- Scott Olson/Getty
Houston’s boom is over.
That’s what analysts at BMI Research argued on Tuesday in a research note on Texas’ second-largest metro area.
Houston was the largest contributor to economic growth in the US from 2010 to 2015, ahead of cities like New York, Dallas, and San Francisco. That was possible because oil prices were near $100 a barrel, the shale-oil revolution was gaining steam, and skilled workers from other states flocked there.
But when the tables turned in 2014, Houston came in direct contact with the most severe oil crash in a half century. The worst of the oil downturn appears to be over, but the same pace of expansion that Houston saw in recent years is unlikely to repeat itself.
“Houston is more reliant on the mining industry – comprised mostly of oil and gas extraction – as well as tangential manufacturing and services sectors that are tethered to hydrocarbon production than Texas as a whole,” the analysts wrote.
“As such, the collapse in oil prices significantly impacted the region’s local economy more severely and will likely take longer to recover, particularly as energy prices slowly rise through 2020.”
- BMI Research
BMI Research isn’t forecasting an economic collapse in the region. Much like in projections for the US economy, growth is expected to continue – just not at the rate that we’re used to seeing.
BMI Research expects real gross metropolitan product, or GMP, to fall by 0.2% this year and grow by 1.4% in 2017, which is below the five-year average of 4.5%.
The effect of the oil crash on Houston has been well documented by some of the largest companies that do business there. For example, executives at Harley-Davidson, The Cheesecake Factory, and Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group noted sluggish activity to their investors during their second-quarter earnings calls.
The housing market there is also showing signs of strain. John Burns Real Estate Consulting recently said Houston is the only major city on the verge of entering the “full downturn/recession” phase of the housing-market cycle, although it’s expected to hold up through 2017.
In short, Houston’s best years are over for now.