Posted on August 13, 2013 by Guest Post

David Ritchie
David Ritchie

What happens when you combine a booming economy, a minuscule unemployment rate and a dramatic decline in the number of home-builders?

If you are the City of Enid, you discover that you have a dire need for 300 new single-family and 400 multi-family residences.

That's the conclusion reached in a special study commissioned by the Enid Economic Development Alliance. The Enid situation was discussed at the recent OSHBA annual convention at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine.

Some facts: Only 16 permits have been issued to date this year in Enid. The city's current unemployment rate is 2.25 percent. Every housing unit is 100 percent occupied.

The passing of three older home builders and the challenge in obtaining financing for younger builders also contributes to the housing squeeze, said former OSHBA president David Ritchie with Chisholm Creek Development in End.

"Younger builders don't have the wherewithal to get the financing they need," Ritchie told OSHBA members at the convention meeting.

Add one more challenge for Enid homebuilders. It costs more to build in Enid. The sudden demand for housing in Moore in the wake of the May 20 tornado depletes the pool of available construction workers.

The Enid housing shortage was detailed in a Journal Record newspaper article published in July. Click here to read the article (subscription required).

Despite the current home-building challenges, Ritchie told the Journal Record the housing study was reason for optimism about Enid's economic future.

"One of the greatest things about that report was that they said these jobs aren't going away," he said. "This is for real. This is long term."

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