Gallatin County has lead all Montana counties in economic growth in the past few years, according to a recent economic outlook presentation by the University of Montana. Already one of the fastest growing counties population wise, the county has seen growth in wages, tourism, manufacturing, energy and housing markets, suggesting a solid economic outlook for the county as a whole.
The county posted the highest real wage growth in the state from 2013 to 2014. Growing wages help all economic industries move in a positive direction because people have more ability to extend their checkbook into industries they may not have been a part of before.
For the housing industry, higher wages help push first time homebuyers over the edge into the buy side of the housing market as oppose to the rent side. The housing market in Gallatin County saw growth and has been projected to continue growing. 2014 real estate numbers confirm this growth.
However, the report showed the state may also be struggling with similar housing issues that Gallatin County has seen in the past. The lack of affordable houses and the lack of first time homebuyers in Montana continues to hold back the housing market from its fullest potential. Economists have been baffled by the lack of home purchases being made by the millennial generation throughout the US, though they have predicted a sharp rise in their presence on the housing market soon.
Gallatin County has struggled with a lack of home inventory and high rental prices due to the large influx of MSU students, creating a great situation for those already with homes or investment properties, but leaving little homes available for purchase. But on the positive side, sales have been steady and construction in the area has rebounded since 2008.
Tourism spending in the Gallatin County was nothing short of spectacular. The county made up nearly half of all non-resident dollars in the state, totaling more than 666 million dollars. Those numbers come from 2012 to 2013. Perhaps, Gallatin County's access to public lands has been the driving factor for the high tourism numbers. Yellowstone and the local state parks have both seen rises in attendance since then and a few new hotels have also moved into the area. As more people visit Montana, more of them will also stay in Montana—a positive omen for real estate in the Gallatin County.
Hart Real Estate Solutions