NewsLocal News

Actions

Bozeman home prices reaching an all-time high, raising the cost across Gallatin County and the region

A recent study found Bozeman's home prices to be higher than major cities like Seattle.
90.jpeg
Posted at 10:18 AM, Mar 06, 2024

BOZEMAN — As home prices in Gallatin County approach a median price of $1 million, real estate in neighboring counties, like Park County, are seeing a spillover effect, raising prices there as well.

“We put a house on the market, what three days ago? Ten showings in two days. Two awesome offers. And it's under contract already,” said Trecie Wheat Hughes.

Hughes is co-owner of Yellowstone Brokers and has been a realtor in the Bozeman area since 2010. I met with her and her partner, realtor and co-owner Jackie Wickens, and they showed me around a three-bedroom, two-bathroom historic house in Livingston, listed at $700,000.

“And for Livingston that is a lot of money, and part of that is there's a ton of families that they moved over to Livingston when the Bozeman housing prices went crazy. Either they were trying to buy for the first time and this was affordable or, like you said, you could sell your house, make a lot of money, and buy something more affordable over here and put some money in the bank” Jackie told me.

And if you think that Livingston house is expensive, just wait until you hear about Bozeman's prices.

A recent study from the Gallatin Association of Realtors compared Bozeman’s housing prices to major coastal cities such as Seattle and found Bozeman more expensive.

The median price for a single-family home in the greater Bozeman area is currently $979,500. Seattle’s median is $52,000 less.

“I was just in northern California and I was honestly shocked by how not far off those prices were from Bozeman—like shocked,” said Jackie.

But high prices in Bozeman aren’t news to anyone; in fact, we’ve seen the price of everything in the Gallatin Valley skyrocket over the last 5 years. But why has housing become such an issue right now?

“There’s still a lot of people that want to move to this area and live here, and then interest rates being so high, people don't want to give up their low-interest mortgages to go buy something else in the same market. So unless they're leaving the area, we're not seeing as much turnover with existing homes. And that is keeping the prices afloat,” Jackie said.

A recent article posted by Bozeman Real Estate Group says one of the main reasons Bozeman houses are so expensive is out-of-state money.

People moving to Bozeman from places where real estate is more expensive can easily compete in our market, outbidding local buyers and paying all cash for homes. According to Montana Title and Escrow, approximately 45% of Montana Title closings in 2021 were cash deals—a threat to locals who wish to stay but simply cannot afford to.

“When you think about going to get a mortgage, even if it's a double household making $70,000 each, which that would be a high salary for Bozeman, you wouldn't qualify,” Trecie told me.

According to Salary.com, the average salary in Bozeman is currently $61,000. And as our realtors claim, unless you’re making about $120,000 to $150,000 each in a dual-income household, the majority of people in Bozeman simply cannot afford to buy a house.

“Unless you have a house to sell that you’ve bought a while ago that you could roll that equity over—you know, that's why it can be so tough,” said Trecie.

More Information from Bozeman Real Estate here: https://bozemanrealestate.group/blog/why-are-homes-in-bozeman-so-expensive#:~:text=Labor%20and%20materials%20are%20still,to%20high%20real%20estate%20prices.