BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota built new housing at a faster clip than any other state from 2010 through last summer, as people flooded the state in search of work in the booming oil patch.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual estimate shows North Dakota’s housing growth rate far outpaced any other state’s in the year leading up to last July 1, continuing a longer trend dating back to the last 10-year Census in 2010.
“We’ve seen families move into North Dakota from around the country, and the majority are coming because of the influx with the oil boom,” said Kim Schneider, executive officer with the North Dakota Association of Builders.
The state’s 3 percent growth in housing units from mid-2013 through mid-2014 was well ahead of Utah’s 1.4 percent, which ranked second, according to the new report. From 2010 through mid-2014, North Dakota’s housing units grew by 10.4 percent, far exceeding second-place Texas’ 4.5 percent.
Among U.S. counties with at least 5,000 housing units, Williams County in the heart of the North Dakota oil patch had the fastest growth rate from mid-2013 through mid-2014, at 11.6 percent. Four other western counties also ranked in the top 12 nationally, including Stark, Morton, Ward and Burleigh counties.
Cass and Grand Forks counties in the east also were in the top 20, with growth rates above 3 percent, showing that not all of North Dakota’s growth happened in the west.
The state overall has a healthy economy, and some families in the west also have moved east to escape the headaches associated with the oil boom, such as increased traffic and crime, according to Schneider.
“The need for housing around the oil boom area also gave a lot of families the opportunity to sell their homes or property at a price much higher than in a normal market,” which created demand for housing in other parts of the state as the sellers moved, she said.
Between 2010 and 2014, Williams County was No. 1 in the nation with a 56.8 percent growth rate in housing units and Stark County was second with a 28 percent rate. Ward and Morton counties were in the Top 10, with growth rates above 14 percent, and Burleigh and Cass counties were in the Top 20, with rates above 10 percent.
David Nordenstrom is one builder who is taking advantage of the demand for housing in Williams County. When the business of building vacation and retirement homes in Minnesota waned with the Great Recession of 2007-09, the owner of Nordenstrom Custom Homes Inc. in Mora, Minnesota, near the Twin Cities, opened a satellite office in Williston in 2010 and even built a second home there for himself.
“We came out here and were pleasantly surprised,” he said.
Figures from Williston’s Building Department show that the annual value of building permits issued in the city increased eleven-fold between 2009 and 2014, from about $45 million to $500 million.
This article was written by Blake Nicholson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.