State Housing Market Fares Better Than Most

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The director of the Montana Department of Revenue says wise mortgage decisions and a relatively strong economy have largely kept the state’s housing market above national turmoil.

Dan Bucks says the agency is intensely focused on the issue as it prepares for a statewide reappraisal of property taxes.

Lawmakers are worried that the agency will not adequately take into account the effects of a housing market downturn.

Bucks says the agency is preparing a report on the issue, and will have final data available later this year.

He says they have yet to find evidence that Montana was hit hard by the nationwide downturn of housing prices. He says the mortgage industry in Montana mostly stayed away from subprime loans that caused problems elsewhere.

Federal data shows that Montana housing prices went up slightly over the past year — while most other places saw a slight decrease.