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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7775 Bridger Shadows Road, Bozeman, Montana 59715, Bozeman, Montana 59

7775 Bridger Shadows Road, Bozeman, Montana 59715, Bozeman, Montana 59715

5Bedroom(s)
5Bathroom(s)
20Acre
5,493Sqft
Impeccably constructed new home located in Bridger Canyon. Boasting almost 6000 +/- sq ft and over 8500+/- sq ft of pure luxury under roof, this home and barn is located on 20 acres in coveted Bridger Canyon. Located just ten miles from downtown Bozeman and 10 minutes from Bridger Bowl Ski area, this brand-new custom home has it all.
$7,600,000

140 Village Crossing Way 3H, Bozeman, Montana 5971, Bozeman, Montana 5

140 Village Crossing Way 3H, Bozeman, Montana 5971, Bozeman, Montana 59715

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,183Sqft
Welcome to your beautiful new home at 140 Village Crossing Way, nestled in downtown Bozeman! This turn-key property offers a perfect blend of modern comfort and breathtaking natural beauty, boasting stunning views of the majestic Bridger Mountains. The open-concept layout of the living area creates an inviting atmosphere, ideal for entertaining or simply unwinding after a day of adventure.
$765,000

315 N Tracy Avenue 406, Bozeman, Montana 59715, Bozeman, Montana 59715

315 N Tracy Avenue 406, Bozeman, Montana 59715, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,301Sqft
With incredible southwestern views from multiple angles from this fourth floor unit in downtown Bozeman’s premier new luxury condominium building, The Henry, you’ll feel like you’re living in the clouds while only being blocks from Main Street.
$1,320,000

140 Village Crossing Way 2G, Bozeman, Montana 5971, Bozeman, Montana 5

140 Village Crossing Way 2G, Bozeman, Montana 5971, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1Bedroom(s)
1Bathroom(s)
867Sqft
Don’t miss this Village Loft Condo in the heart of downtown Bozeman offering exceptional unobstructed Bridger Mountain views from second floor balcony, perfect for enjoying the fresh Montana air.
$520,000

937 Auger Lane, Bozeman, Montana 59718, Bozeman, Montana 59718

937 Auger Lane, Bozeman, Montana 59718, Bozeman, Montana 59718

5Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
0.19Sqft
2,917Sqft
Welcome to your dream home in the sought-after Flanders Mill subdivision! This stunning single-family residence boasts 5 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, offering ample space for comfortable living and entertaining. As you step inside, you'll be greeted by an inviting open floor plan featuring light hardwood floors that flow seamlessly throughout the main level.
$1,300,000

519 W Babcock, Bozeman, Montana 59715, Bozeman, Montana 59715

519 W Babcock, Bozeman, Montana 59715, Bozeman, Montana 59715

5Bedroom(s)
3Bathroom(s)
0.15Sqft
2,945Sqft
Explore the enchantment of this charming craftsman-style home nestled in downtown Bozeman. Numerous original features, including exquisite hardwood flooring, beautifully preserved cabinetry, and ceiling decor that echoes the timeless elegance of its construction. This residence is a true homage to craftsmanship and character.
$1,350,000

136 Stewart Loop, Bozeman, Montana 59718, Bozeman, Montana 59718

136 Stewart Loop, Bozeman, Montana 59718, Bozeman, Montana 59718

4Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1.30Sqft
2,294Sqft
On 1.3 acres. this home offers 4 bedrooms, 3 car attached garage, and separate ADU. So much to offer here! Main home has great floor plan with 3 bedrooms on the main level, including the primary suite with en-suite bathroom & walk-in closet. Two additional bedrooms and 1 full bath also on the main level.
$1,375,000

1300 Harper Puckett Road, Bozeman, Montana 59718, Bozeman, Montana 597

1300 Harper Puckett Road, Bozeman, Montana 59718, Bozeman, Montana 59718

5Bedroom(s)
3Bathroom(s)
2.28Sqft
3,670Sqft
Centrally located in the progressive mountain town of Bozeman, Montana, an exquisite 2+ acre lot offers a unique opportunity to build a high-end contemporary mountain home with commanding Bridger Mountain Views.
$2,200,000

310 Valley, Bozeman, Montana 59718, Bozeman, Montana 59718

310 Valley, Bozeman, Montana 59718, Bozeman, Montana 59718

5Bedroom(s)
3Bathroom(s)
0.77Sqft
4,356Sqft
Wonderful central location for this recently renovated custom built home. This 5 bedroom 3.5 bath home has it all! Comfortably spaced living and dining areas. Bedrooms on all three floors for separation and privacy. Two different living room areas as well as a family room. A sixth room that would make a great office/crafts space. Spacious kitchen with young appliances.
$1,450,000
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