The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

July 11, 2013

Needed in Enid: A place to live

ENID, Okla. — Only a handful of new homes have been built in Garfield County in the past five years — just one of several signposts highlighting a growing problem in the region, according to a study released Thursday.

Steve Spillette, the head of a firm tasked with studying Enid’s housing market, said new home construction peaked in 2008 but fell off, coinciding with the recession that began that year.

“Instead of recovering since then, it’s fallen off a cliff. Since 2011, you’ve basically quit building houses,” Spillette told members of the Enid Regional Development Authority.

And the houses that are being built aren’t meant for wage-earners being drawn here to work in the staple sectors of energy and agriculture.

“What’s happening is that there are fewer houses being produced and they’re more focused on the top end of the market,” said Spillette, president of CDS Market Research.

What’s needed

Enid could support up to 400 new rental units over the next two years, according to Spillette’s study.

A draft version of the research study conducted by CDS Market Research, says that at a minimum, it is reasonable for developers to immediately build 150 to 200 homes. The report states “the market could likely support at least twice this amount” — particularly if they are more affordable homes.

Enid’s residential market could also handle up to 400 new apartments, according to a summary of the draft.

“East Enid, which is adding retail and services, is improving as a community and would be a suitable location for more affordable housing developments,” the report states. “That said, any area of Enid could work for a high-quality affordable multifamily development, provided there is community support.”

The CDS study also stated that an upscale apartment complex, if opened today, would quickly fill 75 or 100 units.

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