Building Costs Per Square Foot in the State of Montana, USA

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Montana 1217 Sweetgrass LN Livingstone MT59047 - 4 Beds and 3 Baths with 2 Attached Garages on Gross Floor Area 2,456 sqft - Built in 2022 - Price $599,000 (2)

Newly Built House in Montana 1217 Sweetgrass LN Livingstone MT59047 – 4 Beds and 3 Baths with 2 Attached Garages on Gross Floor Area 2,456 sqft – Built in 2022 – Price $599,000 (2)

Residential Construction Market Analysis in the State of Montana, USA

Building costs are 3% below the national average in the state of Montana, and equivalent to the states of Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon and Utah. Montana is one of the states that work best to graphically represent the western United States. It has a fantastic and imposing landscape, which was not fully explored, making it attractive for tourists and for people looking for a new life surrounded by nature.

The state has only a million residents and more wildlife than people, but Montana still offers small-town charm and opportunities to live in a place with a stable job market and higher levels of safety.

If you’re looking to relocate, buy property, or invest in the real estate market, then you shouldn’t rule out Montana. This state is constantly growing, attracting a large number of people from other states, so you have to be constantly looking at it.

In this article, we will focus on the real estate market in relation to residential construction, but keep in mind that there are also some tourist projects throughout the state being developed. Here we will deal with house prices, what types of construction there are, and what are the expected trends for the coming months.

Montana Construction Outlook

The Rocky Mountains criss-cross the state of Montana, and the state as a whole is home to uncharted wilderness and mineral wealth. However, this does not mean that people live in the middle of nature as if they were Tarzan.

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In the mountains, residential buildings are usually prepared to face the cold winter. Being so close to the mountains, the snow is usually intense, so it is necessary to be prepared to face them. In the first place, all the houses or apartments have good heating, or else it is practically impossible to bear the cold. In addition, they are usually houses built with bricks and cement to insulate more from the cold.

Billings is not the state capital but it is its largest city. It has tall and modern buildings, which differentiate it from the traditional constructions found in Helena, which is the capital city of Montana. In both cases, they are constructions prepared for a harsh winter, but in Helena, they preserve more traditional and classic architecture.

Montana Housing Market Analysis and Forecast

The real estate market in Montana is historically one of the cheapest in all of the United States, so the real estate crisis that is occurring in the country is not affecting it to a great extent.

In fact, there is a stable balance between the number of properties listed and the supply, so experts are optimistic about the future of the real estate market. During the past year and 2020, there was a drop in demand, but this changed during 2022. Billings, the largest city in Montana, is attracting more and more people due to its low unemployment, its affordability, and housing market boom.

Much of the strength in Montana’s real estate market has been driven by buyers from other states, from coastal states like California and Washington to Kentucky and Texas. Many move to the area because they have the flexibility to work remotely.

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As in many markets across the country, the number of homes for sale is low. There were 392 single-family homes in the Billings area in May, up from 433 in the same period a year earlier. However, with increased interest from out-of-state buyers, more homeowners are expected to put their homes up for sale. In addition, the real estate market in Montana usually sees its best moment during the summer, so you have to have an optimistic view of what is coming.

Montana Average House Price (Median Home Price)

The average value of a median home in Montana is $350,000, although this number can vary depending on where you are in the state. Remember that this number is an average of all the properties for sale, and houses with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a garage, and a small garden are usually taken into account as a parameter.

The median sales price for a single-family home in and around Billings was $376,248 in May, up 32% from a year earlier. Yellowstone, Missoula, and Flathead counties tend to have the largest variety of homes listed, but the average median home is worth more than $360,000.

Other smaller counties like Phillips, Granite, and Liberty offer cheaper prices, which are under $300,000, making them perfect for those on a tight budget.

In Montana, there are a lot of mobile homes or condominiums for sale, which also have the capacity to accommodate families of 4 people (it can vary according to the size in each case), and these can cost less than $200,000, so you only have to stay tuned and see the possibilities.

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There are other houses, maybe older (from the 70s or 80s) that sell for less than $200,000, but you should keep in mind that they probably need some type of renovation, be it the floors, the walls, the plumbing, etc.

Proposed Residential Building Projects in Montana

In the city of Billings, there are some real estate projects and buildings in the development. They are not the typical skyscrapers that you would see in a big city, but they are quite modern, especially if you compare them with the other constructions found in Montana.

In Helena, there are some condominium or multi-family housing projects being built. These attract people because they can get a good place to live but at a low price when compared to other single-family homes.

There are some tourism-related projects being developed, such as cabins or vacation homes, and they tend to have high values as there is a lot of demand. Some of these are luxury buildings and their sale value exceeds $700,000, which offsets the lower prices normally found in the state.

Montana 3856 Sprangletop LN Helena MT59602 - 4 Bed and 2 Baths with 3 Attached Garages on Gross Floor Area 2,220 sqft - Built in 2022 - Price $599,900

Newly Built House in Montana 3856 Sprangletop LN Helena MT59602 – 4 Bed and 2 Baths with 3 Attached Garages on Gross Floor Area 2,220 sqft – Built in 2022 – Price $599,900

Building Costs Per Square Foot for Single Family Homes in the State of Montana, USA

Building costs are 3% below the national average in the state of Montana, and equivalent to the states of Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon and Utah.

Class 1 – Luxury Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for luxury private homes in Montana ranges from $334.54 per sqft to $512.84 per sqft, with the average being $394.81 per sqft. As the bar chart shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

Class 2 – Semi Luxury Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for semi-luxury private homes in Montana ranges from $203.32 per sqft to $311.66 per sqft, with the average being $239.94 per sqft. As the bar chart shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

Class 3 – Best Standard Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for best-standard private homes in Montana ranges from $131.44 per sqft to $199.64 per sqft, with the average being $153.88 per sqft. As the bar chart shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

Class 4 – Good Standard Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for good-standard private homes in Montana ranges from $95.92 per sqft to $147.10 per sqft, with the average being $113.21 per sqft. As the bar graph shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

Class 5 – Average Standard Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for average-standard private homes in Montana ranges from $77.86 per sqft to $119.24 per sqft, with the average being $91.81 per sqft. As the bar graph shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

Class 6 – Minimum Standard Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for minimum-standard private homes in Montana ranges from $61.41 per sqft to $94.13 per sqft, with the average being $72.44 per sqft. As the bar graph shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

List of 9 Metropolitan Areas/Cities in Montana – Percentage Deviation of the City/Town Building Cost from the National Average ($X), in Descending Order:

There are 360 municipalities grouped into 56 counties in the state of Montana. The bar chart below indicates that building costs vary in each metro city/town. The construction cost per square foot in each of these metropolitan cities varies from the state and national average by a certain percentage based on the location factor also known as the local modifier.

The percentage deviation of building costs from the National Average for each metropolitan area in Montana is shown below.

If $X is the Average National Building Cost in the USA, then it will cost the following to build a residential property in each metro city/town in Montana:

Montana Average -3% (3% less than X)

  • Havre 595 -9%
  • Miles City 593 -7%
  • Great Falls 594 -6%
  • Kalispell 599 -6%
  • Missoula 598 -6%
  • Montana Average -3%
  • Butte 597 -3%
  • Billings 590-591 -2%
  • Helena 596 -2%
  • Fairview 592 12%

The Metropolitan Area List above as well as the Bar Graphs below shows that Havre is the cheapest city to build a private home in the state of Montana, and Fairview is the most expensive city to build a home. Building costs are -9% below the national average in the city of Adrian.  Property developers will pay 12% above the national average to build a house in the city of Fairview.

Cheapest Places To Build in Montana:

Havre is the cheapest to place to build at -9% below the national average, followed by Miles City at -7%. The third cheapest places to build are Great Falls, Kalispell and Missoula at -6% below the national average. The fourth cheapest cities to build a house is Butte City at -3% below the national average, followed by Billings and Helena City at -2% below the national average.

Expensive Places To Build in Montana:

If anything between 5% and 10% is considered expensive, then there is no such metropolitan area in the state of Montana.

More Expensive Places To Build in Montana:

If anything between 10% and 15% is considered more expensive, then there is one such metropolitan area in the state of Montana. Building costs in the City of Fairview are 12% above the US average.

Very Expensive Places To Build in Montana

The most expensive places to build a house in the USA are those 15% above the national average. There are no such places in Montana.

Montana State Average Costs:

Private home building costs in the state of Montana are -3% below the US average. Building cost rates in the metropolitan areas of Billings and Helena are closer to the Montana state average by a deviation of 1%. Construction costs in the city of Butte are equivalent to the state average. Fairview is the most expensive city to build a home in Montana, and the state of Montana is number 20 on the national ascending costs scale.


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