Millennials Buying Up Homes in Williston

Millennials are the nation’s largest living population. So it’s hardly a surprise they’re making their presence known in the housing market. But where are they choosing to buy?


 It might be closer to home than you think. 

Raised in Williston, Joe Kemp spent seven years in Grand Forks before returning to the area. 
He closed on his home just two months ago. 


“When I moved back here, it immediately became obvious that there are certain advantages that come with going back to your hometown. You just have connections, you’ve got friends, you’ve got family. And my level of happiness just climbed immediately,” says Kemp. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, millennials make up more than a third of all homebuyers nationwide. But according to software company Ellie Mae, millennials make up close to two -thirds of all homebuyers in Williston. For the last quarter of the calendar year, Williston had the highest percentage of millennial homebuyers of anywhere in the country.


“As the market kind of leveled out a little bit and became a little more predictable, my family was like Alright, I think it’s not going to get any better than this. Now is probably a good time for you to buy,” says Kemp. 


A spokesperson for Ellie Mae attributes the high percentage of millennial homebuyers in the Williston area to the cost of homes, available inventory, and job opportunity. 


“Every house I looked at, I said I could see myself living here,” says Kemp. 


And Kemp has seen fewer of his friends in larger metropolitan areas purchase homes.


“They’re not quite to the point where they’re settling down or knowing where their career is going to land them. I think Williston is more of a place where if you’re still here, you’re probably going to stay here,” says Kemp. 


For many millennials, Williston has become the place to not only buy a home, but a town to call home.


According to Ellie Mae’s data, Dickinson was just behind Williston in the number five spot for the greatest percentage of millennial homebuyers this past quarter of the calendar year. 

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