Affordable housing in Rapid City is difficult to find, but more options are on the way

RAPID CITY, S.D. — According to the head of Black Hills Association of Realtors, more affordable housing options are becoming available in Rapid City. Still, some buyers say supply and demand are pricing them out.

Affordable housing in Rapid City does exist, but can be hard to get for first time home buyers. While prices are going up, the number of homes available in 2020 has gone down, with a little more than 300 for sale in the Rapid City area.

Marty Wilcox, President of Black Hills Association of Realtors, said, “Really, out of those 320 some units, many of them are already spoken for or under contract. Out of those 320, there’s really 78 active units that are truly available for sale today.”

Of those 78, roughly 24 of them fall within the affordable housing price range. The definition of affordable is based on a communities median income. In Rapid City, that’s about $50,000. Mortgage lenders will usually approve around four times a households income. So with five percent down, that makes a $210,000 house affordable.

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Short supply and high demand for homes in Rapid City is driving up prices, which makes finding an affordable home even more difficult. And with more people moving here from states with high home prices, like California and Colorado, that process is becoming even harder.

“They’re buying up everything they can find, and so that just makes it tough. It makes it tough to find property for our buyers, but it especially makes it tough for that first-time home buyer,” added Wilcox.

Construction and expansion have already begun, with multiple projects bringing affordable homes, duplexes, and apartments across Rapid City and the Black Hills.

Hani Shafai, CEO of Dream Design Int. said, “We have homes starting at about $165,000, the apartments product we have rent starting at $695 a month. You know, affordability is measured by the income and the cost, and we’re hoping to narrow that gap.”

With Rapid City continuing to grow, finding people in the community affordable places to live is a top priority.

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