Bozeman Real Estate Market Report July 2021

Tim Ford

By now, most people in the Gallatin Valley have heard that the real estate market is really hot. Many have heard about the multiple offers and the cash buyers coming from out of state. Just how many cash buyers are there in our market?

Looking at cash-only transactions for sales of single-family homes in all of Bozeman between January 1st and June 1st: In 2018, 102 out of 386 sales, or 26.4% were cash purchases. Until this year, that was the largest percentage I’ve seen since I’ve started tracking this number. In 2019, the percentage dipped just a bit to 25.7%, or 88 out of the 343 sales. Last year, it was even lower at 62 of 311 sales, or just shy of 20%. This year, it’s up the highest I’ve seen it at 103 of 341 sales; just over 30% of single-family home sales during this time period were all cash purchases.

In the past, even though the percentage moved slightly up and down over the years, it was generally fairly consistent. In 2015, 85 of the 371 sales during the first 5 months were cash, or 22.9%. In 2014, it was 70 of the 318 sales, or 22% and in 2013, 61 of the 276 sales, or 22.1% were cash purchases.

The downtown area, which often attracts a lot of out-of-state buyers, has one of the higher percentages of cash-only transactions. Looking at the time period of January 1st through June 1st - In 2019, 18 of the 56 homes sold were purchased with cash, roughly 32%. Last year, that number was up to 39%, or 20 of 51 homes sold. This year again it’s the highest I’ve seen it, at 22 of 50 homes, or 44% of downtown home sales were all-cash purchases.

Drilling down a little deeper and looking at downtown condos; in 2018, 16 out of 33 sales, or 48% were cash purchases. In 2019, 12 out of 33, or 36% were cash purchases. Last year, 37.5%, or 9 of the 24 condos sold were purchased with cash. This year, its actually down slightly as 33%, or 10 of the 30 condos sold in the first 5 months were cash purchases.

Buyers who don’t have cash and end up in multiple offer situations can still try to be competitive. At the end of the day, most people still prefer more money in their pocket, so there’s a good chance that a higher offer with financing could beat out a lower offer with cash, but not always. We’re also seeing more sellers paying attention to appraisal and financing contingencies as buyers are getting creative. Buyers should closely analyze their contingencies and all the terms of their offer to try to make it as attractive as possible.

As usual, I have included data for the number of single-family homes sold during the first five months of 2021. In addition to the 341 single-family homes sold during this time period, another 156 home sales are currently pending as of the date of writing.
The included data reflects sales of homes in the greater Bozeman area, including Four Corners, Gallatin Gateway, Bridger Canyon, and Bozeman city limits. The data includes home sales reported through the local Big Sky Country MLS, and does not include private party sales, condominiums, or townhouses.

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