BILLINGS - Billings area Real Estate continues to be red hot, surpassing one billion dollars in total sales for the first time last year. Ninety-two percent of homes listed sold - many in a matter of hours of coming onto the market.
“A home that has any quality of location to it, people will jump on it and there will be multiple offers,” says Dennis Cook, the incoming president of the Billings Association of Realtors.
Homes with for sale signs are few and far between in Billings, and often gone in the blink of an eye. Inventories continue to be low with demand high. Many of those wanting to buy are seeking to come to Montana from other states.
“They want to get away from the big city life. They want a better environment to raise their family in and Billings certain provides that,” says Cook.
And that is just one of the reasons why home prices are skyrocketing.
The average sales price for a home in Billings in 2005 was about $162,000. It jumped to $200,000 in 2010, to $238,000 in 2015, and in the last three years went from $273,000 to $292,000 and then catapulted all the way to $351,000 in 2021.
“We’re seeing 20 to 25% jump. It’s kind of mind-boggling, especially if you have been in the business a long time,” says Cook, who has been selling homes for the last two decades in Billings.
It is certainly good news for anyone who needs to or is willing to sell, but it also presents a dilemma for some who do.
“They want to sell. There’s no question about that, but then they ask the next question: 'Where am I going to go because the replace costs are high?'” says Cook.
Cook says that could change if the market softens, but with interest rates still low, demand, and construction of new homes running behind, look for 2022 to remain a sellers’ market in Billings.
“Eventually it’s going to change, it's going to peak, but it is going to be a gradual process,” Cook says.