BUTTE — The coronavirus has put a damper on a lot of businesses, but there’s one business in Butte that’s doing very well.
“Every real estate agent you talk to is grinning ear to ear because homes are moving as fast as possible,” said Butte Local Development Corp. director Joe Willauer.
By June, demand for housing in small towns and rural areas started to spike.
“I recognized three weeks in that there was going to be, I felt, a boom. I mean, enough to where I hired four new agents and they’re all rockin’ and rollin’,” said Tracy Miller of Butte Real Estate Group.
Interest is coming from out-of-staters fleeing the larger cities in states like Washington, California and Texas.
“They’re buying things sight unseen. A lot of them paying cash,” said Miller.
The market value on properties in the region has gone up 20% since the beginning of the year.
“We’re kind of repeating what Bozeman is doing at a faster rate. I think it took Bozeman longer to get to where they’re at, where we are seeing it almost overnight,” said Miller.
Sure a booming real estate market and anticipated growth, but it’s not good for everyone and it does come with growing pains.
“The downside, of course, the increase in prices of houses is going to be difficult for a lot of people. We’re going to change, but we’re going to lose a lot of what we cherish and what we’ve grown up loving here in Montana, so bitter-sweet,” said Miller.