Top 5 Residential Real Estate Investment Markets in Montana

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By Trent Seigfried Updated June 3, 2024
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Edited by Michael Yessis

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Cut Bank is home to the best residential real estate investment market in Montana.

The 59427 zip code in Cut Bank presents the greatest opportunity for investors among the 188 individual real estate markets in Montana we evaluated. We looked at property values, population trends, and six other metrics for each market. We used that data to calculate each market's InvestScore.

Top 5 Montana residential real estate markets

RankCity InvestScore Affordability Property value appreciation
1Cut Bank1003.772.39%
2Anaconda91.15.9107.37%
3Deer Lodge88.14.783.88%
4Laurel87.94.554.08%
5Butte874.784.38%
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1. Cut Bank

We've identified the 59427 zip code in Cut Bank as Montana's best real estate investment market. Here's why.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Cut Bank

Data pointValueRank in state (of 188 markets)
Zip code59427N/A
InvestScore 100Highest
Typical property value $170,553[1]2nd lowest
Five-year appreciation 72.39%[2]22nd highest
Household income $45,929[3]45th highest
Affordability ratio 3.72nd most affordable
Five-year population growth 8.6%[4]16th highest
Unemployment rate 2.9%[5]15th lowest
Property taxes $1,341[6]2nd lowest
Educational attainment 16.3%[7]44th highest
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Cut Bank (zip code 59427) is the best residential real estate investment market in Montana. It has the 22nd highest property value appreciation among markets we evaluated, with a 72.39% appreciation of the typical property over the last five years.

Cut Bank is the 2nd most affordable market among the 188 Montana markets we evaluated, with an affordability ratio of 3.7.

2. Anaconda

The 59711 zip code in Anaconda is Montana's second-best residential real estate investment market.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Anaconda

Data pointValueRank in state (of 188 markets)
Zip code59711N/A
InvestScore 91.12nd highest
Typical property value $280,743[8]12th lowest
Five-year appreciation 107.37%[9]3rd highest
Household income $47,265[10]43rd highest
Affordability ratio 5.923rd most affordable
Five-year population growth 5.4%[11]21st highest
Unemployment rate 3.8%[12]25th lowest
Property taxes $1,606[13]6th lowest
Educational attainment 21.3%[14]40th highest
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The 59711 zip code in Anaconda features a typical property value of $280,743, the 12th lowest in the state.

Property values have appreciated 107.37% over the past five years, the 3rd highest increase among evaluated markets in the state. Anaconda homes have an affordability ratio of 5.9, the 23rd most affordable in the state.

3. Deer Lodge

The 59722 zip code in Deer Lodge comes in at No. 3 in our ranking of residential real estate investment markets in Montana.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Deer Lodge

Data pointValueRank in state (of 188 markets)
Zip code59722N/A
InvestScore 88.13rd highest
Typical property value $268,725[15]10th lowest
Five-year appreciation 83.88%[16]12th highest
Household income $57,522[17]32nd highest
Affordability ratio 4.711th most affordable
Five-year population growth -0.2%[18]33rd highest
Unemployment rate 4.7%[19]34th lowest
Property taxes $1,719[20]8th lowest
Educational attainment 16.6%[21]43rd highest
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With a typical property value of $268,725, Deer Lodge's 59722 zip code features the 10th lowest property values in the state.

Deer Lodge homes have an affordability ratio of 4.7, the 11th most affordable among the markets we evaluated.

4. Laurel

The 59044 zip code in Laurel ranks No. 4 among Montana's residential real estate investment markets.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Laurel

Data pointValueRank in state (of 188 markets)
Zip code59044N/A
InvestScore 87.94th highest
Typical property value $375,530[22]20th lowest
Five-year appreciation 54.08%[23]40th highest
Household income $83,687[24]40th highest
Affordability ratio 4.57th most affordable
Five-year population growth 11.3%[25]12th highest
Unemployment rate 1.7%[26]4th lowest
Property taxes $2,112[27]18th lowest
Educational attainment 23.7%[28]38th highest
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Property values in Laurel's 59044 zip code have seen the 40th highest increase among evaluated markets in the state, with an appreciation of 54.08% over the past five years.

Laurel's affordability ratio of 4.5 makes it the 7th most affordable among the 188 markets we evaluated.

5. Butte

The 59701 zip code in Butte rounds out our top five residential real estate investment markets in Montana.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Butte

Data pointValueRank in state (of 188 markets)
Zip code59701N/A
InvestScore 875th highest
Typical property value $263,793[29]9th lowest
Five-year appreciation 84.38%[30]11th highest
Household income $55,818[31]11th highest
Affordability ratio 4.712th most affordable
Five-year population growth 1.6%[32]28th highest
Unemployment rate 4.7%[33]34th lowest
Property taxes $2,156[34]21st lowest
Educational attainment 27.2%[35]31st highest
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Property values in Butte's 59701 zip code rose 84.38% over the last five years, ranking the city 11th highest among evaluated markets in Montana.

Butte homes have an affordability ratio of 4.7, the 12th most affordable among the markets we evaluated.

How we rank residential real estate markets in Montana

We evaluated 188 markets on eight metrics, and then assigned an InvestScore based on their weighted and combined rankings. Each market corresponds to a specific zip code in Montana.

What is InvestScore?

InvestScore is a score on a scale of 0 (worst in state) to 100 (best in state) that estimates the residential real estate investment potential of a given market. It takes into account a suite of key data points for each city.

  • Typical property value: This measures the typical home value in this zip code, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. It reflects the typical value for homes in the 35th to 65th percentile range, including all homes, with the numbers smoothed and seasonally adjusted. We prefer lower property values, which indicate both more room for growth and a greater ease of purchase. We assign a weight of 20% to typical property values.
  • Property value appreciation: This measures how much property values have increased in the area over the past five years, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. We prefer a higher appreciation, as it indicates better returns on housing. However, past performance isn't indicative of future results. We assign a weight of 20% to property value appreciation.
  • Median household income: This is the inflation-adjusted median household income in the zip code, according to U.S. Census American Community Survey data. We prefer a higher household income, as it indicates local residents have more income to spend on housing. We assign a weight of 10% to median household income.
  • Affordability ratio: This is the ratio of the typical home value to the median household income in the area. A lower ratio is better because it means more households can afford a home, which indicates higher demand. We assign a weight of 15% to the affordability ratio.
  • Population growth: This is how much the area's population has grown over the past five years, according to U.S. Census estimates. Higher is better, as it indicates residents are moving into the area at a rapid clip. We assign a weight of 10% to population growth.
  • Unemployment rate: This is the unemployment rate in the area, according to U.S. Census data. We prefer a lower rate, as it indicates the availability of steady employment in the area, meaning residents will find it much easier to afford homes. We assign a weight of 15% to unemployment rate.
  • Property tax: This is the median real estate property tax paid in the area, according to U.S. Census estimates. We assign a weight of 10% to property tax.
  • Educational attainment: This is the percentage of residents in the area that have obtained a bachelor's degree or better, according to U.S. Census estimates. We prefer a higher rate because it indicates  local residents who have higher earning potential and thus should be able to afford homes. We assign a weight of 15% to educational attainment.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article isn't intended as, and shall not be understood or constituted as, financial advice. The information in this article isn't a substitute for financial advice from an investment professional or real estate agent who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your financial situation or the specifics of any individual property.

Article Sources

[1] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[2] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[7] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[8] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[9] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[14] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[15] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[16] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[21] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[22] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[23] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[28] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[29] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[30] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[35] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.

Authors & Editorial History

Our experts continually research, evaluate, and monitor real estate companies and industry trends. We update our articles when new information becomes available.

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