Apartments Dominating New Housing in Williston | VideoEvan Kruegel | 1/28/2013
"I would say the majority of what`s being built is probably a 70-30 split, with the higher amount being apartment units, said Williston Economic Development Assistant Director Shawn Wenko.
Nathaniel Reichert does roofing and siding on apartments and houses, but he says his crew spends the majority of their time working on large apartments. "Its insane. I`ve never seen so much construction in my life"
That 70-30 split being developed is a sizeable difference from the city`s current housing ratio.
"The breakdown is roughly 41 percent single-family homes, 48 percent is multi-family homes or apartments, and the remaining is manufactured, that would be your mobile homes, said Wenko.
With home values in the area at an all time high, many workers are choosing to rent instead of buy. One resident who chose to pursue a multi-family unit over a house is Zach Fleck, who moved into a trailer with his girlfriend and two other friends last week. He says finding the trailer was difficult enough, and finding an affordable house would have been nearly impossible.
"Realistically, being from out of town it wouldn`t have been possible. And you get into pricing, if you come in here with a lump sum of money that you can pay into a house then it`s not an issue. But if you don`t have that you`re in dire straits."
He says he`d be open to purchasing a house in the future, but not before prices begin to stabilize. "Right now, not an option. Maybe a year or two down the road, absolutely"
City officials say the need for apartments and trailers will only grow as man camp permits begin to expire later this year.
"As we see intense demand, the majority of the building is going to be multi family units, as we start to meet demand we`ll see that transfer into single family housing."
If families continue to be reluctant about moving to the area, the demand for apartments could outweigh the demand for houses for quite some time.
"I think there`s going to be several years of building before we really start to catch up with the demand we`re seeing. if you just drive around Williston you see thousands of apartments and hundreds of apartments going up, but its simple economics, the demand is intense for opportunities in Williston and a lot of people want to move here, said Wenko.