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Montana High-End Real Estate Market Sees Massive 2020 Growth

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Professionals working in Montana's real estate market say sales of high-end properties have experienced growth in 2020 far beyond their expectations.

The state has recorded sale and price figures that are among the highest in the nation, The Missoulian reports.

Dawn Maddux, a global real estate advisor at Engel & Völkers Western Frontier in Missoula, said her office did 107% more business this year through October compared to last year in sales of vacation homes and luxury properties listed at over $500,000.

“It’s insane,” Maddux said. “Our business has grown exponentially every year, but this year is a record-breaking year.”

A property listed at $7.6 million had three offers, while a lodge listed at $5.7 million received a “very strong” cash offer. Many buyers offer cash, precluding the need for financing, Maddux said.

"It’s a strong seller's market,” Maddux said. “Things are going for a premium. It’s really great for our luxury sellers. Primarily, our buyers are vacation-home buyers.”

Bill McDavid of Hall and Hall in Missoula has brokered $40 million in ranch and property sales in western Montana this year.

“A few sales have spun my head around,” McDavid said. “We’ve had some unbelievable years since 2010 but this year is its own thing."

Specialized data from the Federal Housing Finance Authority indicate Montana has experienced one of the largest increases in housing prices of any state in the country.

People earning big-city wages can afford to live in western Montana now, economist Bryce Ward of the University of Montana said.

A 10% rise in the statewide housing price index means there are probably even higher rises in communities such as Missoula and Bozeman, although the data is not yet available, Ward said.

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