Home prices in counties with the higher energy employment outperformed the other counties in every state but Oklahoma. Here, high-energy counties saw home price gains of 4.8 percent while the other counties saw better gains of 5.3 percent.
Statistically, it was close. Oklahoma was the only one of the states where the difference was less than one percentage point. FHFA principal economist Andrew Leventis said the small numbers the agency had to work with in Oklahoma probably played a factor in making the state an outlier in the study.
The FHFA also looked at Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming. None of the state saw a drop in home values in high-energy counties.
North Dakota, where Oklahoma-based Continental Resources Inc. is the leading oil producer in the prolific Bakken Shale, saw the greatest increase, 39.6 percent. New Mexico had the least increase, at 1.9 percent.
Just two of the states saw a drop in home values in non-energy counties: New Mexico, at 8.2 percent; and West Virginia, at 4.1 percent.
Leventis said FHFA decided to look at home prices in the energy states because they “sort of jumped out in the data.” He called the gains in North Dakota “extraordinary.”
He said it deserved a special look because the boom in the energy sector, unlike come-and-go booms in farm commodity prices, is based not only on increases in oil prices but expanded production from the use of new extraction technologies.
The findings shouldn't be a surprise for Continental Resources. The company, based in Enid but moving to Oklahoma City this spring, has been dealing with strains in North Dakota's economic infrastructure almost since it took the lead in the Bakken Shale. Hotels fill as soon as they are built and crews are housed in portable buildings at drilling sites. In addition, Continental is a leader in new drilling technologies such as multiunit wells with horizontal drilling extending laterally thousands of feet.