The Missoula Organization of Realtors recently released its 2019 Housing Report. Brint Wahlberg is the Chair of the report and he says Missoula’s median sales price for homes reached an all-time high. The median sales price is now $290,000 and that is about an 8% increase compared to last year. Wahlberg says the median household income went up as well, but it’s still far below what it costs to afford the average home.

“Rise in median wages came from home owners who saw a 17.5% increase in median income,” Wahlberg said. “Renters actually saw a 4.1% decrease. 50% of the Missoula city limits population rent their home. Half of those living in Missoula city limits actually saw a median income decrease and half saw a gain.”

From about 2007 to 2013, Wahlberg says Missoula was not building enough homes to keep up with the influx of the population.

“You can scramble and try to build, but you can’t build a house overnight and provide a lot of housing opportunities,” Wahlberg said. “The cost to build keeps going up and up and up too. The ability to build affordable housing that people can own, rather than just rent, becomes more and more of a challenge.”

According to Wahlberg, the Housing Authority had reported that essentially no new affordable housing units were added to their stock last year, but that is likely to change this year.

“They have a handful on par for this year, but they are looking forward to about two years from now,” Wahlberg said. “They will be completing a two hundred-unit affordable housing complex. I believe it will be the largest in the state in terms of the single scope project. They have noticed a couple signs of concern. Their waitlists for housing assistance are continuing to grow.”

Wahlberg believes this housing trend will continue over the next few years, but he is hopeful that the numbers will improve as time progresses.