A study released on July 8, 2013, by the Ohio State University detailed the relationship between the housing markets in drilling intensive Pennsylvania counties. Concern for the boom and bust nature of drilling in rural communities, notably Williston, ND, and the sharp effects on the local housing market motivated the research. The study had the following findings based off of five key metrics:
- The data indicated that a 1% increase in energy related employment led to a corresponding .5% increase in county population.
- Total increases in employment associated with the energy development were associated with smaller increases in fair market rent. The study said it found “no strong statistical link between fair market rent and drilling activity.”
- On average, each new well drilled is associated with more than 2.5 additional housing permits.
- Shale drilling had inconsistent effects on median housing value that tended to be statistically insignificant.
- Increased numbers of energy sector workers did not have a statistically consistent effect on vacancy rates.
The study concluded that rural communities without the same level of remoteness from surrounding communities would experience shifts in their housing markets, but the shifts would be more moderate than those in Williston. While local governments should support modest increases in low income housing options, the option of commuting remains a valid offset for counties with fewer housing options.
For the full study, visit the Ohio State University’s Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics page.
Written by: Garrett Lent, Research Assistant
Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center