Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - According to a national relocation tech company, moveBuddha, Montana was the number one target location for Americans to relocate during the two pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.

KGVO News spoke to moveBuddha’s Content Marketing Specialist Mercedes Martinez, who said the mass exodus of people from heavily populated states like New York and California was primarily focused on the wide open spaces of Montana.

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“People were just fleeing the more crowded states as much as they possibly could,” began Martinez. “We saw a huge exodus from California and New York, which is still continuing to this day, but Montana in particular, out of all the open spaces was one of the most popular and Missoula specifically as well. People were just looking for more space and with remote work, it allowed them to do so and took advantage of their dreams of owning a ranch in those areas and jumped on it.”

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Martinez said Montana boasted impressive numbers when it came to relocating from other states.

“We take a look at the ratio of the number of people moving into the state versus out of the state,” she said. “So in 2020, Montana had the highest ratio of moves in; 372 moves in for every 100 moves out, so there were almost triple the amount of people moving in as out during the COVID years.”

People Moving Out - People Moving In...to Missoula

Of all the cities in Montana, Martinez said Missoula was by far the favorite place to relocate.

“The most recent data we pulled which was October 10 of this year, it has dropped down a little bit again to 207 moves in for every 100 moves out, so it's evening off,” she said. “Definitely you can see the spikes that happened in the initial years of 2020 and 2021,” she said. “Now it's tapering a bit, but Montana is still really high up there in comparison to all of the other states. Missoula is still the number one as it was back in 2020 as well, and Montana overall is still the number four ranked state in the nation (for relocation).

Got Your Property Tax Bill Handy?

Your rapidly increasing property tax bill can be traced directly to the exodus to Montana where home and land values skyrocketed due to the law of supply and demand.

“According to Zillow, in 2019, the average home price in Missoula was around $360,000, and now from the most recent data in September of this year, it jumped up to $580,000,” she said. “So that's an over $200,000 increase in the home value, that’s a 60 percent increase, which is pretty significant. I believe the national jump on average is around 42 percent, a 60 percent increase is still really, really high.”

Move Buddha also provided this statistic: Every city in the state in their analysis is seeing higher rates of moves in than out. Especially number one Missoula, number 2 Bozeman, number three Kalispell, and number four Great Falls; all 4 of which are seeing over two times more moves in than out.

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