Smart Growth v. Past Growing Trends

Real Estate Agent with Bozeman Montana Real Estate .net

The housing market we see emerging around us more and more is full of life and energy, but when you look deeper, it still bears the faded scars of the market collapse—and it seems consumers are learning from them.

People are actively choosing to control the real estate market. This is an emerging trend never seen before. People and their values are beginning to trump the allure of best deal mentality and this is driving force for the market.

Not visa versa (where the market prices i.e. cheapest supplies are controlling population movement). This break from longstanding traditional norms is the conclusion the report titled “Reset: Assessing Future Housing Markets in the Rocky Mountains” reached. The report took a sampling of housing starts, multiple listing services, and surveys from six communities around the Rockies—Bozeman included—and found, in all the markets studied, there was a strong desire for growth, but not just growth itself as has been seen in the past with trends of urban sprawl. Instead, this idea of ‘smart growth’ has really taken root.

Just What Is Smart Growth:

Smart growth is a logical reaction to the fact that mortgage meltdowns are a catalyst to great economic recessions (spurred on by under regulation of finance and reckless risk-taking). This realization has deeper meaning in its relation to community development and traditional city growth patterns. The divergence between city centers and the suburban fringe allowed the suburban elements to fall into the mortgage hole first and pull the city centers with them as they fell. Since that initial fall, the recovery has seen a structural paradigm changing shift—we are now seeing the reverse of what happened in the 1950’s.  (

The buzz phrases of Generation Y and Baby Boomers are still very real and active agents in shifting the market’s landscape, but these two demographics of people are both undergoing dramatic life changes directly connected to their housing situations. “Our communities are changing and what people want out of life is changing” (Randy Carpenter director of the Northern Rockies program of the Sonoran Institute). This is the great convergence of needs. Baby Boomers are seeking to be near medical centers and other conveniences and Generation Y is just reaching into the market only able to afford the most utilitarian of homes, apartments and condos. The big home with a big lot is, although not gone by any means, a fading trend.

A mass exodus of what is being declared the ‘exburbs’ and a strong revival of city center is the soon to be norm nationally. Bozeman, Montana data reveals we are certainly now immune to this. In the past 11 months, the urban center we have here (near the Emerson Cultural Center, Galligator, and Sourdough Trail) represents the bulk of remodels and renovations totaling nearly $2 million of spending. Over that same time span, $23 million went into communal living spaces such as condos, townhouses and duplexes.


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Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida - Panama City Beach, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Good Morning Jennifer, this is an excellent blog.  Thanks for information.

Mar 27, 2013 08:25 PM #1
Cherise Selley
Selley Group Real Estate, LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realtor


Appreciate your smart approach blog about real estate.  Usually the Realtors who understand these type of insights are the ones who are also practicing this style of real estate.  Great job... g

Mar 28, 2013 04:19 AM #2
Bobbi Ellis

Good morning Jennifer,

Great Blog I have been in Real Estate for over 25 years and I have never seen this kind of market before!  We just have to learn and flow with it, thanks for sharing.

Mar 28, 2013 10:53 PM #3
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I think you may be right in this regard, but in the end, I don't think anyone can control any financial or real estate market. We can just control our decisions and actions.

Mar 29, 2013 12:32 AM #4
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Interesting perspective, however, it's the state of the economy and the rising inflation which is the root cause of the trend. Developers are adapting to the cost of money and the diminishing population and their financial resources and the consumers ability to maintain a mortgage. When the economy shifts again to being more robust and appears to stabilize moving in a positive direction, the real estate model will turn as it has in the past and will continue to do so in my opinion. regardless, we must also adapt to the winds of change.

Mar 29, 2013 12:58 AM #5
Sharon Sanchez
Ace Home Realty - Carson, CA
Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate.

Hi Jenifer,

My focus is on getting business in any market.  I don't focus on the type of market we're in because it becomes depressing and whether it's good or bad, the market is always changing at some point.  I just adapt and keep it moving.

Mar 29, 2013 02:18 AM #6
Lehel Szucs
All Seasons Real Estate, Inc. - Covina, CA
REALTOR of choice

it is interesting how things change and trends and likes are different for different people .... here in the greater Los Angeles area we are seeing a resurgence of the downtown areas ... and near transportation hubs ... than again some of us still like the sprawl of the suburbs

Mar 29, 2013 03:16 AM #7
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Jenifer, we agree.  If only Florida had done so before the bubble, we would not be in this mess today.

Mar 29, 2013 05:48 AM #8
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

I think what you're experiencing in Bozeman is being seen around much of the country. It's certainly true in my area, the Silicon Valley, San Mateo County and San Francisco. More and more people of all ages choose to be in areas within walking distance to town centers, willing to forego the big yard for more urban amenities.

Mar 29, 2013 10:46 AM #9
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

There has been a great deal of urban revival in Downtown Dallas.  In the DFW area there is also much growth in all suburbs.

Mar 29, 2013 01:09 PM #10
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Jenifer Lower

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