Real Estate Information Archive


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Gallatin County Market Update - September 2015

by Tim Hart

This month, we will compare condo and townhome sales in all of the Gallatin County for 2013, 2014 and 2015 through the second quarter and compare those figures. Here are a few stats for Gallatin County condos and townhomes:

  • Total Quarter 1 and 2 sales increased by 27.46% from 2013 to 2014 (244 sold in 2013, 311 sold in 2014)
  • Total Quarter 1 and 2 sales increased by 6.75% from 2014 to 2015 (311 sold in 2014, 332 sold in 2015)
  • Between 2013 and 2015, sales increased by 36.07 percent.
  • Quarter 1 and 2 dollar volume increased by 55.84% from 2013 to 2014 ($56,339,593 volume in 2013, $87,800,977 volume in 2014)
  • Quarter 1 and 2 dollar volume increased by 0.43% from 2014 to 2015 ($87,800,977 volume in 2014, $88,180435 in 2015)
  • Between 2013 and 2015 dollar volume increased by 56.52 percent
  • Condos and townhomes stayed on the market 11.11% shorter in 2014 compared to 2013 (112.5 days on the market in 2013, 100 days on the market in 2014)
  • Condos and townhomes stayed on the market 21.00% shorter in 2015 compared to 2014 (100 days on the market in 2014, 79 days in 2015)
  • Between 2013 and 2015, average days on the market for condos and townhomes fell by 29.78 percent.

Summary – Through Quarters 1 and 2, condo and townhomes in the Gallatin County continue to see prices increase, though at a smaller rate, while staying on the market much shorter than in previous years. These figures suggest activity is high and the market remains healthy.

All Cash Transactions Down as Home Values Rise

by Tim Hart

Transactions consisting of only cash have now hit their lowest share since 2009. In June 2015, all cash sales accounted for 22% of all existing home sale transactions. In June of 2014, all cash sales were at 32 percent. Existing home sales continue to rise so many buyers have turned to financing their home because their overall confidence in the housing market has improved.

In March, all cash transactions fell by 33% in comparison to March 2014 numbers, suggesting that cash sales have been going down pretty consistently for the past year. According to CoreLogic, all cash sales peaked in 2011 at 46.5% of all home sales in the United States. As the economy and home values have improved, this number has fallen consistently.

In general, individual investors account for a majority of cash sales. As home values have risen over the past years, individual investors will not have as much of a guarantee of return on investment. Investment groups have picked up the slack in some sense but as values rise, all cash transactions will continue to go down. In June, individual investors accounted for 12% of all cash transactions, with other groups, companies or firms accounting for the other 10 percent.

Having less cash transactions helps homebuyers with third party financing better compete against other buyers for a listed home. Due to the fact that all cash transactions are very clean, neat and quick, its hard for any seller to choose financing over all cash offers. Having less all cash offers floating around the market will help other home buyers get the home they want at the price they want.




New Apartments Add Inventory to Bozeman Rental Market

by Tim Hart

Developers and city officials broke ground last week on a new, awaited apartment complex designed to help add more rental inventory to the Bozeman market. The complex will now bring 48 new rental units to the Bozeman area to the previously planned 47.

The project has been sponsored by the Montana Board of Housing to give low-income residents a chance to rent the new units alongside those who can already compete at full market value.  The MBH will give tax credits to the developers so they can in turn offer a few units to select families at up to 50% below market rent. The City of Bozeman continues to strive to have Bozeman be affordable to all residents and affordable housing projects like this, help keep people from being ‘priced out’ of their living arrangements.

In addition to increasing the number of subsidized, affordable units in Bozeman, the new apartment complex will add general apartment inventory. Having additional units in Bozeman will help increase rent competition, potentially lowering costs for tenants. Much like last year, Bozeman’s vacancy rate is essentially at 0 percent, which has lead to the sharp rise in rental costs around town. The overall population growth of Bozeman, as well as the growth of Montana State University, have both put a lot of stress of the remaining rental home inventory in the area.

Bozeman has approved both residential and commercial projects, whether full subdivisions or multi-family style living, all in an effort to increase the inventory and amenity spread of Bozeman. Bozeman continues to work hard to stay up with current growth and is still focused on keeping housing affordable in the area.




Commercial Real Estate Sale Breaks Online World Record

by Tim Hart

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, a 96 million dollar property sale in Manhattan Beach, California has become the most expensive online real estate transaction ever.

The property itself, a two building 300,734 square foot office space, sold in an online auction on In any industry, that transaction is now the biggest e-commerce transaction ever.

Personally, I think its clear that this sale will not hold the world record for all that long—so I think what makes it important is the marked shift in how real estate will perform as an industry moving forward. Up till recently, major real estate transactions have been in the realm of pen and paper. Deeds in particular almost don’t feel right aesthetically if they are not printed. Even if for peace of mind, many people still prefer to ink their signature and have extra copies on paper. Eventually, even this may be a rare occurrence. Doing transactions online will help keep wasted time to a minimum and so long as everyone’s personal security can be guaranteed, the shift feels inevitable.

You never know—even the richest men might not have two pennies to rub together in the future simply because their money is always in the digital realm. Obviously we have a ways to go until that happens but it is very fascinating to see all industries adjust to our slow shift into the digital world. Real estate will have a lot of growing to do, but even in a digital world, real estate will always be on the market.



Bozeman School Board to Set Budget

by Tim Hart

Tonight, the Bozeman School Board will vote on whether to raise local property taxes to approve the $72 million in spending budgeted for this school year in Bozeman. Approving $72 million in spending would be up 3.4% from last year.

Enrollment for the Bozeman School District is expected to increase by 170 students, or 2.7 percent. The expected total will be 6,464 students—a new record for Bozeman school enrollment numbers. The new budget would add 10 new elementary teachers and 1 high school teacher to better address the growing student population. The school board will also increase their reserves to better tackle the proposed Sacajawea Middle School expansion and second High School. The district’s upgrade of Hawthorne Elementary, will use a TIF, and not raise taxes on those in the district.

In order to pay for the spending increases, 31 million will need to be raised from taxpayers. The process has been complicated because of the Department of Revenue’s property tax reappraisal. Property values only dropped by 3% from when the recession began in 2008—far better than the expected 11% drop that some predicted—but balancing the budget has been more difficult with shifting property values. If the budget is approved, each property owner in the Elementary district will see their taxes raise by 7.45 mills and those in the High School district will see their taxes raise by 3.79 mills.

A tax increase approved by voters as well as the Montana’s Legislature’s increased state spending on schools have also contributed to the budget. The total elementary budget would go up to $45.4 million and the high school budget would go up $26.8 million. The district has been awarded a plethora of awards in the last year, whether financial, academic, student based, or from an outside ranking system.




Amidst a growing Gallatin Valley, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital will be expanding from its Bozeman location to better serve the greater area. The hospital has plans to expand to new campuses in Belgrade and Big Sky, while also adding to its Bozeman location. In addition to real estate based expansions, the hospital will also be expanding and improving its rural response to heart based medical issues thanks to a recent grant from the American Heart Association.

The hospital has 3 expansion projects currently across the Gallatin Valley.

Bozeman Deaconess moved forward with their plans to better address the growing West end of Bozeman and a fast growing Belgrade by adding a new location in Belgrade. The new location has broken ground and is expected to be completed by the Summer of 2016. The hospital is planning on building a two story, 37,000 sq. ft building on 9.4 acres on the southeast corner of Jackrabbit and Alaska Frontage Road. The new location will provide space for 20 medical providers and will include family medicine, urgent care and clinical and physical therapy groups.

The Bozeman hospital also has plans to build a 4 bed, 51,000 square foot hospital in Big Sky by the end of the year. Earlier this year, the hospital also announced that it will be adding a 5 story medical office building to its main Bozeman location. That project should be ready by spring of 2016. These expansions will only help the hospital better serve all the patients living in the greater Bozeman area, both suburban and rural.

The hospital also announced this month that they have been awarded a $109,700 grant from the American Heart Association to continue improving the outcomes of heart attack patients in rural Montana. The grant aims at improving care and response times for patients outside of bigger Montana towns. The money will help implement a system-wide data tool to measure and improve procedures, provide medical experts with additional training and education, improve coordination between rural emergency services and rapid transport, while also supporting a public education campaign on heart attacks.

As the hospital services continue to expand, they continue to help make the greater Bozeman area a safe place where all residents can be provided quick, high quality care. Minimizing potential risks and shortening travel distances that come with an outdoor or rural lifestyle makes Bozeman all the more attractive as a lifelong destination.




Land off Stucky Road Considered for Annexation

by Tim Hart

Bozeman City Commissioners will vote next Monday on whether to annex a piece of land off Stucky Road in order to zone it for apartment style residences. The commission has seen several bids to annex additional land into the city in the last year. Bozeman continues to find ways to add additional home inventory to keep home values reasonable.

The land off Stucky is currently set for agricultural use and nearby farms are concerned about adding more residential lots on high quality, useable soil. Both farmers and developers made their pleas to the City Zoning Commission and though the zoning commission voted 2-1 against rezoning the parcel, the decision ultimately rests with City Commisioners.

Bozeman continues to search for land and strategies to help keep the real estate in the Gallatin Valley affordable. The city has looked at narrowing lots and has given a high number of building permits to increase inventory. Bozeman will need to strike a healthy balance between keeping prices reasonable and growing in a healthy, planned out manner.




Both mortgage rates and loan applications have seen big up and down swings over the first few weeks of July.

Earlier in the month, mortgage interest rates fell and continued to be on a downward trend. On July 10th, the rates fell to 4.04 percent. However, the past weeks since then have given a sense that mortgage rates may once again be trending up. This week, mortgage rates hit their highest level since October of 2014—hitting 4.09% this week. For now, its clear that at the very least, mortgage rates have been volatile and should be watched closely over the follow weeks to get a better sense of where they may be heading.

According to the sources listed below, events and turmoil in both China and Greece directly affected yields on US Treasury Securities. Rates rose during this time, but the Fed may still hold back from raising interest rates in light of turmoil abroad.

Mortgage applications have also been volatile as buyers have mirrored interest rates closesly. In a July 8th article, mortgage applications had risen 4.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis but by July 10th, those numbers had already fallen by 1.9% again. On the bright side, although the numbers may be volatile in 2015, total mortgage volume still remains 22% higher than a year ago and total home purchase volume is up by 17 percent.

Any buyer looking at homes right now will want to keep a good watch over mortgage rates so s/he can take advantage of the lowest available rates. They seem to be moving up and down quickly—so buyers will want to make sure they don’t settle for a loan with higher rates than average.






Bozeman Airport Reflects Town's Growth

by Tim Hart

Bozeman’s Airport, much like the town itself, has seen fast growth over the past few years. After continuing its population growth and seeing high tourism numbers, its no wonder Bozeman has seen increased activity at its airport.

Last year, commercial passenger traffic increased 15 percent. Each month in 2015 has seen higher numbers than the previous month. Both of these facts contribute to the narrative that Bozeman is growing quickly and has become one of the most sought after locations in Montana.

Bozeman has been attracting airline travelers for vacation and for permanent stay, or perhaps a little of both.

Bozeman has had some of the highest wages in Montana along with a reasonable cost of living, while staying safe. Coupled with its livability and amazing access to public lands, it’s a very attractive place for people looking to call Bozeman home. Both Bozeman Public Schools and Montana State University have seen rising enrollments, reflecting the desire of many to call Bozeman home.

Tourism in Bozeman has also seen large growth. Yellowstone National Park and nearby State Parks saw increased numbers in 2014 while Bozeman was honored as one the top ski destinations in the world.

After the airport reached 1 million passengers last year, it announced it would need to expand again to deal with increased numbers. Now, it continues to see even higher numbers. Bozeman’s access to an international airport has been partly attributed to its recent economic success. Both help eachother, attracting great people and allowing Bozeman to sell itself. Once the airport expands, local residents can expect more tourists and more people looking to stay for an extended time.





Greater Bozeman Area Market Update - July 2015

by Tim Hart

This month, we will compare condo and townhome sales through June 30th 2015 and compare them to similar sales from 2014 in the greater Bozeman area. Here are a few stats for all Bozeman area condo and townhome residences:

  • Unit Sales increased by 6.76%  (221 sold through June 2015, 207 sold in through June 2014)
  • Dollar volume increased by 14.27% ($51,301,043 through June 2015, $44,892,026 sold through June 2014)
  • Condos and Townhomes have been staying on the market 17.26% shorter in 2015 (50.1 days on market in 2015, 60.55 days on market in 2014)

Summary – Through the end of June, the housing market continues its growth. Homes are moving quicker, in higher numbers and at higher prices than in 2014. The overall Gallatin County market is still very healthy and growing.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 66