Every time I read another report like the one I'm about to share with you, I cringe a little bit. Not because I don't think Billings is pretty awesome - it is - but because it's yet another article that will likely bring even more people to Montana. This time, the Magic City in the spotlight.

Photo: Michael Foth ~ Townsquare Media Billings

Realtor.com just released their 'New Top Real Estate Markets of 2021' list and Billings came in at #4, edging out other top-ten cities like Spokane, Reno and Santa Cruz. See the full list here. Part of me is proud that Billings made the list. Yay for us, right? But I'm mostly nervous. Nervous that the extra attention on Billings will bring an additional squeeze on the already tight real estate market.

Michael Foth ~ Townsquare Media Billings

Billings housing, until recently, has traditionally been relatively steady. Home values generally increased a small percentage every year. Then 2020 happened and everything went nuts. Realtor.com says Americans are likely to continue to leave urban areas in 2021, seeking places that offer outdoor recreation, easy commutes and cheaper (comparatively) housing. Billings fits the bill.

Credit: Gary Tognoni, Getty Images

We've all heard about Bozeman's insane property values and my fingers are crossed that Billings doesn't follow suit. Affordable housing can be a challenge for many homebuyers during "normal" real estate years. It becomes nearly impossible when these bubbles hit. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like it's about to pop anytime soon.

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Disclosure: When I'm not doing my thing here at Townsquare Media, I am a licensed Realtor in Montana. So before you fire off a nasty-gram comment about "those greedy Realtors" ruining everything, let me assure you that I'm not a fan of hyperinflated housing prices. It really hurts locals, especially first time home buyers.

Credit: Kevin Snow, Humboldt Realty via Realtor.com

How about everybody moves to the Midwest instead? The 4 bed, 2 bath house pictured above can be yours for just $79,900. That's not a typo. A 1,700 sq. foot house for under $80,000. Yes, it could use some updates, but still... $80K FOR A HOUSE!!!  See the listing here. It's located in northern Iowa, where I hear the winters are fantastic.

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