You think rents are high in San Francisco? Try Williston, North Dakota. No wait, don't—there's nowhere to live. According to a new study by Apartment Guide, the most expensive rents in the country can be found in this relatively tiny North Dakota town.
The study looks at the price for "entry level apartments," defined as one-bedroom, one-bath units around 700 square feet. Here's what that kind of space will set you back per month in the five priciest cities:
Williston, North Dakota: $2,394
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California: $1,881
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, California: $1,776
Dickinson, North Dakota: $1,773
Key West, Florida: $1,640
The area widely considered to be the most expensive place to rent in the country, the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island region, didn't even crack the top five, at $1,504.
Two North Dakota cities are in the top five thanks to a burgeoning oil industry that's building instant cities in the Great Plains. The explosive increase in oil production has transformed Williston and other cities into boom towns with dramatic population spikes. In Williston, a city on the edge of the Bakken Oil Fields, the population has doubled in the last five years, from 14,700 in the 2010 census to over 30,000 people today. The growth is akin to the way the Gold Rush quickly urbanized parts of California in mid-1800s.