It is not the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles that is demanding top dollar for apartment living. Nor is it the endless array of offerings in populous New York City or Florida beachfront towns with picturesque views. Williston, N.D., has become the place with the highest rent prices for small apartments, according to a survey conducted by Apartment Guide. This rise to the top comes thanks to a booming oil and gas industry that has sent workers flocking to the town that had a population of about 18,530 people in 2012, US Census Bureau figures show. In Williston, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment that is 65 sq m (700 sq ft) will cost more than US $2,000 per month, Apartment Guide said. The price tag jumps as high as $4,500 per month for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment. Oil and gas activity in North Dakota, one of the largest crude oil-producing states in the US, has picked up in the Bakken shale formation as a result of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The activity has worked wonders for the economy. The state had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation for December 2013 at 2.6%. “Its population has swelled to about 30,000 people,” writes Apartment Guide’s Courtney Craig. “The oil boom has created many high-paying jobs in the area, and apartments can’t be built fast enough to accommodate the influx of workers – many of whom make six figures per year. The apartments that are already there are in high demand, so they get snatched up immediately and for a pretty penny.” Some of these apartment complexes have begun catering to the oil and gas workers. Mudrooms, where workers can remove dirty garments and shoes before entering their homes, are features of many of the apartment buildings. In addition to renovated interiors, some apartment complexes offer paid utilities and other features such as hardwood floors, washer and dryer inside units, and stainless steel appliances. “A lot of the management companies have long-term projects projected, as long as the demand and infrastructure are there,” Pam Winter, Apartment Guide’s regional sales executive for North Dakota, said in the article. “Projects that will be 300 units by the end of this year are looking to be 800 if it continues to boom. Currently I have not seen many concessions, and one of the developers raised his rent in January. “I think they are optimistic the oil boom will be around for the next 20 years because of the different levels of oil they now have access to through fracking,” Winter added. “I just don’t know with the weather that many people who are working in the oil fields will stay for more than a couple of years.” The average entry-level price point for an apartment in Williston rose to the top – at $2,394 – after Apartment Guide conducted a survey that took the least expensive floor plan of each apartment community in US towns on Dec. 31, 2013, and then averaged them for each core based statistical area. Next in line was San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., at $1,881, followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif., at $1,776. Contact the author, Velda Addison, at