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Are Short Commutes Behind the Montana Population Boom?

National Association of Home Builders Notes Housing Boom in Areas with Short Drive Times 

We’ve all heard about nightmarish commute times, with some folks clocking hours a day behind the wheel or on a train to get to work. Palmdale, California came in with the longest commute times at 85 minutes, followed closely by other coastal areas.

Mostly, Montanans are sheltered from excessive commutes. Missoula and Bozeman drivers are, on average, behind the wheel for less than 15 minutes. That’s ten minutes less than the national average, and world of difference from the hour-plus drives of folks in NYC and Chicago. 

Montana Traffic Jam

Are the shorter drive times propelling part of the Montana  population growth? Maybe. According to the National Association of Home Builders, “home building across the nation expanded the fastest in places with the shortest commute times.” The NAHB defined short as less than 18 minutes. 

But the NAHB also makes the point that shorter commutes correlate to smaller metro core and rural markets. Those are also the markets where big-city amenities (robust public transit, national sports arenas, high-end shopping) are likely absent. While short commutes might not be the driving factor in the decision to move to Montana, it is part of the high quality of life that drawing many to our shores.

The population in Montana will keep increasing – but will that mean longer commutes?

For more insight on Montana’s markets and the factors influencing these places, contact Connor McMahon.

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