North Dakota oil patch hub experiencing housing shortage

April 10, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Williston real estate agents sold more homes in the first quarter of 2018 than any other before, according to recently published data.

Williston’s Development Services Director Mark Schneider told The Bismarck Tribune that 110 homes changed hands over the three-month period.

The oil patch hub is in the midst of a single-family housing shortage that’s expected to worsen as oil and gas activity picks up for the season.

North Dakota Job Service’s Williston office has 2,000 job openings advertised. Officials are still unsure how incoming workers might be housed through the summer.

Schneider said apartments and hotels are at least 90 percent occupied already. Williston Area Builders Association President Mike Dolbec said he expects those units to be full within a couple months.

There are 25 single-family homes currently listed for sale in the $250,000 to $330,000 range and 24 in the $330,000 to $400,000 range, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

Schneider said it takes three to four months to build a new home but he said the current inventory could be gone in two months.

Builders, landowners, bankers, real estate agents, an appraiser, city officials and a state senator met for two hours last month to formulate a plan of tackle the housing issue.

“I’m very, very pleased,” Dolbec said. “There’s a lot of positives to getting all the parties involved.”

Some proactive steps being taken include reducing the cost of building materials.

Dolbec said ordinances since 2015 have added to the cost of homebuilding. He said if the city is willing to relax some of those requirements, such as not requiring landscaping by the builders, there could be some cost savings realized.

Williston’s next housing meeting will be in a couple weeks, Schneider said.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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