM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - According to the research website Advisor Smith, Odessa, and Midland are the top two cities with the fastest falling rent prices this year.

A year ago, Odessa and Midland had some of the highest rent prices in the whole country.

But, like with many other things, 2020 completely flipped that around.

The study says Odessa saw the most significant decrease at 38 percent - while Midland dropped 34 percent.

Almost everything in the Permian Basin follows the ebb and flow of oil and gas – including rent prices.

Lower prices are great for renters - but it’s also a sign of a local economy problem.

Odessa, director of economic development Wesley Burnett, says that the pandemic’s negative impact on the oil and gas industry is mainly responsible for falling prices.

“It’s probably 75 percent of it. A lot of it is pandemic, obviously, but the oil and gas industry and the impact that everything has had on that particular industry and our dependency and a large amount of employment-related to that. It’s exactly what’s the cause of everything,” said Burnett.

Helping Hands of Midland provides rent assistance to people in need, and that need is greater than ever.

Even with lower costs, executive director Mary Hardin says the organization gets 80 calls a day from residents who need help with rent and other necessities.

“The vast majority of people that we’re helping are people that we have never ever seen before. They’ve never had to ask before. Many of these people are almost ashamed to be coming in. They’re very proud people. But these are circumstances of which they’ve had absolutely no control,” said Hardin.

Brenda Franco – with the website Advisor Smith – says the coronavirus vaccine may help turn things around.

“So I think if the economy continues to be the same and people are still working from home and people aren’t commuting to work, we’re expecting around the same. With the vaccine coming out and people are starting to get it, employers are making it a requirement for people to return to work. You can’t say,” said Franco.

Nationally, rent only decreased by about half a percent.

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