The housing market across the United States has been under a microscope in the past year. While the contributing factors are complicated, the result of the market shifts has largely been increased prices for buyers. Montana has seen its share of escalation, with lower-than-normal inventory and increased interest in the Big Sky state as workers realized the possibilities of remote work. Although eight of the more well-known towns in Montana have all seen fluctuations in recent years, the reasonable cost of living in Butte stands out as yet another advantage of our hometown.
Bozeman – $785k
Bozeman is one of the fastest-growing and most expensive places to live in Montana. With a median housing price of $785k, it tops the list. However, this isn’t a recent development. The prices have increased only 8% since last year, showing that there may be a slowdown in the market. However, the houses on market only stay there for about 50 days. The most expensive listing currently on the market is for $22.7 million.
Much of its population boom began when Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana finished construction. Just about an hour from Bozeman, it’s now one of the largest ski resorts in North America and attracts major actors and actresses, as well as the wealthy.
The airport itself has seen a substantial increase in flights coming to and from Bozeman in the last two decades. Incredible recreation opportunities and growing interest from international skiers are two of the many reasons for the packed flight schedule to and from this Gallatin County gem.
Belgrade – $539k
It’s not hard to believe that the median housing price in Belgrade has shot up to $539k, considering its close proximity to Bozeman. A short 11-mile jaunt from the center of Bozeman, Belgrade has been experiencing steady population growth over the past few years as buyers get priced out of the Bozeman market.
The median list price has increased $180k since January 2020.
Kalispell – $489.9k
Nestled right on top of Flathead Lake, the consensus is definitely that the views in Kalispell are hard to beat. Kalispell saw the highest increase in the median housing price on this list at a whopping 46% since last year, most of that change coming in just the last 6 months. With a median housing price of $489.9K, Kalispell ranks as one of the least affordable places to live in Montana.
Nearby Whitefish, a short drive from Kalispell, now boasts a median housing price of $825k.
Missoula – $459.9k
Missoula is one of the more expensive cities coming in with a median housing price at $459.9k, which is up over 22% since just last year. Missoula has seen a lot of population growth, as well as seeing success with a booming tech industry with major companies like Submittable and OnX Maps drawing more people into the city for work.
There are some neighborhoods that are seeing housing prices creep above $600k, like the Upper and Lower Rattlesnake.
Currently, there are 553 homes on the market, and the average amount of days on the market is right around 40. These houses sell pretty quickly in the home of the University of Montana.
Helena – $360k
Helena is Montana’s state capital and home to Carroll College and Helena College. With a median housing price of $360k, it’s not the most expensive place to live in Montana, but it’s also not necessarily the cheapest. Throughout 2020, Helena saw a 22% increase in housing cost. It has almost doubled since March 2019.
Realtor.com indicates that the city is one of the very few places on this list that has a well-balanced market, meaning that the supply of homes in the city meets what is being demanded.
Billings – $299.9k
The furthest eastern town on this list, the median housing price in Billings was 299.9k as of July 2021. That’s a 13% increase from last year. The selection is currently the most reasonable, with over 1100 houses for sale.
There are a few neighborhoods within the city that have a lower cost of living such as East Central Billings or the South Side, but Billings seems to have a relatively low price compared to the rest of the state.
Great Falls – $236k
The range of prices in Great Falls is significant compared to the rest of the other cities. Even with a median housing price of $236,000, there are listings for as low as $13.9k and all the way up to $2.4MM.
Great Falls saw a significant increase in its population during the COVID pandemic of 2020 given its lower cost of living and a downtown that continues to thrive.
The city also has the Missouri River running directly through it, giving homeowners and tourists alike direct access to fantastic fishing and recreational access. The River’s Edge trail and Gibson Park are also common attractions.
Butte – $220k
Butte is one of the up-and-coming cities in Montana. With a median housing price of $220k, it’s one of the most affordable cities to live in the state. Even though the price has been pushed up 16% since 2020, and almost 40% since 2018, there is no cheaper city on this list. Currently, there are 319 homes on the market and they’re listed between $12.5k and $6.7MM.
Butte has several neighborhoods where buyers can still get a house for around $100K.
With increasing wages, a great university, and a bustling business district, Butte continues to shine with its many advantages as one of Montana’s most affordable places to live and run your business.