It’s not an urban myth that the demand for Montana real estate is so hot right now that both in and out of state buyers are making offers on homes sight unseen, due to the law of supply and demand.

President of the Missoula Organization of Realtors, D.J. Smith said demand for homes in western Montana is high and due to the COVID pandemic, supply of homes is low leading to heightened demand.

“We generally do have trends where we have a lot of people interested in Montana and we’re definitely seeing that,” said Smith. “In regards to the sight-unseen offers, with COVID and the virtual showings that realtors are doing now, it’s getting more and more common to see sight-unseen offers. Some of those offers are from within the state and some are from without the state.”

Smith said out of state buyers are captivated by Montana’s beauty and the sense of space.

“What they see online and what they see when they get here is the beauty that Montana has and the separation and the ability to just be in your own place away from other people,” he said. “Definitely, there’s the intrigue of that seclusion that Montana offers, but also the people Montana are also an attractant.”

Smith explained the dynamic of sudden increased demand combined with a dramatic loss of inventory due to COVID 19.

“We saw the most interesting trend,” he said. “The influx and when we saw the (COVID) cases increase, we saw a direct correlation with new listing demands on the market and we saw a huge decrease on active homes going on the market. Obviously, during the pandemic people want to love in their homes and they don’t want to sell and then purchase, so we actually saw a decrease in overall inventory. That is a trend that I can definitely speak towards and that’s the lack of inventory is definitely pushing up that median home price."

“I can tell you right now that realtors are scratching their heads trying to find homes to sell. And that’s why when we see new homes go on the market you’re definitely seeing multiple offers, and aggressive offers at that.”

Smith said the new median price of a home in Missoula is over $340,000.