The Stratification Of Missoula’s Housing Market

by William Skink

What will Missoula look like in 10 years? Will we become the inland utopia for those fleeing failed western states? And where will all those people live? Because Missoula is a desirable location, now more than ever, our vacancy rates in the rental market continue to drop:

Published by Sterling CRE Advisors, the report found that vacancy rates in Missoula fell from 4.1% in the second quarter of 2020 to 1.2% in the third quarter. Only 115 new units have been delivered this year, though an additional 72 units are expected to open by year’s end.

If Missoula reflects national trends, then the single family homes that will be built will be bigger and the apartments will be smaller:

In the market for single-family homes, the average unit size increased over the course of the decade, perhaps reflecting the growing economic inequality endemic to the American middle class.

Meanwhile, the average apartment constructed during this period shrunk by a staggering 90 square feet, a surprisingly large sum when one considers how many New Yorkers live in 500 square foot studio apartments.

In Missoula a desirable place to be is by the river that runs through our idyllic town. What kind of development will the riverfront see in the coming years? Greg Strandberg at Big Sky Words has a post worth checking out, titled The Sleepy Inn: A Developer’s Wet Dream. With some helpful images, Strandberg speculates on the development that could ensue as the city buys up parcels of property for future development.

Just east of the downtown core, another prime piece of real estate was recently valued, that of the Missoulian building.

The area where the Missoulian building is located is just west of another controversial development project, the 4th street condos that got approved by council earlier this year. Here is KPAX in January reporting on the council’s ultimate decision to vacate their rights and greenlight this condo project:

The debate over a controversial condominium proposal that we have been following since October finally came to an end on Monday night. The Missoula City Council voted to approve the rezoning of a property in the University District and also to vacate the right of way along South Fourth Street East.

After months of debate, the decision is final — a 48-unit upscale condominium project will eventually replace the historic brick buildings that currently call Fourth Street home.

The need for more housing and the housing that is being built will continue to transform Missoula into a socio-economically stratified community of elitist homeowners and sardine can renters paying more money for less space in order to live in our little mountain town utopia. Even if our illuminated braintrust wanted to change this trend, there is not enough subsidies in the world to keep pace with the financial shenanigans of central bankers. So I guess it’s just full steam ahead until the collapse.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply