Oil Boom Sparks Housing Rush in North Dakota

February 24, 2014

North Dakota's oil boom – mostly centered in the western part of the state – is prompting record-high home and rental prices across the state, due to tight housing supplies. The average value of a home sold last year in North Dakota was $200,000 – more than 20 percent higher than 2011, according to the North Dakota Association of REALTORS®. 

"Houses have appreciated statewide and inventory is low in the whole state," says Jill Beck, CEO of the North Dakota Association of REALTORS®. "That comes as a shock to a lot of people." 

Particularly since a decade ago North Dakota was the only state in the country that posted a loss to population. But an oil boom and jobs have had people flocking to the state. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. 

"Young families are being priced out of the state," Beck says. "I've heard stories of an entry-level home being listed at night and there were 10 clients lined up in the driveway the next morning to see it."

What's more, a new study by Apartment Guide recently found soaring apartment rents in the state are posting higher national averages than cities like New York City or Los Angeles, known for high rents. For example, Williston – the epicenter of the state's oil boom – posted the highest average rent in the U.S. at nearly $2,400 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, according to the Apartment Guide study. Dickinson, N.D., ranked fourth at $1,733 a month. A few years ago, Jeff Zarling, president of a business development firm in Williston, says a two-bedroom apartment in the city averaged about $300 a month. 

Source: "Oil Boom Now Boosting House Prices Throughout North Dakota," The Associated Press (Feb. 22, 2014)

Read More:

Boon for Housing? States With the Lowest Unemployment