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What's it worth? In Dickinson, more than you think as the average price to purchase a house continues to climb

The average sale price for houses in Dickinson, like the one above, was almost $195,000 by the end of last year, officials said Wednesday. They also said houses are usually picked up by buyers immediately after being listed.

The average sale price of houses in Dickinson has risen more than $40,000 since 2009, making it the second-highest average in North Dakota, according to a report from Bismarck-based engineering company Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson Inc.

"It's supply and demand. I feel bad for people ... that used to be able to afford a $100,000 house. Well, that's now a $150,000 house, and they can't afford that now, and there are very few of those out there," said Ninetta Wandler, an Everett Real Estate Inc. broker associate.

Dickinson's average sale price for a house was $194,651 at the end of last year, according to the report. Williston topped that with $195,314. Grand Forks and Fargo prices were not listed.

Dickinson also came in second for the average sold price versus list price ratio. Sellers got 98.5 percent of their listed price. Stanley beat Dickinson at 99.8 percent.

Wandler said "on occasion" some houses will sell for more than the asking price.

Increased oil activity in western North Dakota has caused more people to come to the area, which has also caused prices to go up, Dickinson City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.

The Badlands Board of Realtors in Dickinson reported an average sale price of almost $198,000 for the year-end statistics, said Diane Duchscher, a Home and Land Company realtor and co-owner.

"We still have a shortage of resale with a lot of new construction going on," she said.

Wandler said the average price is reasonable for the Dickinson market but not in general. The median value in North Dakota was about $111,000 from 2006 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Houses may have "for sale" signs next to them, but they may already have offers on them or even be sold.

Though the need for houses has gone up, Duchscher said there is a bigger need for apartments and renting.

"I don't believe we have enough rentals to meet the demand," she said. "There are a lot of people coming in from other parts of the country, and, because of credit ratings or like-circumstances, can't buy."

Prices could increase about 9 percent, Kessel said.

"We are definitely in a seller's market as we speak, and because of that, home prices are going to continue to rise. Until we can make supply and demand equal one another or at least come closer to equaling, I think we are going to see rising home values," he said.