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A Market Tale

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

Markets ebb and flow over time, sometimes with dramatic effects. Big Sky weathered the prolonged market correction and is now experiencing a resurgence of activity and interest in development opportunities in both residential and raw land markets.

We’re reminded again of the great truth: correct pricing and valuation are unavoidable. Buyers are looking at what’s going on today, and like what they are seeing.

In Big Sky, the market is smiling. Absorption continues to outpace modest supply increases. Total market available inventory in terms of listed value is currently at a whopping $519,723,079 for the greater Big Sky area, according to Big Sky MLS. Midyear sales have increased in both the land and residential markets.

Summit View Lot 9, Phase 2 has spectacular Lone Mountain Views from this large, 3.17 acre, elevated corner lot. (MLS No. 218470) PHOTO BY ERIC OSSORIO

Land sales grew about 17 percent midyear 2016-2017, over midyear 2015-2016. Year-over-year sales also increased from 212 recorded sales by mid year 2015- 2016 to 256 sales by midyear 2016-2017. Sales figures for midyear 2016-2017 are currently at $272,556,080 over 371 transactions versus $213,696,189 over 313 transactions the prior year, a $59 million increase in market valuation and increase of 58 transactions.

Club life is gaining popularity with a growing number of newcomers and residents of Big Sky. The Spanish Peaks Mountain Club and Moonlight Basin both offer exceptional golf experiences as well as residential and land opportunities. The Yellowstone Club continues to capitalize on it’s extraordinary amenity package, “private powder” and exclusivity, as well as its extensive base area development, which is the largest private construction project in Montana and possibly the Rocky Mountains at this time.

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport continues to grow and expand services, offering expanded daily flights to Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s Montana’s busiest airport with over 1.1 million passengers passing through it last year.

Mill Creek Ranch is the largest private land parcel available in the Big Sky area and is adjacent to Forest Service lands and wilderness. (MLS No. 205504) PHOTO COURTESY OF PEAK PHOTOGRAPHY

Big Sky real estate opportunities are abundant and diverse outside of the clubs, and is where a majority of the sales are taking place. People recognize that the bottom has come and gone in Big Sky and are they are taking the opportunity to trade up or acquire property that’s still reasonably and favorably priced. For example: You can still purchase a 20-acre tract in the greater Big Sky area—within a 10 minute drive from the Meadow or Mountain—for under $500,000.

You can buy a three-bedroom/three-bath, 2,500 plus or minus square-foot deluxe furnished condo for $650,000 (that’s $260 per square foot). On the higher end of the spectrum, you can buy a custom Meadow Village home, with sweeping views, for under $1.5 million. Buyers are comfortable with these values and are less concerned that they are buying illiquidity as the market continues to mature. Big Sky is performing as a community and people want to be part of it.

Looking ahead, we’re seeing a demographic shift in Big Sky. More and more people from New England, Texas, California and many other parts of the country are electing to move here or acquire a second home. Big Sky has an amazing community of people and real estate offerings. It truly is the last best place to live and invest.


Stacy and Eric Ossorio are brokers with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Mon- tana in Big Sky, and previously were brokers with Cushman & Wakefield of New York City. For more information, contact Stacy at (406) 539-8553 or, or Eric at (406) 539-9553 or

Joseph T. O'Connor is the previous Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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