- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - In a story July 18 about the sale of large recreation properties in Montana, The Associated Press reported erroneously the real estate agent listing three ranches for sale. They are listed by Bozeman brokerage Fay Ranches, not Hall & Hall.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Montana’s big recreation ranches a hot sale item

Real estate firm reports market for large recreation properties in Montana active this year

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - The market for large recreation properties in Montana has been active this year, according to one real estate firm.

“This market is hot,” said Dave Johnson, a partner in Hall & Hall real estate in Bozeman. “There’s a lot of action.”

So far this year, Johnson said Montana has seen six sales of properties valued at $15 million or more.

“That is in stark contrast to the previous eight years,” he said.

Among the big sales Hall & Hall has overseen is the 10,600-acre Chimney Rock Ranch west of Big Timber along Lower Deer Creek for $17.5 million and the Willow Creek Ranch west of Livingston, where more than 18,000 acres sold for $22.5 million. The company also finally closed on a deal that sewed up three ranches in the Shields Valley. The last acquisition for that East Coast landowner was the 9,600-acre Master Key Ranch for $16.9 million.

“These are luxury purchases obviously,” Johnson told The Billings Gazette (https://bit.ly/1J7o3ow). “To put that into context, prior to this year there were some recreational properties starting to sell, but they were all in the $1 million to $3 million range.”

Johnson said the recent sales are a sign of buyers’ increased confidence in the U.S. economy. He noted that some of the properties had been on the market for years with no offers.

None of the purchases that went through Hall & Hall’s offices this year are under threat of being subdivided, Johnson said.

Hall & Hall has offices in other western states, but Johnson isn’t hearing of the same level of activity in other nearby states, partly because there are fewer properties on the market.

“Montana stands out in that regard,” he said. “Wyoming is getting more attention, but not much like this.”

Along with availability, Johnson said Montana also remains a good value for price per acre, but not typically as low as Wyoming. The other difference is the Montana properties are typically larger than in states like Colorado.

“I think that’s an attraction, bigger is better,” he said.

Montana properties listed by Bozeman brokerage Fay Ranches include such high-end offerings as the Dome Mountain Ranch adjacent to the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park for $25 million; the Crazy D Ranch near Big Timber for $15.5 million; and the Yellowstone Springs Ranch in the Paradise Valley for $9.7 million.

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