The Big Sky Business Journal's Evelyn Pyburn attended a recent "affordable housing"  summit in Billings, Montana and came away with some very interesting highlights.

First off, she gave a hat tip to Dr. Pat Barkey with the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. He pointedout one of the big factors driving up housing prices in the bigger cities in Montana- government codes, regulations, and red tape.

Pyburn: One of the primary reasons, if not the only reason, he really emphasized was that it's regulations and it's policies local communities have that make it very costly to build new housing and therefore people can't afford it...I forget how many number of building permits have been issued over the past 10 years, but the majority of them were for construction outside the city limits.

 

Here's the full audio of our chat with Evelyn Pyburn:

Here's what else was very interesting. She says more young people are living with their parents now than in the last 120 years.

Pyburn: Bob Leach with Western Property Management brought this up. And he said that there are more young people, those under age 29, who remain living with their parents now than any time in the last 120 years. It's worse now than it was after the Great Depression when 48% of young people remained living with their parents. And right now that rate is 52%. So we're half of our young people are not being able to afford their own place to live, and they're living with their parents.

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