By Stacy and Eric Ossorio / Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Montana Properties

Southwestern Montana real estate markets, including in Bozeman and Big Sky, have shown extraordinary resilience over the last several months. Activity levels in Bozeman are at an all-time high, with new subdivisions, housing starts and advances in market prices surprising even seasoned real estate watchers. In the Big Sky market, what’s taking place is no less extraordinary.

The winter season of 2016-2017 ended positively, forecasting robust summer and fall market activity. Unanticipated was how dramatic the absorption of inventory would be over the course of the summer, and how decreased inventory would have such a dramatic effect on well-priced prime property.

36 Low Dog Road. Ski/in, ski/out from a beautiful Mountain Village home with updated modern finishes in a clean, crisp look. (MLS No. 310947) PHOTO COURTESY OF PEAK PHOTOGRAPHY

Demand is now outpacing supply and the lack of new inventory is notable. Total available market inventory decreased from $573.6 million in January 2017, to $491.2 million in November 2017 in the greater Big Sky area, according to the Multiple Listing Service. So, nearly $82.4 million in inventory was absorbed in the past 10 months and not replaced by new listings. The high point for inventory volume was in July, when there was over $600 million in active listings.

The number of closed sales has increased over the years as well. In 2015, the total number of sales reached 269 and 292 in 2016. By the end of October 2017, there had been 339 sales, with two additional months to account for. Of the 339 sales closed this year, 179 were under $500,000 and 160 were over $500,000. Fifty-nine sales were between $500,000-800,000 and 76 were over $1 million.

2017 started with a 25-month supply of inventory and ended up in Oc- tober with an 11-month supply, with 402 new listings, and 339 sales for a sales volume of $250.9 million year-to-date. Interestingly, the average sales price was $740,169, while the median sales price was $421,500— half of all sales were under $421,500. Another interesting metric is that the average day on market (DOM) was 240 days, while the median DOM was 137, meaning that half of all sales closed in under five months of the listing date.

Lone Peak Townhome #5 has luxury finishes and is in the heart of Big Sky Town Center for year-round convenience. (MLS No. 303585) PHOTO BY PAUL BUSSI

Big Sky real estate opportunities continue to offer an appealing and diverse selection. Buyers recognize that the area is being thoughtfully developed, and that services are expanding to meet demand. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport continues to grow and expand services, offering more daily and direct flights. New buyers marvel at the natural beauty of the Big Sky area, and many current owners are taking the opportunity to trade up or acquire property that is still reasonably and favorably priced, especially when compared to more developed markets in Jackson, Wyoming, and Colorado’s resort corridor along Interstate 70.

Land sales are the emerging market. The listed dollar value of land inventory has decreased by close to $40 million as the number of listed parcels has decreased from 220 at the beginning of the year, to 175 in November. There were over $58.9 million in year-to-date land sales in 94 transactions—compared to 58 transactions totaling approximately $25 million in sales volume, in all of 2016.

The amenities in Big Sky are compelling, with buyers from all parts of the country and world looking for and finding a great mountain community with first-class services, medical facilities, schools, and world-class summer and winter recreation. Big Sky has an amazing community of people and real estate offerings. It truly is the last best place to live and invest.

Diamond Hitch, Lot 26 is a terrific ski/in, ski/out 1-acre lot with easy access to the Pony Express and Moonlight Lodge. (MLS No. 210453) PHOTO BY ERIC OSSORIO



Stacy and Eric Ossorio have been active brokers in Big Sky since 1993 and can be reached at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana. Stacy: call (406) 539-8553 or email; Eric call (406) 539-9553 or email