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What’s Happening In Ranch Sales in Montana?

by Liz Nitz

What’s Happening In Ranch Sales in Montana?

Montana ranch sales more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. We saw a flood of wealthy buyers in search of wide open spaces to relax and play. There is a mystique to Montana thanks to movies and books and I don’t think people have been disappointed as new buyers keep coming to our beautiful state.

It’s important to keep in mind that ranch sales farm sales should be considered a whole classification. You can’t really dig deep into price per square foot because there is a huge range of criteria that affect pricing. Think water rights, structure on land, location, out buildings, etc.

Our MLS covers Butte to just outside Billings and over to the Wyoming border. Sprinkled in are a few random listings that show up because agents choose to list here. Here are the basic stats:

  • 2018: There were 28 listings sold in the farm and ranch sales category. Average days on market was 267 and there was a total sales volume of $54,074,125.
  • 2019: There were 25 listings sold in the farm and ranch category. Average days on market was 315 and there was a total sales volume of $53, 300, 418.
  • 2020: There were 63 listings sold in the farm and ranch category. Average number of days on market was 197 and there was a whopping total of $119,500,926.

 

What Trends Are Ranches Seeing?

Ranches have been transitioning from agricultural to investment and recreation.

  • Land value used to be the income you could make from farming/ranching. It’s now based largely on recreational pursuits, aesthetics, development and investment potential. The pandemic may have accelerated that trend. You can see from the 2020 sales numbers that listings and sales more than doubled. People wanted a place to escape the uncertainty of big cities. Montana’s wide open spaces and plethora of outdoor activities fit the bill for a lot of buyers.

 

Marrying economic viability with ecological sustainability is becoming front of mind.

  • Renewable energy: As more cities convert to carbon neutral over the next 20 years, ways to provide renewable energy is being heavily considered. If you have a piece of land that meets all the logistical requirements of operating a bigger solar and wind farm, it could be an income source for the future.
  • Holistic land management: This idea of operating a ranch with a wider ecosystem in mind has been gaining more traction recently. That might have to do with a younger generation taking over their family ranches. It’s not just about all the requirements of raising cattle. Holistic land management aims to create a profitable operation that is sustainable for the soil, water and native species on the land.
  • Conservation easements: These easements are used to protect land, water and endangered native species from future development. Landowners get paid or receive a tax break for the easement on their land.

 

Resources

Savory Institute is a global movement of regenerative farmers and land managers.

Polyface Farms and Joel Salatin in Virginia are famous for their regenerative farming practices.

Hall and Hall and Fay Ranches are two of Montana’s biggest ranch brokers.

Montana Land RelianceThe Nature Conservancy, The World Wildlife Fund are all conservation organizations that work with Montana land owners.

Montana has seen a lot of shifts happening. As more out-of-town buyers look into Bozeman, Missoula and Whitefish, many long-time residents are considering moves to smaller places like Lewistown and Dillon. If you have any questions about what’s happening in Bozeman and Montana real estate feel free to contact me at liz@windermere.com.

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2316 Gallatin Green Boulevard 17, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2316 Gallatin Green Boulevard 17, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,530Sqft
Beautiful 3 bed 2.5 bath 1530 square foot condo with an attached 2 car garage. This unit features gray cabinets, white hard surface countertops, stainless steel appliances for a great modern feel. Wonderful location close to walking trails, parks, gym, Costco, Target, etc. 3rd bedroom does not have a closet but seller with work with buyer and show them options. AC is an available upgrade.
$445,000

2316 Gallatin Green Boulevard 16, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2316 Gallatin Green Boulevard 16, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,581Sqft
Great modern condo in a prime Bozeman location. Condo is 3 bed 2.5 bath with 1580 square feet with a two car attached garage. Property features gray cabinets, white hard surface countertops, and stainless steel appliances. This is the only unit in the complex that has a bedroom on the main floor. It sits on the south corner with great natural light.
$449,000

3271 Warbler Way A, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3271 Warbler Way A, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
1Bathroom(s)
2,614Sqft
Introducing Skyline Vista, a luxury condo community located on the park in Cattail Creek. With over 2600 +/- sq. feet of living space these 3 bedroom condos live large with a long list of premium upgrades. First floor family room provides a great multi purpose room or office.
$775,000

TBD E Peach Street 12, Bozeman, Montana 59715

TBD E Peach Street 12, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
2,500Sqft
Wildlands is a celebration of mountain modern architecture and design, nestled into one of the most authentic and vibrant neighborhoods in Bozeman, Montana. With an exceptional wrap-around covered deck, enjoy your oasis at Wildlands.
$2,750,000

289 Heights Circle, Bozeman, Montana 59718

289 Heights Circle, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
0.61Acre
2,011Sqft
Custom Home with Additional Income Apartment and a Separate Office Space on .61-acres across from a 5-acre park! This home, built by Dan Jones, has a vaulted ceiling with alder stained trim and door package. The extra-large kitchen has quartz countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, and stainless-steel appliances. The living room features large windows and a beautiful rock fireplace.
$990,000

2938 Warbler Way 16, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2938 Warbler Way 16, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,392Sqft
Elkhorn Condos are designed by Locati Architects. This is an end-unit 3 bedroom condo located near shopping and public transportation, trails, ponds, playgrounds. All bedrooms are located upstairs. There is a one-car attached garage. The main level includes a galley kitchen that opens to the dining and living room.
$445,000

102 N Chouteau Avenue, Bozeman, Montana 59718

102 N Chouteau Avenue, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
0.23Acre
1,920Sqft
This home is calling you! It's centrally located with great access to all things 'Bozeman'. This is where neighbors come over for a 'backyard movie night' and sidewalks are filled with chalk drawings and people chatting. The outside has very nice curb appeal. The lot has plenty of mature trees and garden boxes. AND, how about your own water well for lawn and garden irrigation.
$699,000

TBD E Peach Street 1, Bozeman, Montana 59715

TBD E Peach Street 1, Bozeman, Montana 59715

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
2,172Sqft
Wildlands is a celebration of mountain modern architecture and design, nestled into one of the most authentic and vibrant neighborhoods in Bozeman, Montana. This 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom western facing loft unit features natural light from a skylight that spans the office and flex room. Enjoy 12 ft. ceilings with exposed steel rafter giving you some urban character.
$2,325,000

3124 Augusta Drive, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3124 Augusta Drive, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
0.25Acre
1,948Sqft
Located between downtown and the Bridger Mountains across the street from the Bridger Creek golf course, this single level home backing up to open space boasts an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings. The spacious living room features a gas fireplace and large slider out to your back deck to enjoy the views.
$850,000
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Bozeman, MT 59715

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