3 Housing Options Sure to Be a Hit in Missoula and Bozeman

3 Housing Options Sure to Be a Hit in Missoula and Bozeman

Maggie Collister works with the Sterling Advisory Services team to provide feasibility and market studies for residential housing and commercial real estate across Montana. Email Maggie to learn more about how the Sterling Advisory Services team can help you

Sterling Advisory Services spends a lot of time looking at the housing markets across Montana including Bozeman and Missoula. Preparing market and feasibility studies requires forward thinking. In this weeks post, the team looks at how demographics will drive the best housing types to bring to market in the next decade.

If you take a look at the housing developments in Missoula and Bozeman, you’ll notice that there’s a significant focus on building multifamily garden-style apartments. Many of these upcoming units are smaller walk-up apartments.  

These new housing units are crucial for the housing markets that experienced a sharp decline in vacancy rates, dropping below 1% in 2021 and 2022. They play a vital role in stabilizing an unbalanced housing market and providing more people with an opportunity to settle down in Montana.

However, it’s important to recognize that smaller walk-up apartments only meet the needs of a specific segment of the market. They are a great choice for young people, singles, and couples who prefer alternatives to larger homes. But for new moms who have to juggle an infant and groceries, or for empty nesters recovering from hip surgery, living on the third floor of a walk-up apartment isn’t practical. Families with children may also require more space than what a two-bedroom apartment can offer.

Demographic trends in Missoula and Bozeman indicate an increase in the number of elderly and middle-aged residents. Additionally, Bozeman is expected to experience a baby boom in the next ten years.

To address the needs of this evolving population, it’s essential to introduce a wider range of housing options. With that in mind, the Sterling Advisory Services team has identified three housing alternatives they believe will effectively meet these needs:




Build-to-rent communities offer a variety of housing types typically only available for-sale, like single-family homes and townhouses, all designed to be rented rather than purchased. Missoula Lofts and Grange at Urban + Farm in Bozeman are two examples located in Montana.

Why they make sense? Rentals are no longer just for young singles. Increasingly, families and older adults are renting by choice or necessity. They prefer more space than traditional apartments offer.

With an aging population and the rising cost of housing, multigenerational homes have become a popular option for families. These homes are designed to accommodate multiple generations, with separate living areas and often separate entrances.

A smart choice because… They can be more affordable than purchasing separate homes and can offer the benefits of shared caregiving. They can also be offered as short-term rentals, providing additional income to the homeowner.

As the population ages, accessible housing becomes increasingly important for independent living. Homes with first-floor master bedrooms, easily adjacent to community services, elevators in apartments and condominiums, and community lawn maintenance are some features that can help serve older residents.

Whats the appeal? Older adults want to remain independent. Having housing that is accessible and conveniently located helps them stay independent as long as possible.

For a more detailed report on the housing outlook in Missoula and Bozeman, we encourage you to download our complete report.