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Census: Dickinson home prices surpass Fargo

Housing prices in southwest North Dakota continue to rise and the average sale price of a house in Dickinson in 2010 was $169,663, which surpassed Fargo, said Jackie Miller, a realtor with Everett Real Estate in Dickinson.

Fargo's average sale price on a house was $162,035 last year and Miller is unaware of any other time when Dickinson's average had surpassed Fargo.

"It's just an indication of what's happening in our market out here," Miller said. "Our market has just gotten more active."

Home values in Slope County had the biggest increase in southwest North Dakota by the end of 2009 -- $27,800 -- in estimated median housing values in a comparison of recent years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The statistics compared Census information from 2000 to its American Community Survey, which sampled housing from 2005 to 2009.

"So what we do is we send it out to 3 million households a year, 250,000 households a month," said Briana Kaya, public affairs specialist.

Local realtors had different reactions to the survey results.

"If someone had asked me to pick which one had the greatest increase, I probably would not have picked Slope because of how small their market is," Miller said. "With the oil activity, it doesn't surprise me that there was a big jump in that market."

Char Holverson with American West Real Estate in Dickinson, said the increase may be due to other factors as well.

If one or two very large properties were listed in 2009 and mostly smaller properties were listed in 2000, it would influence the results greatly in a sparsely populated area, Holverson said.

All eight southwest counties' values increased, and Stark and Dunn counties were close in the amount they increased.

Dunn County increased $17,100 and Stark County increased $17,800.

"The median sales price for Dickinson in 2010 was $159,900 versus 2009 of $142,500, so the median sales price in Dickinson increased 12.2 percent," Holverson said.

Housing values in South Heart are nearly identical to Dickinson, she added.

"The sales and values in surrounding communities are increasing due to the affordable prices versus Dickinson's rising prices," Holverson said.

Golden Valley County's housing values increased the least, according to Census information.

"That doesn't surprise me either because you're getting kind of toward the fringe of the oil development," Miller said.

She and Halverson expect housing values across southwest North Dakota to continue climbing.

Since more housing is being constructed in Dickinson, Miller said prices may not increase as steeply as they have been.