$2,300. It's a price you wouldn't be surprised to pay for a one-bedroom apartment in New York City. But to see those kind of prices in North Dakota? There must be something in the water. More like, under the water.
Because of new drilling technologies, North Dakota has quickly become the second largest oil producing state in the country, passing Alaska earlier this month. And right in the heart of the oil boom sits Williston, North Dakota, in the center of the Bakken Shale Formation, a massive oil reserve. Because of the oil boom, the city has seen its average wages increase from $32,000 in 2006 to about $80,000 today; unemployment drop to around one percent; and monthly rent for a one bedroom skyrocket to $2,300, according to the Associated Press.
How does that compare to other big cities? A report from Apartments.com averages out monthly rent for listings on their website last month. Topping the list was Boston at $1,814, followed by New York at $1,789, Washington, D.C. at $1,696, and San Francisco at $1,653.
But according to the listings for Williston on Craigslist, there are deals to be found. A 36-foot trailer: $1,000 (but only if you're tired of "MAN CAMP HOUSING"). A 320-square-foot, soon to be built apartment, in a building that looks like a dense apartment building in Tokyo: $1,000. And if you don't mind a bit of a commute into the city, a 400-square-foot one bedroom apartment 60 miles from Williston will only run you about $850 a month.
But the boom hasn't been a pot-of-gold for everyone, AP reports:
"Rent is a huge problem, especially for senior citizens on fixed incomes, Koeser said.
Oil-related traffic is causing headaches and torn-up roads, he said.
"It's hard to imagine anywhere else in the country that deals with so many trucks," Koeser said.
Wayne Biberdorf, who was appointed in March by Gov. Jack Dalrymple as North Dakota's new "energy impact coordinator," said he's been meeting with local officials throughout the state's oil patch listening to concerns and reporting them to the governor."What I learned was not unexpected," Biberdorf said. "There is a lot of stress in western North Dakota."
It probably doesn't help knowing that oil is a finite resource.
Top image: Flickr/afiler