Real Estate Information Archive


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Gallatin County Market Update - Single Family Home Sales Year End Report

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Year end figures for 2015 have been released. Now, with concrete figures for all of 2015, we can compare real estate market growth in comparison to 2014. This month, we will compare single-family home sales in 2015 to annual sales figures during 2014. Here are a few stats:

  • Total home sales increased by 6.68% (1,392 sold in 2014, 1,485 sold in 2015)
  • Dollar volume increased by 8.93% ($609,153,302 in 2014, $663,572,593 in 2015)
  • Average sale price increased by 2.11% ($437,610 in 2014, $446,850 in 2015)
  • Median sale price increased by 12.02% ($297,250 in 2014, $333,000 in 2015)
  • Homes spent 9.28% time longer on the market in 2015 (88 Days on Market in 2014, 97 Days on Market in 2015)

Summary – Sales, dollar volume, as well as average and median sales prices continued to rise in 2015. The Gallatin market has grown consistently in the past couple years, with 2015 being no exception. Homes did spend a little longer on the market. New construction homes need to be listed once framed, contributing to higher days on the market. In exchange for spending more time on the market, single family homes sold at higher prices. The market continues to be very active and healthy.

Bozeman Honored as Top 16 Worldwide Destination

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Los Angeles journalists might finally be catching up to the rest of us Bozemanites who have already made Bozeman home. In a recent article, the LA Times shared their top 16 destinations to visit in the world in 2016. Bozeman, MT made the list, which included other exotic locations such as Botswana; Paris, France; Iran; Dublin, Ireland; Cartagena, Columbia and Washington DC among others. The list did not order from 1 to 16, so Bozeman’s honor put it on equal footing with these other spectacular locations.

The article highlighted Bozeman as the tourist gateway to Yellowstone National Park. In 2014, 3,936,162 people who visited Montana, travelled to Bozeman as well. In 2015, that number grew to 4.4 million plus visitors. Tourist spending broke 4 billion in 2014.

The LA Times looked at Bozeman’s growing hospitality industry as an example of the positive momentum for the town in general. For example, the Lark Hotel on Main Street, after only its first year of business, has already moved forward with plans to expand their hotel. The hotel already had 90% occupancy rates, showing how many people now want to visit the Bozeman area. Forty-six percent of people who drove through Bozeman with no intentions of stopping, stayed in the town for at least one night in 2014. In 2015, that number rose to 48 percent.

The LA Times article also highlighted the local restaurants in the area and of course, Yellowstone National Park, as major draws for the small Montana town we call home. Local officials credited Bozeman’s tourism growth to the expanding airport, which has made travel to Yellowstone and beyond much easier for out of state visitors.

As Bozeman continues to grab more national attention, it can be expected that more people will visit Bozeman. More than a few are more than likely to catch “the Bozeman bug” so to speak and look to make Bozeman a more permanent destination. So long as that continues, Bozeman real estate can look forward to continued growth and recovery as the market expands.



Bozeman Has Fastest Growing Economy in Montana

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

According to some recent analysis, Bozeman has the fastest growing economy in Montana. Bozeman has seen increases in wages, its construction and manufacturing industries, available jobs and student population in recent years.

Wages have increased in Bozeman by 5 percent, compared to Montana’s 2 percent.

Construction has been on the rise and building is once again booming in the area. Before the recession, Bozeman issued around 500 permits per year on average. That figure dropped to approximately 200 in 2008, but this year 467 permits were issued. Construction also added 367 jobs between 2013 and 2014. It would be expected that those figures increased in 2015 as well.

Manufacturing also saw job growth, coming in second to the construction sector and adding 199 jobs in 2014.

Bozeman’s technology industry, of course, has had the biggest effect on Bozeman’s landscape and future outlook. Since the sale of RightNow Technologies in 2011 to Oracle, the economy has seen a significant lift. Oracle just recently announced that it will be expanding once again and will be adding even more jobs to the Bozeman area. That article has been included in this newsletter and can also be read here.

Other major companies have also looked to expand in their local locations. Simm’s, a fishing products dealer, announced this year that they will expand their production facility in the area, adding 160 additional employees.

Gallatin County is also the number 1 county in economic investment in the state of Montana. Montana State University continues to provide opportunities to its students for start up companies and other similar ventures. MSU has set records for enrollment, partly based on the fact that so many students on the tech side of the University have had so much recent success.

Bozeman continues its positive momentum. Its economy continues to grow, the housing sector appears to have recovered, and many different industries in the area have thrived in recent years.




Oracle Building New Operations Center - Google, Facebook Next?

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Oracle Corporation has agreed to a 10-year lease on a new 20,000 square foot building that is currently under construction. Likely, the expansion will also provide additional jobs to Bozeman’s booming technology industry. In total, Oracle will now have 120,000 square feet of offices in Bozeman.

Oracle plans on using the new building as a global operation center which would control Oracle’s network of other data centers. The building will also be used as a “showcase building” for local visitors and high level executives.

Oracle continues to expand its presence in Bozeman, offering additional jobs and an economic boost to the local community. Bozeman continues to invest in itself while local and national businesses continue to invest in Bozeman. In 2015, Bozeman had the fastest growing economy in the state of Montana.

In early December, news also came via the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that both Google and Facebook have also met with local officials to determine whether they might be interested in opening data centers in Bozeman as well. Having major corporations expand or build new data centers in Bozeman will only attract an even higher tech presence to the area.




New Fenced Dog Park Near Bozeman Pond Open

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

If anyone had still questions whether Bozeman is a dog friendly town, that topic can be put to rest as Bozeman has added yet another dog park to its repertoire. The new 2 acre dog park opened next to the Bozeman Pond and will eventually be incorporated into Bozeman’s plans to expand the Bozeman Pond Park. Many homes in the nearby area have small to no backyards. This park will make it more convenient for dog owners to take their pets on a walk and get them some exercise.

Bozeman has added multiple dog parks, including a 20+ acre off leash park and other smaller parks similar to this new project. Snowfill Dog Park also expanded its trail system this year.

The new park is open but will still be adding a shaded pavilion and a small dog/puppy area. The new park came from land purchased by the City of Bozeman from the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (read more about land trusts here. The city used money from the 2012 trails, open spaces and parks bond. The Bozeman Pond Park recently received additional funding for its expansion as well.  




Bozeman High School Earns Highest ACT Scores in State

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

For the second year in a row, Bozeman High School has the best ACT scores in the state. Current Bozeman seniors averaged a 22.8 composite score when they took the test last year as high school juniors.

Montana averaged a score of 20.4 and the US average sat at 21. In 2014, Bozeman averaged a total score of 22.5, so test scores continue to improve.

Bozeman High surpassed the averages of all other State AA school districts including Helena, (21.5), Missoula (21.2), Great Falls (20.5), Kalispell (20.3), Billings (20.2) and Butte (20.2).

In general, only students who expect to go to college would take the ACT test. However, after receiving a 6-year grant, Bozeman High has issued the test to all its students. This year, 47% of all Bozeman juniors hit ACT benchmarks. Considering Montana averaged 24% and the US averaged 28 percent, the record reflected well on the high school and its quality of education.

Below are the scores by subject:

English – 75% hit benchmarks, 57% average in Montana, 64% in US

Reading – 60% hit benchmarks, 44% average in Montana, 46% in US

Math – 59% hit benchmarks, 41% average in Montana, 38% in US

Science – 52% hit benchmarks, 36% in Montana, 38% in US

When Bozeman students continue to perform well, it will continue to attract new families to the Bozeman area who hope to offer their children the best education available.





Bozeman Parks Exceeding 2012 Funding

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

In order to address Bozeman’s fast paced growth, the city has been hard at work to continue adding and enhancing the recreational parks in the area. Most of the funding has come from a 15 million dollar bond that passed in 2012. Unfortunately, as more visitors have taken up permanent residency in Bozeman, it appears that funding will fall short for the 6 major projects on Bozeman’s agenda.

The projects include the Bozeman Sports Athletic Complex, the Front Street Connector Trail, the Pass to the M, the Bozeman Pond Park expansion, the Bozeman creek work at Bogert park and the Story Mill Community Park Project.

Most of these projects are in the early design stages, but in order to have useful facilities for a growing populace, the city has already started work towards gaining additional funding through bonds, grants and donations.

A majority of Bozeman’s real estate activity since the recession has taken place from 2012 and on. Bozeman may ask for another bond to help address the growth and properly fund these projects, based on a more accurate city population.

The Story Mill Park project received 5 million dollars in bonds, but will probably end up costing closer to $10 million while the Sports Complex received 7 million in funding, but will probably tally closer to $20 million. Story Mill Park did recently receive a $75,000 dollar grant from local banks in the area recently.

Bozeman residents have been very good about passing new bonds, something they have been recognized for by community ranking organizations. However, if future bonds do not pass, the city will work on creating partnerships with outside organizations to help fund the projects.





Big Sky Resort Breaks Summer Revenue Record

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Big Sky Resort increased their summer revenue by 10% from the same period in 2014. Since 2014, Big Sky's (town) tourism has been growing faster than both national and state averages.  Over the last few years, Big Sky has invested in its warm weather activity availability.

The resort has focused on continuing to attract visitors all year round by adding new mountain biking trails and new zip lines. Big Sky has also increased its golf presence and added events like Brewfest and running races to attract visitors.

A Big Sky Resort spokesperson pointed to growing tourism in Yellowstone National Park as a catalyst for Big Sky’s summer success. Many visitors to Yellowstone may also take an additional day to see the Big Sky area. Bozeman’s airport has also seen a higher number of visitors, many of whom head to Big Sky.

The Big Sky community has also seen higher visitors too and reported increased lodging tax collections among other tourism indicators.

As Big Sky continues to shift into a year round destination, vacation rentals and other rental investments should see an increase in their value thanks to renter competition. Investment property owners will be happy to know they might squeeze an additional month, or even a full summer out of their vacation rental in Big Sky.




Bozeman Named Top College Town in 2015

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Bozeman’s reputation as one of the nation’s most livable towns continues to grow as the town was recently honored as the 4th best college town in the United States. Last year, Bozeman was honored as the 11th most livable town in the United States (regardless of age group).

The report, put together by Smart Asset, looked for the most charming and vibrant places to live for high school and college age students, looking at the areas that surround their potential schools of interest. The rankings are based on a city’s crime and unemployment rates, average incomes for its residents, housing costs and the availability of dining and entertainment.

Smart Asset pointed to several categories that put Bozeman above many other cities in the nation. Bozeman’s proximity to Yellowstone National Park not only provides a great, natural activity for the area, but also helps drive the local economy and provide jobs for many college age students. On a similar note, Bozeman’s low unemployment rate and its booming economy also provide great draws for non-locals to the area.

Of course, Bozeman’s outdoor activities remain far above the norm for a college town. Bozeman is close to premiere fly-fishing, skiing, backpacking, ice climbing and mountain biking. Last year, Bozeman was honored as a top 25 ski town in the entire world, not just the nation. The town itself is also riddled with walking trails and parks. At night, symphonies, concerts, theatre productions, bars and breweries provide a good night life for those looking for late-night entertainment.

Other cities that scored in the top ten included Princeton, New Jersey; Kearney, Nebraska; Boulder, Colorado and Ann Arbor, Michigan.



Gallatin County Ranks 1st in State for Overall Economic Investment

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Gallatin County continues to grow in population and economic prosperity. According to a report published by a New York financial tech company, Smart Asset, the county ranks first in the state for overall economic investment (click here to read about a specific Bozeman investment that continues to bring benefits to the area). The report evaluated United States counties based on their GDP growth, new building permits and the number of active municipal bonds in the area. The report then uses the total score from these three sectors to value a certain county’s economic outlook. Gallatin County ranked 1st in the state and 63rd in the United States.

Although the report generally favors counties with small populations, Gallatin County’s performance still remains great news, particularly because its local competition within the state all have similar, if not smaller populations.

The Gallatin County scored a 52.15 on the Incoming Investment Index. The county came in second in GDP growth in Montana, adding $439 million in gross domestic product from 2010 to 2013. Experts have credited part of this growth to Montana State University’s growth, which drives 30% of the counties economic earnings. Experts also pointed to the area's rapidly expanding high tech industry as a main driver.

According to the report, Gallatin County is also growing in population. The county ranked first in new building permits and permit growth, issuing 18 per every 1,000 homes. Utility hook ups have also increased significantly in the past year, promising future homes and continued development.





Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 266