Housing industry booming in North Dakota despite pandemic

Good Day Dakota

The housing market seems to always have its ups and downs. The pandemic caused a major slow down for home construction and sales, but more recently, that’s not the case anymore.

The Commerce Department reported the construction of new homes across the US jumped by 17.3% in June. That increase is definitely showing right here in North Dakota– even though the start of his year didn’t look so good for those in the housing industry.

Owne and Broker of Knutson Realty Cam Knutson says, “For 2 months whether you were a developer, a builder, a realtor, I mean anyone I talked to had the same experience where nothing was happening.”

Knutson says it was a really scary time and a lot of people just didn’t know what to do.

Knutson says, “When you obviously have products that are happening, you can’t put them on pause because they are near completion and just not know whats going to occur.

To his surprise, things ended up taking a turn for the better and business exploded. It put his realty firm at a higher pace of activity bringing it to a level he says they haven’t seen in years.

“Lot sales and I know there are realtors in the community that are selling existing homes and are busier than ever,” says Knutson. “Home builders are busier than ever so we are just seeing a total resurgence when it comes to activity in the residential market.”

To put it into perspective, the number of residential homes sold last year at this time in Bismarck and Mandan was at 157 and this year it is up to 209. This is something owner of Diversity Homes, Jason Frank, says he hasn’t seen in his 25 years in the business.

Frank says, “Phones were ringing off the hook. Some of the people we were doing with prior to that were coming back and we also had new ones. You know late July early August you typically you don’t have customers coming into you wanting homes and some of these people are coming in for winter builds or even summer builds of next year.

So why all of a sudden are we seeing this spike, especially during a pandemic?

Knutson says, “There’s a variety of reasons interest rates are a huge help for that and people are taking advantage of the low interest rates and that’s a game changer when it comes to building and refinancing.”

Jason Frank, Owner of Diversity Homes, “You know we got work here and people like to work. People see we don’t have all the craziness that is happening all over the world and I see a lot of people moving back here.”

There are delays and other issues still going on within the industry, but both Frank and Knutson say, they’re glad to see such great progress during what was expected to be a pretty tough time.

They told KX News there are price increases on supplies and they are seeing a lot of wait times for carpentry and siding because of the pandemic, but other than that things are looking up.

Frank also mentioned they are basically booked up for 2021 at this point. For a list of home builders in the area, click here.

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