The 44th Annual Economic Outlook Seminar, presented by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana, made its stop in Bozeman last week. The theme was "Facing the Challenge of Affordable Housing." A number of ERA Landmark agents attended once again to stay apprised of the most up-to-date information. I thought instead of providing an overview of what I found to be the most intriguing material, I would ask the agents to give their feedback of the relevant takeaways relating to the real estate market in our area. "The Affordable Housing Panel stated that Bozeman is considering not only townhomes and condos, but also APARTMENTS as part of the progress on finding affordable housing. The second most telling thing was that the "affordable" housing issue will never go away, it will just take on different characteristics with time and economic change." - Ray Atteberry "The biggest takeaway from that class about real estate is that the forecast is much more positive than the newspapers would lead one to think. In fact, they noted several headlines that are pessimistic and graphs that say otherwise. Also, they have a graph showing that the smaller recessions in the 90's and at 2000 did not affect us here at all." - Hebbard Blesius "I thought it was interesting to learn that when a city hits a population of 50,000 or more, it triggers certain Federal guidelines that must be adhered to in regard to growth and planning. If Bozeman's population is 50,000 in the 2020 census, then those guidelines will apply to Bozeman." - Jon Ellen Snyder "The Outlook for 2019 screen says it best: Real estate will remain strong in Montana and Bozeman leads the state in net migration and price appreciation. Affordability will remain a challenge. Construction will increase to relieve some pressure." - Orville Erlenbush "We invited our developers, who were uncertain of the local market, to this seminar. By the end of the presentation, they were energized and enthusiastic for the projects they have under contract. Best invite one can make!" - Sue Frye and Tammee Frye Ryan "Amazing insight into the many facets and interrelations of the various facets of our economy." - Tom Gierhan The issue of affordable housing in any given geographical market is most often complex and multi-faceted. It requires input and support from local government, business leaders, developers, contractors and more. If the in-migration to the Gallatin Valley continues at the rate that it is predicted, providing quality, affordable housing will continue to remain at the forefront of discussions for the foreseeable future. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana website contains a wealth of pertinent information and will soon include the 2019 Montana Economic Report along with past year's reports.