WEST, Texas — In West Texas we know this to be true: what goes up, must come down.

If you are a renter, that spells out good news for you. For the first time since 2018, the average monthly rent cost is below $1,500 a month.

A local real estate agent, Denise Hanson, with Carrie Shaver Realty, broke down the top two reasons we are seeing this downward trend in rent here.

  1. Oil and gas industry layoffs. People are being conservative with how they spend money and not a lot of companies are hiring.
  2. The 2020 election. Statistically during election years rent and home prices trend down. Once the election is over in November, they expect rates to go back up.

But that was not the only advice they shared. Real estate trends in the Basin are like a roller coaster. 

Right now rent is down but over time, local agents think it will roll right back up.

“The trends are going to be up and down right now down, and I truly believe it’ll be until election time, Hanson, said. "That’s going to set what our oils going to do, what our towns going to do. Because we’re driven off our oil.”

So hold onto your wallets and buckle up for a real estate ride.

“It has highs and lows and it’s been like this for years, any oil boom we go through,” Hanson said. 

While we are going through a bust, the oil and gas industry is slowing down.

And right now, real estate is following that trend.

“We’re not as busy as we were last year at this time or the year before," Hanson said. "The people who have been paying way to high of rent are wanting to buy and the people that paid too much for a house are now wanting to rent so it’s a back and forth with the two.”

Hanson says apartment complexes are profiting by locking people into contracts at high rates.

“You have to give like 60 to 90 days notice, so they’re definitely locked into a higher rate right now," Hanson said. "Unless they move or wait until the end of their lease term, is when they have to get a lower rate.”

Hanson advises renters to not sit on these low rates.

She advises people to familiar with the market, know what’s out there before signing a contract and being forced to pay more than they should every month.

MORE FROM NEWSWEST 9:

Houston company brings 5G network to oil, gas companies

UTPB College of Engineering working on ways to clean produced water from oil and gas industry

'Boomtown' podcast takes listeners inside the Permian Basin oilfield