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Gallatin County Leads Montana's Economy

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Gallatin County had remarkable performance in Montana's economy, leading the state in wage growth last year. While it experienced a slight drop in wage growth from 2015 to 2016, the county seems to be in much better shape than the rest of the state. 


Gallatin County's total wage income increased by a staggering $73 million in the first half of 2016 from the preceding year. Yellowstone County, the state's largest, lead the state for the first half of 2015, before Gallatin County took its place in the second half. By 2016, Yellowstone County suffered an abrupt slowdown, while Gallatin County lead the state by nearly $40 million ahead of the runner-up, Flathead County. 

Montana Economic Report


In 2016, almost every county in Montana had slower growth. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research credited this fact to the substantial increases in Medicaid not carried over to 2016, causing health care wages to drop across the entire state. However, there were unique cases for each region. 

Yellowstone County's severe economic slowdown in 2016 was mainly caused by the continued oil slump that devastated Billings' oil producers and energy services. This caused a ripple effect that lowered construction wages and weakened its real estate market. 

Butte (Silver Bow County) was another region that experienced a major loss. Although the county's visitor spending increased, a drop in copper prices profoundly impacted mining wages, which declined 28%.     

While most of Montana suffered an economic downturn, Gallatin County's performance remains the strongest in the state.

Gallatin County's wage growth in 2016 nearly doubled Montana's next best county.

 

Much of Gallatin County's slight drop in wage growth from 2015 to 2016 was due to rising housing prices, and strain on its transportation infrastructure. Gallatin County's median home price broke the $300,000 threshold in 2016, higher than the rest of Montana's most populated counties. However, construction, high-tech companies, and tourism continue to drive our county's prosperous growth.  

November 2016 Market Report

by Hart Real Estate Solutions
 

The 2016 residential market in Bozeman and Belgrade has been highly active from October to November, compared to last year. Between these two cities, 317 single family homes closed, up from 284 in 2015. The median sales price, has also increased from $295,000 to $323,000. The total sales volume of $123,751,980 for this time period increased from last year’s total of $112,737,420. The seller’s market continues, with low inventory and high buyer demand. 

Here are the statistics for October and November, 2016 and 2015:

Residential Sales-Units:

October to November 2015: 284

October to November 2016: 317

Residential Sales--Median Sales Price

October to November 2015: $295,000

October to November 2016: $323,000    

Residential Sales- Total Sales Volume

October to November 2015: $112,737,420

October to November 2016: $123,751,980

September 2016 Real Estate Market Report

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Gallatin County real estate market is still growing strong. According to the Gallatin Association of REALTORS®, both average sales volume and total sale price has shown significant growth through September 2015 to September this year.

The increase in average real estate price from $358,997 last year to $460,957 this year, estimates an astounding 36% housing appreciation. Average sales volume has also seen substantial growth by 30% in this area.

These numbers demonstrate positive implications that the Gallatin area is steadily climbing in the real estate market. As the GAR President stated, “our local market is in strong shape.”

The statistics comparison between September 2016 and 2015 are as follows:

Residential Sales-Units:

  • September 2015: 226
  • September 2016: 217

Residential Sales- Average Sales Price

  • September 2015: $339,194
  • September 2016: $460,957

Residential Sales- Total Sales Volume

  • September 2015: $76,657,952
  • September 2016: $100,027,807 

Job Growth in Gallatin County

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Good news for Gallatin County homeowners, the U.S. Census Bureau just released that we are ranked 24th among the fastest growing counties in the nation. Population in Gallatin County just breached 100,000 residents as of July 2015, with estimating a 3,500 increase over a one-year period, and a 1 percent increase in population growth rates.

This rapid growth provides the Bozeman area with positive implications in development and business opportunities, followed by job growth. Not only is this county seeing wide spread job openings in construction, retail, and restaurants, but more importantly, high-tech jobs as well. With Montana State University drawing in such educated talent, high-tech companies such as Wisetail, Elixiter, and RightNow Technologies, which was bought by Oracle, are showing interest in the employment prospects of the Bozeman area.

It is exciting to see these opportunities opening up as tech-based businesses are moving in. The entrance of the high-tech industry introduces higher salaries ranges, which in turn, supports local businesses and the real estate market. 

Belgrade Montana to Expand High School

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Belgrade, Montana voters passed a 25-million dollar bond to expand Belgrade High School. The bond passed with a  59 to 41 percent margin. The money will be used to remodel and expand Belgrade High School. Belgrade, like Bozeman, has seen a major population increase in the past decade and will need to continue passing bonds like this one to keep up with the rapidly expanding region.

Some parts of Belgrade High School were built in the 1960’s. School officials will focus on remodeling the culinary kitchen, updating science labs, art rooms, tech centers and increasing classroom spaces throughout the school. Belgrade will also add a new gym with the funds.

Belgrade schools do not believe a second high school (an expansion Bozeman has been seriously considering) will be needed for at least 15 more years with the current expansion plans. Belgrade expansion plans should be done by Fall of 2019.

Voters also approved a $101,374 tax increase for the annual costs of running Belgrade High School.

 

 

Sources: http://www.abcfoxmontana.com/story/31894894/bozeman-looks-to-add-high-school-belgrade-looks-to-expand

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/voters-ok-school-levies-belgrade-high-million-expansion/article_8aac5c6f-f6a4-51b1-8709-7410b6f5ec77.html

New Runway and New Airline Coming to Bozeman/Yellowstone Airport

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Bozeman will be the first airport in Montana to officially service American Airline flights. Starting in June, the airline will start servicing a direct flight from Bozeman, Montana to Dallas, Texas. Based on how the experiment goes, American Airlines hopes to expand into other Montana cities, as well as increase Bozeman’s travel options. Bozeman's airport had more than a million visitors last year.

By adding an entirely new airline with additional direct flight options will increase a traveler’s ability to get to Bozeman. Bozeman’s tourism industry has lead to many visitors becoming permanent residents. Yellowstone has broken its visitor record in subsequent years so the area continues to attract more and more people. Bozeman’s economy, as well as its real estate industry, have seen huge lifts from the increased number of people living and traveling through Bozeman. Bozeman's reputation has helped support the increase in visitors, but improving the area's convenience will do a lot to get more people onto the plane.

Having American Airlines in Bozeman will also increase Bozeman residents’ ability to get out of town. Having more direct options will make Bozeman more travel convenient and may eventually end up lowering airline fares as competition increases. Flights in June and July are already booking quickly.

In addition to the news on American Airlines, official at the Bozeman/Yellowstone International Airport are also getting to work on building a second runway. The second runway would allow the airport to increase its total traffic, helping get more people in and out of Bozeman. The runway will be 5,000 feet long and 75 feet wide. It will be designed for smaller, slower planes that had previously taken up time and real estate from bigger, faster planes (like those seen from providers like American Airlines). The project will cost 8 million dollars and officials hope to start construction by the end of the year.

 

Sources: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Bozeman-airport-plans-second-runway-construction/39036978

http://www.kulr8.com/story/31870896/new-airline-means-more-options-for-bozeman-travelers

Gallatin County Multi-Family Home Sales: May Real Estate Market Report

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

This month, we will compare condo and townhome sales in the Gallatin County for Quarter 1 of 2016 to condo and townhome sales in Q1 2015. Here are a few stats:

  • Multi-family home sales increased by 15.83% (120 sold in 2015, 139 sold in 2016)
  • Dollar Volume increased by 5.96% ($33,245,180 in Quarter 1, 2015; $35,227,688 in Quarter 1, 2016)
  • Median sale price increased by 12.89% ($194,000 in 2015, $219,000 in 2016)
  • Multi-family homes spent 44.62% longer time on the market in 2016 (65 Days on market 2015, 94 Days on market in 2016)

Summary: Multi-family home sales continue to increase. As more multi-family properties sell, they are also selling at higher prices. The trend suggests that multi-family homes will continue to see value appreciation in 2016. It should be noted that they have spent more time on the market in exchange for higher listing prices. Feel free to look at Q1 2015 numbers compared to Q1 2014 to see an even bigger picture. The Gallatin County real estate market continues to grow and values continue to rise.

Gallatin Valley Single Family Home Sales Through February 2016

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

This month, we will compare the first two months of single family home sales in 2015 to the first two months in 2016. Here are some statistics:

  • Total home sales decreased by 15.98% in January and February this year. (253 sold in Quarter 1 of 2015, 169 through February 2015. 142 sold through February 2016.)
  • Total dollar volume decreased by 6.90% in January and February this year. ($104,984,245 in Quarter 1 of 2015, $69,989,501 through February 2015. $65,158,535 through February 2016.)
  • Homes have spent 13.91% less time on the market this year. (115 days on the market in Quarter 1 of 2015, 99 days on the market in 2016.)

HOWEVER, its important to note that as of 2/29/16, 286 single family homes were under contract in 2016, representing $135,862,319 in dollar volume. (To put this in perspective, Quarter 1 last year had $104,984,245 in dollar volume for all 3 months). Those figures do not contribute to 2016 totals until those homes have closed.

Summary – It was a sleepy start to the Gallatin Valley real estate market in 2016. January and February saw home sales and dollar volume decrease compared to 2015. However, a huge number of pending home sales have still yet to be added in, suggesting that March numbers will be extremely high. Although the above numbers would not suggest it, Quarter 1 of 2016 is on track to outpace the first quarter of 2015.

Bozeman, Belgrade and Gallatin County to Coordinate Land Planning Efforts

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Gallatin County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a new committee designed to improve coordination between Bozeman, Belgrade and Gallatin County planners. The Bozeman City Commission and the Belgrade City Council are planning on approving similar measures in the coming weeks.

The new committee has been approved to help the whole valley better address the rapid growth seen in the area in the past few years. Both Bozeman and Belgrade real estate markets have been extremely fast paced and new residents come almost daily to Bozeman or Belgrade.

Currently, incorporated cities like Bozeman and Belgrade are responsible for planning and development within their own borders. The Gallatin County generally takes care of planning and development in unincorporated areas of the county. Now, the new committee will help direct planning efforts between the cities and the county, helping keep the overall growth organized and positive.

The idea first took form in 2014, from a study that suggested an overarching committee coupled with frequently updated formal growth plans would be necessary to grow effectively. Before this, land use planning had not been formally addressed between the three governments.

The committee will help the governments share information and discuss planning issues before they become bigger problems. The committee will meet a few times a year and will serve in an advisory role to the three governments.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/county-endorses-planning-coordination-with-bozeman-belgrade/article_b1eb8e5a-1eaa-5868-8a52-3465411f6fbe.html

Cheaper For Sale/For Rent Properties To Improve Affordability in Bozeman

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Over the past few months, the City of Bozeman and local builders alike have worked hard to continue making homes more affordable in Bozeman.

For Rent

Bozeman has partnered with developers GMD Development from Seattle and Homeward out of Missoula. Together, they are building a 136 unit for rent, affordable apartment complex. Bozeman helped fund $200,000 for the project using the workforce housing levy.

The complex will be made for residents who earn 60% or less of Bozeman’s median income. Rents will range from $560 to $940 a month. The units will be subject to a rental control clause that will keep rents at the same or very near to the rates seen today. The clause will be in effect for 46 years.

According to Bozeman’s local HRDC, rental or mortgage costs should only take up 30 to 40 percent of a person’s income. In Bozeman, most residents pay around 50% of their income to rent or mortgage payments.

For Sale

Four new properties have been approved on Cottonwood Road for sale to lower income residents. The new homes will be approximately 840 square feet and cost about $200,000.

Bozeman passed new home affordability ordinances in November 2015 to incentivize builders in Bozeman to construct more affordable homes. The city has required that 14 affordable homes are built by September 2016, that 27 are built by July 2017 and that 54 are built by December 2017. If not, the city will enforce mandatory inclusionary zoning ordinances to make homes more affordable.

This project would contribute 4 new homes to that number. The city would prefer to continue offering incentives and relaxed codes to build affordable homes, rather than force another rule on the building industry. Normally, the city requires homes be built on lots of at least 5,000 square feet. Under this program, builders can lower lot sizes to 4,500 square feet. Bozeman also expedites affordable homes through the building permit process, saving developers who make affordable homes time and money.

The median price for a single family home in the Gallatin County was $330,000 in 2015.  If a person wanted to only have 30% of their income go to their mortgage payment, they would need to make around $70,000 a year.

 

Sources: http://www.kbzk.com/story/30861473/affordable-housing-options-in-bozeman-to-expand-with-new-development

http://www.abcfoxmontana.com/story/30858148/bozeman-set-for-136-new-affordable-housing-units

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Construction-begins-on-affordable-homes-in-Bozeman/37972184

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/first-houses-approved-under-new-bozeman-affordabilty-plan/article_6070f54e-b9fe-5c76-8c50-ddcbc58fab81.html

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 88

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