You have been looking to escape the city since 2020. Riots, looting, sickness; all have made it easier than ever to flee to a “zoom town.” My Super States have become popular destinations for many Americans who thought they’d spend the rest of their lives in big blue blob cities.
As evidence of just how eager Americans are to get away from urban dangers and out into the great wide open, Billings, Montana has topped the WSJ/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index. Nicole Friedman reports:
Billings, the biggest city in Montana, rose from the fourth spot to the first due to its low unemployment, affordability and booming housing market. With a metro-area population of about 184,000, Billings had a 3% unemployment rate in May, or about half the national rate.
Much of the strength in the Billings housing market has been driven by out-of-state buyers—from coastal states like California and Washington to Kentucky and Texas, said Deb Parker, broker owner of Parker & Co. Real Estate Services in Billings. Many move to the area because they have the flexibility to work remotely, she said.
“I believe Montana’s truly been discovered,” Ms. Parker said. “I’ve never seen so much cash in our market.”
About 65% of page views on Billings property listings came from outside the metro area in the second quarter, up from about 57% a year earlier, according to Realtor.com.
News Corp, parent of The Wall Street Journal, operates Realtor.com.
Billings, surrounded by multiple mountain ranges, was founded as a 19th-century railroad town. Today, new residents are drawn to the area’s hiking trails and other outdoor activities. Yet unlike some smaller U.S. cities, where second-home buyers have played a notable role moving in and boosting housing prices, about 3% of Billings homes are vacation properties, according to Realtor.com.
Billings is one of those places where you can live like a billionaire. Its location at the intersection of two of America’s growth corridors, the Intermountain West, and the Great Plains, make Billings a prime location for starting a business or raising a family.
Action Line: If you haven’t already, it may be time to look for a better America.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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