Rapid City Housing Market Findings Among Nation’s Worst

Courtney Nelson

Out of 400 metropolitan areas in the United States polled, Rapid City has the fourth worst housing market, according to a study conducted by Nationwide’s Health of Housing Markets Report. 

First-time homebuyers and families are having a challenging time being able to afford the costs of buying in Rapid City’s housing market. Many sources, including CBS MoneyWatch and Nationwide, suggest that 30 to 35 percent of your income should go to your housing, but in Rapid City it is shown to be greater.  

“And so many people are paying more than 50 percent of their income, and that money is going solely towards housing,” said Heidi Chrisner, the operations manager for the Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity.  

The average price of a starter home in the United States has expanded 56 percent within the last half-decade, stated the same study by Nationwide. The other side follows a different pattern and that is that higher-end homes only showed an increase of 33 percent in the same time frame. 

More income being used for housing means less income is going elsewhere, such as food and other essentials. The higher numbers in Rapid City’s housing market may turn people back to renting, moving to another city for a better deal and searching for other in-state alternatives, like housing programs. 

In 1996, the South Dakota Housing Development Authority created the Governor’s House Program, a way for low-income individuals and families to purchase a home with assistance. 

“The classes the SDHDA requires you to take might seem tedious at first but made me feel the most confident about buying my home,” said Rebecca Kessler, a 2010 recipient of a Governor’s House. She, and over 2,000 other homebuyers see the program as beneficial in today’s housing market.  

“Without government assistance, I would not have been able to purchase the home I’m living in, whether it be years ago or in today’s market,” said Kessler.