As North Dakota’s economic fortunes have improved, so have housing prices in its state capital. In sharp contrast to the national housing market, home prices never dipped in Bismarck and continue to climb. In 2000, a home in Bismarck was roughly the same price as one in Harrisburg, Pa., another midsize state capital. Now, it’s 20 percent more expensive, according to data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The reason? An energy boom.
Although the huge natural gas finds in the Bakken shale deposits and the more recently discovered Three-Forks Sanish formation are located about 100 miles away, oil and gas companies are setting up shop in Bismarck as pipelines, drilling teams, and oil refineries spring up around the deposits. Wealthy oil businessmen with families are choosing Bismarck as a home base, rather than rural North Dakota. American Community Survey data from 2009 showed increases in both management and professional jobs. The region is also a rapidly growing regional healthcare center and is a popular option for in-state retirees, especially from the western portion of state, as well as immigrants from other parts of the US.