It’s well known that Missoula housing is expensive and a recent study funded by the Missoula Organization of Realtors reveals that at least part of that expense is driven by severe restrictions on where homes can be built. MOR Public Affairs spokesman Sam Sill explains

"Since 2010, the median sales price has jumped up by about $68,000 and, you know, wages haven't kept up," Sill said. "One of the reasons for that is that the supply of homes just  hasn't kept up with demand. One of the challenges that we face when we try to build more houses in Missoula is that there is a real limited supply of land that is suitable and capable for development as housing."

The study which was conducted by WGM Group found that just about seven percent of Missoula County was open for development. That means many have to look elsewhere for housing, a trend that is expected to continue.

"We are a regional economic hub and a university town, so growth is going to continue to happen, it's inevitable," Sill said. "Through our land use policy decisions, are we going to  be able to house people in Missoula in a way that's affordable or are wee going to continue to see people living in outlying communities or even in other counties, due, at least in part, to affordability."

Sill says the median sales price increased rapidly in recent years too. Jumping by about 15,000 dollars from 2016 to 2017.