It has been on the tip of everyone's tongue for over a year now. I'm talking about affordable housing and the RAPID increase in home prices. We try to justify why the costs went through the roof. But, the common denominator is the pandemic. Many people from outside Montana wanted to escape somewhere less congested than their current situation. The crowded streets of a huge city were no longer inviting, let alone healthy to be around. So, these "COVID refugees" searched for more wide-open spaces. Well, it doesn't get more wide open than Montana.



In simple "supply and demand" economics, our supply of places to live is not meeting the demand of people wanting to live here. So, the prices are going up. We heard of people from wealthier states, like California, buying Montana properties "sight unseen," or even closing deals for cash ahead of someone who was looking to put a contract on a home. Needless to say, the last year and a half has been a struggle for anyone looking to buy a home.

As a homeowner myself, I should be elated that my home's value has nearly tripled. Talk about a good investment, right? Yet, I am not in any hurry to sell, mostly because I am worried that I won't have any place to go. Even with my sizable down payment of a home, the value of other homes has probably tripled as well, making my move nearly a lateral instead of an upgrade.

According to a study from

In a country with a big homeless problem, these numbers are quite scary. Higher home prices often leads to higher rental prices. And higher rental prices typically mean people get priced out of their homes and can end up living on the street.

Missoula ranked 4th in the nation for an increase in home price during the COVID pandemic, increasing prices by 28% in one year. The places making it higher on the list are other small to mid-sized places, like Ogden, Utah, and Bend, Oregon. Boise, Idaho takes the top spot with a 40% increase in just one year. Its MADNESS!



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