The commonly asserted claim that home prices are rapidly escalating because of out-of-staters coming to Montana to escape the economic and social restraints in other states because of the COVID-19 pandemic, might not be as true as most have accepted it to be – at least not in Missoula.

Data gathered from Realtors in Missoula and lenders do not support that commonly asserted claim, as much as one might expect. In an examination of where customers of Missoula mortgage lenders are coming from indicates that much of the home buying is going on because of Montanans moving to different communities. Only about 13 – 19 percent of the borrowers were coming from out- of- state.

Washington and California represented the largest sector of buyers arriving from outside Missoula. Oregon, Colorado and Kentucky also made the list, as did Ohio, New York and Illinois.

Interestingly in monitoring “home searches” by people who were looking for a new home, two percent of those exploring Missoula’s market came from Bozeman. Most were from Seattle, followed by Salt Lake City, New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.

No matter where they are coming from the demand in Missoula, as in most areas of the state, exceeds supply. In the first quarter this year, Missoula’s median home price jumped 20 percent, following a 11 percent increase last year. The median price is currently $420,000.


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