Bismarck-Mandan Realtors say the local market is heavy with homeowners looking to upgrade.

“This is really a great ‘move-up’ market,” said Tricia Schlosser, Bismarck-Mandan Board of Realtors president, adding that continued low interest rates also are helping.

Schlosser said, for homes in the $200,000 or less price range, there are 2.5 to 3.5 months of inventory in Bismarck-Mandan.

“That means if there were no other homes that went on the market after today, it would statistically take 2.5 to 3.5 months to sell all the homes in that price range,” she said.

Because of the higher demand for homes in this price range, homeowners have been able to negotiate more for their current home and move into those in the $350,000 to $400,000 price range, where there is five months of inventory.

Sellers in this range are still getting about 95 to 98 percent of their original asking price for these homes, Schlosser said, but buyers are typically coming in with more money from the sale of their first home.

For those moving out of the $350,000 to $400,000, many are building new homes, according to Schlosser. K & L Homes’ Heritage Development, Promontory Point, South Bay and Boulder Ridge remain popular developments for new homes.

But another trend has been increased building in outlying rural areas, Schlosser said.

“Our rural market is pretty good,” she said.

The Ranch development north of Bismarck just opened its second addition and the lots have been “selling like crazy,” said Schlosser, pointing out that people like living on the larger lots and not having to worry about special assessments.

Overall, residential sales through the end of August in the surrounding eight-county area are down 2 percent and the average sale price is flat compared to last year, at $252,198, said Nancy Deichert, executive director of the Bismarck-Mandan Board of Realtors.

“If we look at Bismarck by itself, the number of residential units sold is up 3.9 percent and the average sale price is up 2.7 percent at $262,702,” she said.

The number of homes under contract is 291 today, compared to 314 a year ago. The number of active listings is at 858, up by about 100 from last year, and up 500 from 2011 in the midst of the oil boom.

“There are a lot of homes on the market right now, but we are all so accustomed to a market from a few years back, where things moved so quickly with the oil booming. We are still in a good market,” Schlosser said.

The difference is in the increase in the market value.

“We’re maintaining the value (from 2016 to 2017)," Schlosser said.

“We just are not getting 12 percent appreciation each year,” she said. “If you have owned your home for six plus years and you experienced that 6 to 12 percent increase year over year for a while and now are experiencing .5 to 2 percent increase, you are still much farther ahead than when you purchased.”

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