HELENA — Anyone who is trying to buy a home right now, or spent any amount of time on Zillow knows that prices are high in Helena. MTN asked the experts who say there is a good reason for that.
“Cheaper cost of living compared to Bozeman and Missoula but also the quality of life in those markets wasn’t as good where people aren’t able to live next to the trails as an example," realtor and residential appraiser Tyler Warne told MTN. "Because those prices are very, very high. It’s not a statistic I can track, just through doing appraisals and discussing with people that I meet.”
People want to come to the capital city and that means high prices and low inventory. The activity isn’t limited to residential real estate.
“In commercial, there has been quite a bit more activity in the last year so quite a few more commercial transactions," added Warne. "People that are retiring and getting out of business, whatever business they were in. and selling their commercial real estate. There has also been, and are quite a few commercial businesses for sale.”
Tyler told me that the list of reasons for businesses going up for sale is complex, ranging from retirement to having trouble finding workers to the increase in rent and housing costs. But, without looking into a crystal ball, Tyler did say the price of housing in Helena won’t go up forever.
"We need a really large increase in housing, like 200 more units listed in the greater Helena area," said Warne. "If we have 200 more houses on the market than what we have right now, that don’t have people living in them, then we might see stagnation or stabilization of the housing prices. And at some point that will happen because prices will go too high and then only 10 percent of the market can afford them and that’s what will increase the inventory.”