It's hard to wrap my brain around how much the real estate market in Montana has changed.

Yesterday, we had a story about houses that are available for under $500,000, and in that story, Chris Wolfe had some interesting information about how much a house used to cost.

I recently found a piece of paper from 2006 that had information about what was happening that year. They listed the 'average new home' price at $111,600. That was only 18 years ago. - Chris Wolfe

Forbes article used data from Redfin to determine the median home price in all 50 states. They list the U.S. median home price in 2023 (September) as $412,000.

Cheapest States to Buy a House

It was roughly 10 years ago that I moved home to Montana from the East Coast because housing was more affordable here, but that has changed.

The website has compared the costs to buy a house in all states based on a person's income to mortgage ratio and Montana ranks very low on the list, or flip-flopped, Montana is in the top 10 for the most expensive places to buy a home.

Here are the top 5 states that ranked as being the cheapest:

  1. Iowa
  2. Indiana
  3. Ohio
  4. Nebraska
  5. Kansas

Montana ranks 41st with a median home price of $230,600, a median household income of $72,100, and an estimated mortgage payment of 1095.61 according to

The bottom five states are:

45. New York

46. Colorado

47. Washington

48. Oregon

49. California

50. Hawaii

This ranking is not just about the home price, it's about income too, so it's likely that Montana ranks this low because of both high home prices and low wages.

It's strange to see Montana ranking with states like New York and Hawaii for anything, but this does paint a startling picture of how much the housing market in Montana has changed, and not just for the major population centers, but for the state as a whole.

Montana's Most Viewed Home on Zillow in 2023

See photos of the home in Bigfork, Montana that was the most viewed on Zillow in 2023.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

More From Z100 Classic Rock