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Cline shale boom may be one reason investors are buying up Abilene homes

By Jenna Rogers, Reporter, jrogers@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:35:33 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 17 2013 01:26:18 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Investors are spending big money on low-priced homes around Abilene.

Dave Dalzell, President of the Abilene Association of Realtors, said real estate agents sold 171 homes in September. That's up from 120 homes in September of 2012.

"The housing market is extremely active right now," said Dalzell. "The number of houses sold in Abilene is 43 percent more for September 2013 than September 2012."

51 percent of the homes sold last month were priced between $100,000 and $200,000.

"We think that's probably due to more investors looking to buy homes in the rental market range," said Dalzell.

They're going fast, too.

60 percent sold in the first 60 days and 43 percent of homes sold in the first 30 days.

“I think we're seeing the energy business increase bringing investors into the marketplace that are buying more of those moderately priced homes so that the workforce coming in can have affordable housing," said Dalzell.

The wind farms began bringing workers to the West Texas area nearly a decade ago. Now, investors are planning for the Cline Shale.

Some people are not too happy about the increase in rentals popping up around our area.

“We're not happy about it,” said Jesse Moon, explaining the rental situation across the street from the home he’s owned for a decade. “It looks like 6 or 7 cars there with exhaust pipes that rip up the street, it's not a good situation."

“A neighborhood with people owning their own homes with pride of ownership is far better,” said Moon. “When you have a lot of rental houses you will soon have the crime coming with it. You can bet on that."

Dalzell said it shouldn’t be a concern.

“Most of our neighborhoods are majority homeowner occupied neighborhoods. Do we havetenants in every neighborhood? Absolutely, every price range, every area of town. They make good neighbors because they are surrounded by family home owners,” said Dalzell.

The average price of homes fell 1 percent from the same time last year. The median price, however, rose from $130,750 in September 2012 to $136,000 last month.