Changes in housing markets associated with rapid oil and gas growth are still evolving and tend to vary by location. Studies have documented, and communities who have been through it before will confirm, that there is a significant effect. Technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have increased the rate and capacity for oil and gas extraction. Many new or re-emerging exploration and production areas around the Permian Basin, Bakken Shale, and Eagle Ford Shale are located in rural counties far from larger centers of population.
Early drilling activity brings large numbers of temporary workers with incomes often substantially higher than those of existing residents working in other sectors. As activity ramps up, the surge of workers quickly fills any available motel rooms and vacant housing, creating great demand in limited markets. Sustained production from oil and gas wells results in a need for long term housing to accommodate the workers, and subsequently families, who will be in a community long term to ensure monitoring and maintenance of operations.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created a Gas and Oil Task Force to look at this very issue at the height of the boom. Their published report titled “New oil and gas drilling technologies bring significant changes and challenges to housing markets” was published in the August 2012 issue of U.S. Housing Market Conditions. Since oil prices have dropped, HUD and other organizations such as Freddie Mac have looked at the impact of the downturn on housing conditions which is highlighted in this report on "Oil Price Impacts and Multi-family Housing" published in 2015.