Falling Oil Prices Taking Toll On Houston’s Wealthy Residents

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February 25, 2016

There hasn’t been an oil price crash like this since the 1980s, and the effects it is having on many of the Houston area’s rich is becoming very apparent. With much of oil and gas executives’ pay (often times 70 to 80 percent) being made up of shares of their company, the fact that these stocks are tanking is having a drastic effect.

River Oaks is a neighborhood in the Houston area sporting large million dollar homes that went for an average of $2 million in the middle of 2014. But now, according to Reuters, the average sales price has fallen to $1.3 million and median property prices in the area have already dropped further than in the previous oil slump in 2008 and 2009.

In January, the overall sales of single-family homes dropped 2 percent, but that number jumps up to 9 percent when looking at homes priced over $500,000. Luxury car sales are slower in Houston than other parts of Texas and the country, the Houston Opera has offered free season tickets to patrons who have lost their jobs in the oil bust, and a swanky restaurant is offering a three course dinner for the price of a barrel of oil, all of which work to further illustrate the massive effects Houston’s rich are feeling due to the slide in oil prices.

However, Houston has gone through issues like this before, and has remained one of the country's fastest growing cities ever since 1969.

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