Renting in Bozeman: Renters Beware… Investors Prepare!

Bozeman is about history.


Bozeman is also about new life.



Both aspects are being revealed in Bozeman's Willson School. The large, historic building is being re-purposed to help solve an ongoing Bozeman dilemma, a lack of housing. The school has already started its metamorphosis into 18 loft-style and traditional condo spaces. READ MORE


Bozeman's housing problems have been a regular, nagging issue if you live here. It is getting out of hand. In 2012, a study was conducted with the purpose of assessing the housing needs of Bozeman. The study looked at Bozeman specific economic trends and past patterns to see what was needed to meet Bozeman’s needs in the future. Some of the largest take-aways from the study include but are not limited to:

  • Bozeman experienced exceptionally rapid growth in employment, households and its housing stock during the first decade of the 2000s, even considering a serious economic decline that began in 2007. The number of Bozeman residents at work declined from 2007-2010 but stabilized in 2011, although the local unemployment rate, at 6.1%, is near its 10year peak.
  • The number of households in Bozeman grew faster than the population in the 2000s, from 10,877 to 15,775[an exceptionally high 45% rate of growth [adding nearly 5,000 households. The disparity between population and household growth is somewhat due to a shrinking of household sizes. The average size of an owner-occupied household went from 2.43 to 2.32, while the average size of renter households shrunk from 2.13 to 2.06.
  • Bozeman has a lower median household income than Gallatin County, Montana or the nation (as measured by the Census, not HUD). Yet the median home value as measured by the 2010 Census was higher than the median home values nationwide, statewide in Montana, and in the comparison cities of Billings and Missoula.


Although the 2012 study was a snapshot of the market at that specific moment in time, may of the patterns they saw still persist today. A headline in the Chronicle only yesterday reads “Survey finds Bozeman's rental vacancy rate is ‘effectively zero'” This more recent survey of 44 properties with 2,554 total rental units in the city limits shows a vacancy rate of 0%. The number of applicants looking for rentals surpasses the amount of space available. If you have every sought affordable rental living in town, you know how much you have to hustle and grind to get a place.


We make it our personal and professional mission here at Bozeman Montana Real to educate and inform young adults about the marketing conditions here in Bozeman. We encourage them to look into investing in the purchase of a home because of the horrid experience Bozeman offers for renters. We attend MSU’s freshman family orientation (CATAPALOOZA) for that purpose alone. Renting does make sense for many people, but if you plan to be in the Gallatin Valley for an extended period of time, buying makes the most since. Bozeman is stunning. People will keep moving here because of the sheer gravitational pull the valley has on.



Heck, maybe you will even buy one of the new, historic condos within the old Willson School. 

Comment balloon 1 commentJenifer Lower • September 11 2014 12:50PM


Excellent blog Jenifer! Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend ahead!

Posted by Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR, Top Listing Broker (BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253) over 4 years ago