When coronavirus first hit the U.S, real estate activity in our market came to a near standstill. None of us could predict how long this would last, or how it would affect our local real estate market, but we braced ourselves for the worst. While we still don’t know what the long-term economic effects of coronavirus will be, what we do know now is that here in Bozeman home prices have not gone down.
When schools, restaurants, and businesses started closing and grocery store shelves emptied out, many homeowners decided not to put their homes on the market and many buyers put their search on hold. Our website traffic decreased for the first time ever, and requests for information about moving to Bozeman halted.
But at the beginning of May, things started to pick up again. Homes started coming on the market and buyers were there to snatch them up quickly. We saw the number of new listings on the market increase 71% between April and May while pending sales increased 72%. The average number of days a home spent on the market decreased to 19 days, compared to 25 the year before.
Not only have single-family home prices in Bozeman not gone down, they have increased 5% since the beginning of the year. As of July 2020, the median sale price of a single-family home in Bozeman was $515,000, the highest it has ever been. Condo and townhome prices have not increased quite as drastically. The median price of a condo in Bozeman has stayed steady for the past 6 months, and the median price of a townhome actually decreased slightly last month. In total, the median price of a home in Bozeman is $433,952, a 2% increase since the beginning of the year.
The number of homes sold in Bozeman increased 84% in two months, going from 94 in April to 172 in June. While that type of spike is fairly typical this time of year, we have seen other indications that suggest that the coronavirus is resulting in increased activity in our local real estate market.
Not only did our website traffic pick back up, it increased 45% compared to the previous year. We started to see a spike in traffic from people in California, Idaho, Utah, Washington and Texas among others, and our posts Living in Bozeman: The Good and the Bad, How Much do Homes Cost in Bozeman, Who is Moving to Bozeman as well as our Moving to Bozeman page saw a spike in views as well.
While much of this activity can be attributed to the pent-up demand that built while the world was at a standstill, there are a few other factors. Mortgage rates are at an all-time low, enticing home buyers to make their home purchases now. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications are 18% higher than they were last year. After being on lockdown for weeks, people are also reevaluating where they call home. Many have a new need for space, including larger living areas, home offices, and outdoor living spaces.
On top of all this, urban areas are being hit hard by the coronavirus which is causing many people to move away from cities and into areas with less density. Bozeman has long been a destination for those looking for space, and with more than 20 direct flights to and from major metropolitan areas, it is an easy destination for those looking to escape the urban lifestyle.
Only time will tell what long term affects coronavirus will have on Bozeman’s real estate market. But the immediate impact is clear, demand for a home in Bozeman is rising and as a result, so are the prices.
*all home price data provided by the Gallatin Association of REALTORS.