By Kevin Wetherell- Clearwater Montana Properties, Inc.
Within the recreational/farm/ranch market in Montana, there is very little leveraged property. Most properties being bought over the past 10 years have been cash transactions and properties which are owned by historic Montana families remain relatively strong with limited debt. While we see people wanting to sell property in Montana, typically these sellers are wealthier and they tend to resist price decreases of a substantial degree. The Montana Legacy Project is purchasing 310,000 acres of land in western Montana from Plum Creek Timber Co. This will act to limit recreational land availability going forward as those lands are placed with the State, Forest Service and other entities. Following a 20-30% reduction of recreational /farm/ranch values since the highs achieved in 2006, the real estate market in Montana has begun stabilizing and there are some great value opportunities available. As we look back to the historical trends from 1985, one would expect that the Montana market will rebound rapidly once confidence is re-established and buyers begin aggressively buying the bottom. Recent buyers in our market have seen the opportunity created by the availability of special land ownerships that have previously been sought after at much higher values. These holdings are certainly worthy of your consideration for investment or for your personal recreational aspirations or the best combination is to get both!