For What It's Worth...

March 7, 2011

Courtesy of Eric Ossorio of Prudential Montana Real Estate

At times there seems to be too much information thrown at us...and when the reports are contradictory day to day and from news source to news source, making sense of it all can be a challenge. Still, all in all, 2010 was a pretty good year in Big Sky. Once again the Canyon is aglow with a steady stream of headlights during both the morning and late afternoon. Occupancy at the Mountain Village is near capacity, the Yellowstone Club is breaking attendance records and it’s a good idea to call ahead for a dinner reservation.

The number of pending/closed sales reported in the Big Sky MLS for 2009 topped out at 130, with 118 actual closings (several closings spilled over into 2010) while in 2010 we’re seeing 172 pending/closed MLS sales, with 166 already closed, close to a 40% increase in number of transactions. 2010 closed sales show that 71 properties sold for under $300,000, 42 properties were sold between $300,001 and $500,000, 27 properties were sold between $500,001 and $750,000, 19 properties were sold between $750,001 and $1,500,000 and 6 properties were sold for over $1,500,000, with two of those 6 very close to the $3,000,000 mark, representing $77.7 million in sales, a 18% increase in the value of the market.

Compared with the final tally in 2009 of 118 MLS closings, 50 properties sold for under $300,000, 27 between $300,001 and $500,000, 18 properties between $500,001 and $750,000 and 19 (again) properties between $ 750,001 and $1,500,000 and 4 properties sold for over $1,500,000, with two sales over $4,000,000, representing $65.1 million in sales.

Land sales remained steady from 2009 at 16 parcels, far below the land “boom” year of 2004, which saw 64 sales, yet more in line with 2005 pricing than the price peaks seen in 2006 when 19 properties sold.

The color coded chart below graphically illustrates the increase in the number of sales as well as the relative consistency of the price distribution in various categories (no magic there...just seemed like logical and interesting price points to differentiate between).

Growth in the area has been steady and infrastructure improvements have kept apace, with an added amenity in the Town Center, the Alpine Ice Rink, which is hosting the very first Pavelich Invitational Hockey Game to open the New Year (yes...that’s our own Marty Pavelich and Gordie Howe teammate of Detroit Red Wings fame...). The Lone Peak High School has become a solid compliment to the Ophir Elementary and Ophir Middle Schools, providing educational opportunities to over 200 students.

2010 Census Data reports that the population of the USA grew by 9.7% since 2000, keeping pace with the growth of the population of Montana during the same time frame, also increasing by 9.7% to 989,415 residents, while growth in the Western Region grew at a 13.8% pace. During that period, the population increases were most dramatic in the Western portion of the State, with Gallatin County growing by over 30% with a large part of that growth occurring in Bozeman, which saw close to 25% growth.

So many improvements to Highway 191 are now taken for granted, and the airport expansion at Gallatin Field, from 75,000 square feet in the terminal, to over 200,000 square feet, with more baggage carousels, parking and gates, should be completed by the end of 2011. Gallatin Field saw that 2010 was the busiest year at the airport with a increase of over 10,000 passengers more than the previous busiest year at the airport, 2008. Several additional direct flights to and from Bozeman are in the works, and new overnight facilities for larger planes will help to accommodate increased passenger counts well into the future.

And what about these snow and skiing conditions? Pretty amazing, eh? So we continue to be grateful for small things and the reminders that we’re in a special place.



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