Coronavirus pandemic fuels booming ranch sales in the West


BILLING, Mont. – The coronavirus is one of the factors likely to fuel a boom in sales of large ranches in the American West, real estate professionals have said.

Real estate brokers are seeing high demand for ranches in Montana and other western states, reports The Billings Gazette.

“This is the craziest year I have ever seen,” said Jim Taylor, director and real estate partner of Hall and Hall.

Taylor said buying a ranch wasn’t always a compelling investment because the rate of return could be low. But he works with buyers who see fewer stable alternatives.

“People see them as an investment even if the breeding business isn’t good,” Taylor said.

Andy Rahn of Montana Land Source, a website tracking land listings and sales in the state, said factors that drive buyers to rural areas may include a ‘get me out of here’ mentality. regarding the pandemic.

This mindset can be propelled by fear of social unrest as well as masks and mandates of social distancing that buyers disagree with.

Some in the industry believe buyers believe rural areas are more immune to COVID-19, while others said people who were already planning to buy property in the future had been given incentives to act by the pandemic.

Executives now have the ability to work from home with greater ease and a higher level of social acceptance, reducing the need to be present in offices or attend business meetings, said Taylor.

“This whole world is changing,” Taylor said. “Now they can spend more time on their ranches.”

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, which go away within two to three weeks. For some – especially the elderly and people with existing health problems – it can lead to more serious illnesses, including pneumonia and death.

— The Associated Press


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