Recent News

How donations in Bozeman’s mayoral race break down — the center and the fringe

An addendum here to the routine campaign finance article I put together yesterday on Bozeman’s pending city commission election (published last night online and in print today):

Since the state campaign financial filings include address data for each donor, I figured I’d take a shot at mapping them to get a sense for where in town the respective supporters of mayoral candidates Cyndy Andrus and Brett Potter tend to live.

Bozeman 2015 mayoral campaign still
Reported addresses of donors to the campaigns of 2015 mayoral candidates Cyndy Andrus (orange) and Brett Potter (blue).
By Eric Dietrich Chronicle Staff Writer
I was a bit surprised, actually, at how striking the resulting pattern is:

To generalize a bit, it looks like Andrus’ supporters are concentrated heavily in Bozeman’s older neighborhoods, especially the historic neighborhoods between downtown and MSU’s campus. Potter’s donors, in contrast, look like they’re far more spread out, tending to live in newer subdivisions around […]

Economic data, report show positive trends in Gallatin County

Gallatin County ranks first in the state in overall economic investment, according to a recent report.

The report, published by New York-based financial tech company SmartAsset, evaluated counties based on several factors — including GDP growth, new building permits and municipal bonds — to create an aggregate score showing overall economic investment.

On a scale of zero to 100, Gallatin County scored 52.15 on the organization’s Incoming Investment Index, just beating out Madison County, which scored 52.08. Park County ranked 15th out of 56 counties in the state with a score of 24.

Gallatin also ranked first in the state in the number of new building permits, issuing just over 18 permits per every 1,000 homes. The county came second in GDP growth — adding $439 million between 2010 and 2013 — behind Yellowstone County, which added $501 million. Overall, Gallatin County ranked 63rd in the country for Incoming Investment Index.

The organization’s methodology […]

Bozeman Montana Airport Surpasses 1 Million Visitors

The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport surpassed 1 million total passengers over a 12 month period. From September 2014 to 2015, 1,000,483 passengers either boarded or exited a plane in Bozeman.

The airport saw a 4.4% increase compared to September 2013 to 2014 numbers.

In 2014, Bozeman had the busiest Montana airport, despite not having the highest population. The proximity of nearby attractions has really helped boost Bozeman’s tourism and economy.

In order to better host their rising totals, the airport has drafted plans to expand the airport in the next 5 to 10 years. The airport would like to add a second paved runway, expand the terminal, add a new parking garage and add a new de-icing area.

The airport and Bozeman both help each other and grow with each other. The airport attracts people, allowing Bozeman to sell itself, but oftentimes these visitors return again or sometimes become permanent residents. Once the airport […]

Builder Confidence Continues to Rise

Builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes continued its steady rise in September with a one point increase to a level of 62 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It is the highest reading since October 2005.

“The HMI shows that single-family housing is making solid progress, said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. “However, our members continue to tell us that they are concerned about the availability of lots and labor.”

“NAHB is projecting about 1.1 million total housing starts this year,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Today’s report is consistent with our forecast, and barring any unexpected jolts, we expect housing to keep moving forward at a steady, modest rate through the end of the year.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges […]

Sales of Existing Homes to First-Time Buyers Rise

Existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), rose to the highest pace in six years in May. The report was also notable due to an increase in purchases by first-time buyers, which rose to the highest share experienced since September 2012.

The May pace of existing home sales (5.35 million on seasonally adjusted annual basis) was 5.1% higher than the prior month and 9.2% higher than the rate set during May of 2014. Sales of single-family homes were up 5.6% for the month, reaching a 4.73 million annual rate.


The first-time buyer share increased to 32% in May, up from 30% in April. NAR reported that first-time buyer share reached its highest level since September 2012. This increase is consistent with prior analysis of Fannie Mae data illustrating that the share of mortgage originations to first-time home buyers is expected to rise in 2015.

Regionally, existing home sales […]

Green Building Trends for 2015

Green homebuilding is no longer a fad, it is becoming more and more main stream every day. Here are some of the hot simple trends to incorporate into home design.

Affordable green homes: No longer is “green” synonymous with “elite.” As green features become more in demand and more commonplace, builders and designers are starting to incorporate them even into moderately priced homes. Expect this trend to continue in 2015 and beyond. Look out especially for growth in the number of modular, pre-designed green and energy efficient homes, as well as green energy retrofits of existing homes. The future of green homes

The numbers are in, and green homes continue to enjoy phenomenal growth. According to McGraw-Hill’s recent report, Green Multifamily & Single Family Homes: Growth in a Recovering Market, 73 percent of single-family builders and 68 percent of multifamily builders report that consumers are willing to pay more […]

Working with SWMBIA since 2007

The Southwest Montana Building Industry Association (SWMBIA) is a Bozeman-based trade association representing over 10,000 residential home building and remodeling industry members. As Montana and the Gallatin Valley continue to grow, working families are finding it more difficult to buy or rent a home. SWMBIA strives to create an environment where all Montanans have access to affordable housing. We are concerned professionals working with pride and integrity to provide the ‘American Dream’ of homeownership for everyone. It is our desire to help everyone in Southwest Montana achieve this goal.