Great Falls, Montana – Despite the city’s current expansion phase, people are still moving to Great Falls.
The lower cost of living is one of the causes of that.
The local cost of living in 2022, according to the Great Falls Development Authority, was approximately 87% of the national average.
Also, they state that in 2022, Cascade County’s GDP climbed by more than 10%.
Great Falls’ cost of living is an anomaly to the state’s average, which for Montana was slightly more than 103%.
“Nationally, of course, it’s rising because of inflation,” GFDA marketing director Lyndsay Bruno said. “Many different costs are impacting the cost of living. But we’re trying very hard here in Great Falls to make it affordable for people to live here and people to move here and attract new talent that can help grow our economy.”
A cost of living calculator on the “Living In Great Falls” website (link) allows you to see how far your money will go in Great Falls in comparison to other cities around the US.
For instance, $50,000 will go around 28% further in Great Falls than it would in Bozeman.
What about a metropolitan region that is substantially larger?
While certain cities, like St. Louis, are roughly comparable, your money will go 42% further in Great Falls when compared to Boston, for instance.
Even though Great Falls offers a cheaper cost of living, some real estate professionals claim that the property market has slowed down since fewer individuals are currently relocating there.
“I think that it’s slowed down some for sure,” broker Melissa Dascoulias said. “I just think with the interest rates and also I think people are concerned about the economy in general, I think that they’re just more hesitant to make leaps and bounds to move around like they were.”
“We definitely still have people coming here,” broker Kim Martin said, “but there’s still a pent-up need for housing because really what’s going on is we don’t have a lot of inventory. So they’re out there, but we can’t really see them because nobody’s making offers on houses.”
The Great Falls Association of Realtors reports that the median sales price of a home in Great Falls was $290,000 as of February 2023, while the median price throughout Cascade County was $323,000.