Fargo bucks ownership trend

North Dakota State Roundup

Published July 1, 2002  | July 2002 issue

When it comes to the American dream of owning a home, Fargo is swimming against a national trend. About half of all Fargo residents own their home, compared with about 65 percent nationwide, and the gap appears to be accelerating.

U.S. Census data show that from 1990 to 1999 the number of housing units in multiunit buildings in Fargo increased by about 55 percent and grew by almost twice that figure for units in larger apartment buildings (20 units or more). In contrast, the number of detached single-family homes grew by a more modest 24 percent in Fargo.

That trend is continuing. In 2001, the city saw construction of 542 units in buildings of 24 to 52 units (which typically contain one- to three-bedroom apartments), compared with just 155 single-family homes and 168 twin home units.

The Fargo-Moorhead Apartment Association said apartments are often filled by people coming from small towns, executives who may see frequent transfers and college students. And senior citizens are choosing to keep their money more liquid and less tied up in house payments.

Rosie Cataldo