Best Places To Buy A House In South Dakota For 2020

Using science and data, we can tell you which places in South Dakota have seen home prices rising and people flocking over the past year.

Editor’s note: This is not investment advice and we are not financial advisers. Article updated for 2020.

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There's a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in South Dakota:

Should I buy a place or rent? Well, we aren't here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you'll do the right thing and a buy a place. And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in South Dakota, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Mount Rushmore State.

To do that we are going to look at places in South Dakota that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the "deals". The best deal in South Dakota at the moment? That would be Tea according to our analysis.

Here's a look at the top ten places to buy a home in south dakota for 2020:

  1. Tea (Homes For Sale)
  2. Belle Fourche (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Harrisburg (Homes For Sale)
  4. Sturgis (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Madison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Box Elder (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Brandon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Vermillion (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Spearfish (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Huron (Photos | Homes For Sale)

What's the best place to buy a home in South Dakota for 2020? According to our analysis, would the the ideal place to buy a home looking into the future.

The methodology that wen't into this can be a bit complicated, so we'll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below. If you're not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in south dakota and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in south dakota.

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

The 10 Best Cities To Buy A House In South Dakota For 2020

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,098
Median Home Price: $197,100
Population Change: 4.8%
Home Price Change: 0.6%
More on Tea: Homes For Sale | Data

Belle Fourche, SD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,610
Median Home Price: $122,800
Population Change: -0.2%
Home Price Change: 8.1%
More on Belle Fourche: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Belle Fourche was named by French explorers coming from New France, referring to the confluence of what is now known as the Belle Fourche and Redwater Rivers and the Hay Creek. Beaver trappers worked these rivers until the mid-19th century, and Belle Fourche became a well known fur trading rendezvous point. During and after the gold rush of 1876, farmers and ranchers alike settled in the fertile valleys, growing food for the miners and their work animals. At the same time, the open plains for hundred of miles in all directions were being filled by huge herds of Texas and Kansas cattle. Towns sprang up to serve the ever-changing needs of the farmers and ranchers. In 1884, the Marquis de Mores, a French nobleman and contemporary of Theodore Roosevelt, established a stagecoach line between Medora, North Dakota, and Deadwood, South Dakota. The Belle Fourche way station included a stage barn and a saloon.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,760
Median Home Price: $190,700
Population Change: 6.1%
Home Price Change: 3.1%
More on Harrisburg: Homes For Sale | Data

Before the railroad was built through Lincoln County, a stagecoach brought mail to the Johnson Harris Homestead located on Nine Mile Creek in Dayton Township. Johnson Harris named the post office Harrisburg in honor of himself.

Sturgis, SD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,772
Median Home Price: $154,000
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 4.7%
More on Sturgis: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Sturgis was founded in 1878. It was originally named Scooptown, because many of the residents "scooped up" their pay from nearby Fort Meade. Its name was later changed to Sturgis in honor of the Civil War Union General Samuel D. Sturgis. In 1889, Sturgis was designated as the county seat of the newly formed Meade County.

Madison, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,203
Median Home Price: $114,300
Population Change: 1.5%
Home Price Change: 0.5%
More on Madison: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Madison was laid out in 1873. The city was renamed after Madison, Wisconsin.

Box Elder, SD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,407
Median Home Price: $157,000
Population Change: 1.4%
Home Price Change: 20.1%
More on Box Elder: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Brandon, SD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,867
Median Home Price: $206,600
Population Change: 1.4%
Home Price Change: 4.2%
More on Brandon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

A post office called Brandon has been in operation since 1878. The city took its name from Brandon Township.

Vermillion, SD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,700
Median Home Price: $144,500
Population Change: 0.1%
Home Price Change: 6.2%
More on Vermillion: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lewis and Clark camped at the mouth of the Vermillion River near the present-day town on August 24, 1804. The previous day, they had killed their first bison; and the following day, they climbed Spirit Mound, according to Clark's journal. In May 1843, John James Audubon visited the Vermillion ravine to view the bird life. The town was considered for the location of South Dakota's first mental institution in 1873, although the hospital was eventually awarded to nearby Yankton. The original town was entirely below the bluffs on the banks of the Missouri River, and three-quarters of the town was washed away in the Great Flood of 1881.

Spearfish, SD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,393
Median Home Price: $211,100
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 2.4%
More on Spearfish: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Before the Black Hills Gold Rush of 1876, the area was used by Native Americans. Once the gold rush started, the city was founded in 1876 at the mouth of Spearfish Canyon, and was originally called Queen City. Spearfish grew as a supplier of foodstuffs to the mining camps in the hills. Even today, a significant amount of truck farming and market gardening still occurs in the vicinity.

Huron, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,291
Median Home Price: $89,900
Population Change: 1.3%
Home Price Change: -5.6%
More on Huron: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Huron, located in east central South Dakota, is a result of railroad and land booms in the 1880s. The early history of the town is closely linked with the Chicago and Northwestern Railway. At the direction of Marvin Hughitt, general manager of the railroad, the west bank of the James River was selected as the division headquarters of the railroad. The company gained title to 880 acres of land at that location. Huron was named for the Huron Indians. Exactly who gave it the name was never established, apparently either Marvin Hughitt or someone in the Chicago office of the C&NW railroad company.

How do you determine the best places to buy a home in south dakota for 2020?

We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we've put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.

So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we'd approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in South Dakota. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in South Dakota with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.

To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2014-2018 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:

  • Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
  • Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
  • Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It's still kinda cheap)

We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still "cheap" for South Dakota with the following caveats:

So of the 0 cities and towns in South Dakota, only 18 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 18 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a "best place to buy" index with the place having the lowest index being the best. You can download the data here.

Turns out that Tea is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Mount Rushmore State.

Read on for more on these places.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Purchase A House In south dakota for 2020

There's our analysis of the best places to buy a house in South Dakota. And, to be clear, we aren't necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.

In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 0 places in the state.

So if we'd could rent or buy in these cities, we'd definitely buy.

For more south dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In South Dakota

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
Tea 1 $197,100 4.8% 0.6%
Belle Fourche 2 $122,800 -0.2% 8.1%
Harrisburg 3 $190,700 6.1% 3.1%
Sturgis 4 $154,000 0.8% 4.7%
Madison 5 $114,300 1.5% 0.5%
Box Elder 6 $157,000 1.4% 20.1%
Brandon 7 $206,600 1.4% 4.2%
Vermillion 8 $144,500 0.1% 6.2%
Spearfish 9 $211,100 0.8% 2.4%
Huron 10 $89,900 1.3% -5.6%
Pierre 11 $171,000 0.1% 1.4%
Yankton 12 $140,500 0.3% 2.1%
Mitchell 13 $141,200 1.0% 5.5%
Watertown 14 $162,600 0.2% 1.0%
Brookings 15 $174,900 1.7% 3.2%
Aberdeen 16 $149,100 0.7% 3.5%
Rapid City 17 $175,400 1.2% 2.8%
Sioux Falls 18 $175,100 2.2% 3.9%

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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