Heath's Blog


Do they know something in North Dakota that we don't?

North Dakota was #3 in House Price Appreciation in 2007! Are people moving to North Dakota because when the floods from global warming come, they will be on higher ground? Or is there a lot of open space there? I haven't heard of tornadoes or hail in North Dakota, but there does seem to be a ton of snow! According to an 88 page report from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), North Dakota real estate sales were number 3 in the list of states that had "...positive four-quarter appreciation" in 2007...".

The report I am reporting the data from has a negative title, but the data is mostly positive.  The list of states and their ranking by appreciation over 2007 is on page 25 of the report.  80% of states had positive appreciation in 2007 according to page 25 of the report.  And, of the 291 cities monitored in the report, 65% had appreciation.  Statistics can be used to make any point you want.  This report uses a few different set of statistics to show different aspects of the housing market.

US real estate still provides one of the best available forms of investment for people looking to grow wealth over the long run.

The report can be found at:  http://www.ofheo.gov/media/pdf/4q07hpi.pdf

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Heath Coker, Associate Broker
Robert Paul Properties
www.CapeGroup.com / capegroup@capegroup.com
508-274-5613  Licensed in MA
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@CapeGroup  Skype: heath.coker

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Oh yicks...I always think of the Dakotas and Nebraska as one open big space perhaps peppered by the gold in the Black Hills...having driven that direction...maybe folks are tired of city life and attracted to wide open spaces...how do you earn a living in North Dakota...what major industries employ all these folks enjoying such great positive appreciation,....

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 12 years ago

Sally and David asked a good question.  What do North Dakotians do for work?

Posted by Rita Bradley, Valuation Consultant in Orange County California 949-916-3263 over 12 years ago

Maybe I can answer a few of the questions, particularly about what people do for a living up here in sunny North Dakota.

The state has a strong research and energy corridor on the east side of the state that correlates strongly with NDSU, UND and other colleges (we have 11 in our small state).  The universities draw a lot of defense contracts in because of their strong aerospace program.  Some very rural manufacturing companies like SEO Precision, a company that manufactures mirrors for space programs, also get government contracts.

Farming will always be important here, but recent years have seen a movement toward value-added agriculture.  Instead of just exporting commodities, now we're exporting pastas...but our commodities are still strong, too.  We were the number one state for export growth this past year.

Other types of manufacturing are strong here, too.  North Dakota is a state of entrepreneurs who have had to think creatively in the past because of where we live.  Large companies like Bobcat (Ingersoll-Rand) got their start in rural North Dakota communities.  Other large companies like Northrop Grummond have facilities here. 

Some of the most rural areas are strong in information technology.  Call centers sprinkle the state, and the people that work there often work under large contracts from back east. 

Believe it or not, tourism is the state's second largest industry, second only to agriculture.  The state's LEGENDARY branding strategy has intrigued history buffs from all around the world.  For a great summer trip, come visit Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park near Mandan, North Dakota.  You can see the house General Custer lived in, as well as the On-A-Slant Mandan Indian village.  Even rural folks get into tourism by providing learning-based vacations.

Then there's the energy corridor on the western side of the state.  There is a wealth of fossil fuels here, and some pretty big companies have developed.  The largest that I know if is MDU Resources Group, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MDU.  Add to that the new oil boom in the Bakken oil formation in the northwest corner of the state, and the boom turns into an explosion.

At the same time, wind energy production, biomass, ethanol and production of other clean energy fuels is increasing.  Wind energy production alone has increased from less than half a megawatt a few years ago to more than 1500 megawatts already developed or under construction. 

And we're not technologically backward, either.  I understand that Microsoft has its second largest facility in North Dakota.  High-speed internet is available in most areas of the state, and this allows some people in the rural areas to work from home. 

All this may or may not play into our good housing outcome; it certainly plays into a relatively strong economy.  In our smaller rural areas, houses have typically sold for less money than in our more metro (but still small) cities.  Some of our smaller communities are finally drawing new people into the communities with new jobs, and I bet that has a more direct impact on our housing appreciation than our economy--although our local banks have been very conservative, and that's helped us avoid the housing slump.

But overall, I would say people looking for a slice of the good life have come looking for it in North Dakota and have found it.  I know my family did. 

You can read more about North Dakota at the blog site of Dakota Lifestyle: Beyond the Weather, which links to some state government sites as well as community and personal blogs from around the state.

Posted by Dakota Lifestyle: Beyond the Weather over 12 years ago


Wow, I guess that answered the question! I enjoy positive real estate news and attitudes!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 12 years ago

Thanx for the great explanation Dakota Lifestyle!

Posted by Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker, Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA (http://www.CapeGroup.com & http://www.REindex.com) over 12 years ago

Yes thank you so much Heath.  Sounds like a great place to live!

Posted by Rita Bradley, Valuation Consultant in Orange County California 949-916-3263 over 12 years ago