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Williston rent highest in nation

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Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2014 5:34 pm | Updated: 5:59 pm, Sat Feb 15, 2014.

What used to be considered a tall tale about Williston is a myth now busted.

Williston’s rental costs are not similar to those of New York or Los Angeles—they’re actually much higher.

According to a study from Apartment Guide, an online website for apartment hunters, an entry-level one bedroom apartment in Williston has, on average, the highest rent in the nation.

And it’s not even close.

Apartment Guide said a 700 square-foot, one bedroom apartment in Williston costs an average of $2,394 a month. Dickinson ranks fourth at an average of $1,733 a month. Boston is sixth, New York is seventh, Los Angeles is eighth and Chicago didn’t crack the top 10.

“A lot of management companies have long-term projects projected, as long as the demand and infrastructure are there,” said Pam Winter, Apartment Guide’s Regional Sales Executive for North Dakota in release. “Projects that will be 300 units by the end of the year are looking to be 800 if it continues to boom. Currently, I have not seen many concessions, and one of the developers raised his rent in January.”

Not understated in Williston is the population boom that has happened since the 2010 Census, which has the city at 14,700 residents. Today, there’s no true population number, with estimates of more than 30,000 people within the city’s limits and close 50,000 being served by its infrastructure.

Since oil production ramped up again, the city and developers have lagged behind the influx of people and workers, causing a disrupting shake up in supply and demand, headed by workers making six figure salaries who can easily afford the inflated rents.

Apartment Guide noted that many of the new apartment buildings feature mudrooms in the front where workers can remove dirty shoes before entering.

“I think they are optimistic the oil boom will be around for the next 20 years because of the different levels of oil they now have access to through fracking,” Winter added. “I just don’t know with the weather that many people who are working in the oil fields will stay for more than a couple years.”

The city of Williston recently established an Affordable Housing Committee to look at how Williston can encourage more developers to build with reasonable rental rates and home prices. The state has even gotten into the act with the Housing Incentive Fund, which provided dollar-for-dollar tax breaks for donations into the fund, which helped build affordable apartment units for essential workers.

In recent years the supply the for apartments has settled down but prices have not. A reason could be because managers have promised certain returns to owners and investors and are taking the chance of leaving units open rather than lowering prices.

Other notable North Dakota cities tracked by Apartment Guide were Minot ($1,237), Bismarck ($686), Fargo ($671) and Grand Forks ($564).

10 highest U.S. Rents

  1. Williston, N.D. ($2,394)
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,881)
  3. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. ($1,776)
  4. Dickinson, N.D. ($1,733)
  5. Key West, Fla. ($1,640)
  6. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. ($1,537)
  7. New York,-Northern New Jersery-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Penn. ($1,504)
  8. Los Angeles-Long-Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. ($1,411)
  9. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif. ($1,387)
  10. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif. ($1,346)

Info via Apartment Guide

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