North Dakota housing growth rate of 3.1% is fastest rate in nation (Census Bureau)
Investors contributing to housing growth from just $49,950 (North Dakota Developments)
North Dakota's population reaches record high of 723,000 (Census Bureau)
Earlier this year, North Dakota was crowned the most expensive place to live in the US. Now, newly released data from the Census Bureau has shown that the northern state has been building housing at the fastest rate in the nation over the past three years. Cost-wise, a spot at a trailer park can be upwards of $800 per month, while a basic, one bedroom apartment can cost over $2,000 per month.
With domestic production reaching such high levels that the US government is considering the idea of lifting the ban on oil exports, and the Bakken Formation responsible for producing nearly 1 million barrels per day, Blake Clayton in his 2013 Council on Foreign Relations article comments, "Oil production has grown more in the United States over the past five years than anywhere else in the world, even as domestic oil consumption has declined. With these changes has come a widening gap among the types of oil that U.S. fields produce; the types that U.S. refiners need; the products that U.S. consumers want; and the infrastructure in place to transport the oil... Allowing companies to export US crude oil as the market dictates would help solve this mismatch."
Across North Dakota, developers have spent the past three years attempting to keep up with the massive influx of workers that the oil boom has generated. The state has added some 22,000 new housing units over the past three years, with the Census data showing that 10,207 of them were added July 2012-13 - showing growth of 3.1%. The national growth rate for the same period stood at just 0.3%.
Population figures support the growth rate as well, as the Census Bureau's Rodger Johnson observes, "For much of the last century, population totals declined in some areas of the northern Great Plains, as people were drawn to opportunities in other parts of the country... Recently, the trend in part of the northern Great Plains has reversed...North Dakota's population previously peaked in the 1930's at 680,845, and only surpassed that level in 2011. The state's 2013 population estimated now exceeds 723,000."
Award-winning developer North Dakota Developments has played a key role in increasing the areas accommodation stock in order to respond to the population rise. The company began working in the state in 2012, providing its innovative Great American Lodge concept of Superior Rooms for oil workers. Since then, its operations have expanded massively. Group CEO Robert Gavin explains, "North Dakota's housing situation is incredibly dynamic. North Dakota Developments is already building its fourth site in order to house the oil workers of the Bakken Formation - and still more accommodation is needed. Providers here literally cannot build fast enough. Even with our housing units being constructed with modular technology out of state and transporting them here once built, which speeds up the construction process considerably, we are finding that demand continues to outstrip supply."
GAL Watford City The company's fourth site - Great American Lodge Watford East - has just been opened up to investment, with rooms available from as little as $49,950, while another of its sites - Great American Lodge Watford City - opened its second phase of studios within the last month, providing more than 200 additional beds for workers. The blending of private quarters with central areas such as the extensive amenities building has proven a winning combination.
State Governor Jack Dalrymple attributes North Dakota's rapid housing demand to the state's growing economy, confirming that the state will continue to work with private developers in order to increase the available housing. He states, "North Dakota's strong economy is fuelling development across the state, and that includes a major expansion of new housing for residents of all income levels."
With oil production continuing to increase and the state's population continuing to expand, the need for additional accommodation is set to continue well into the future. Thankfully, the foresight of companies such as North Dakota Developments, along with the state's proactive approach to housing its new residents, is ensuring that accommodation is springing up as fast as it is possible to build it.
DANIEL PEACOCK ON MON 2ND JUNE AT 15:01 GMT