I thought I would switch focus a little bit on the housing issue. The discussion largely is a matter of price and availability. As I mentioned before, we really do not have a large number of sales that give us the ability to suggest markets are working well at any given time in most housing markets. That does not mean we automatically assume a market failure though.
So I thought we would look at home vacancy rates, that is, homes that were not occupied at the time of survey. Here is the graph for North Dakota,
The numbers would seem to indicate little slack in the housing market. The rate for North Dakota over the last few years is between 1 and 1.5%. Most homes are occupied. The connection between this and home construction and price is not entirely clear at this point. We will continue with that work and report back another time. Now this number looks horrendous, but let’s add some context.
When we include the US rate, and se that it is only around 2-3% we see that the ND rate, while lower is not out of line with what is occurring in the US as a whole. Like I said, just trying to add more information to the discussion about housing, and how we can arrive at answers. Well actually like I said, we need to actually arrive at questions first, so maybe this will help with that too.