Real estate brokers across the state are enumerating their recent triumphs as other sectors of the state economy limp out of the sudden recession.
In Fargo, Scott Breidenbach, chair of the North Dakota Real Estate Commission and a broker with Beyond Realty, said his firm can “count on one hand” the number of transactions that have fallen through due to the pandemic.
A home in a northwest neighborhood of Bismarck was listed at nearly $900,000 on a Tuesday and off the market the very next day. “It’s been busy,” Darren Schmidt, a Bismarck broker, said of the situation in the state capital.
And farther west, where pandemic-induced layoffs in the oil industry have taken their steepest toll, houses in the more affordable sub-$300,000 range have rolled off the market like clockwork.
“If it’s a good house, good bones, decent location and actually priced properly,” said Kassie Gorder, a Realtor with Basin Brokers in Williston, “we’re seeing these houses have multiple offers and sold in less than a week.”
As Jill Beck, the CEO of the North Dakota Association of Realtors, summed up the situation, “Markets are hot and Realtors are very busy.”
More good news still: the market seems to be moving for lower-income buyers as much as the more affluent North Dakotans.
“Our business is really on par with last year,” said Dave Flohr, the director of the North Dakota Finance Agency, a state agency that finances loans for low- and middle-income North Dakotans. “Now is probably as good a time as it has been in recent years to buy a home … for any income level.”
Randy Clark of Re/Max Legacy Realty holds the “for sale” sign at a property he closed on on Friday, June 26, in West Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
Given the marked volatility of the markets in other parts of the country, some brokers expressed surprise at North Dakota’s stability. A few factors have buoyed the state’s markets so far.
Springtime tends to prompt a flurry of real estate activity in any market, an industry wisdom that may be especially true in a state where buyers have to seize warm weather to make big moves. Prolonged consignment to cramped homes during the pandemic may also have prompted many families to seek out roomier, more hospitable accommodations. And, most significantly, radical intervention by the Federal Reserve has…