End of Housing Shortages in North Dakota?
It’s no secret that the Bakken region of North Dakota is experiencing an unprecedented oil boom. Accompanying this boom, of course, have been a number of social problems. Perhaps the most significant of these issues is the shortage of housing in North Dakota, especially in major Bakken boom towns like Williston. But there are signs that the end of housing shortages in North Dakota might be on the way.
Along with the oil boom, North Dakota is now experiencing a housing boom. As the Williston Herald points out in a recent article, the region added 22,000 new housing units from 2011 to 2013. A number of counties in North Dakota have ranked among the top 100 across the U.S. for housing growth. In fact, Williams County, where Williston is the county seat, ranked as the fastest growing county in the nation for housing construction. While most of us are aware that Williston is a fast-growing city due largely to fracking, few know just what that growth rate is in numerical terms. The Census Bureau has announced that Williston grew at a rate of nearly 14% between July of 2012 and July of 2013. This spectacular population growth has led to an eye-popping rate in the growth of housing construction. During the same period, Williston saw a 15.6% increase in its inventory of housing units.
Unfortunately, continued housing shortages in Western North Dakota are causing ongoing hardship for many, and are forcing long-time residents to either move or pay far more for housing than they’ve ever had to before. However, it’s possible that these challenges will start to fade as housing construction goes forward in the Bakken region.