A recent Forbes article highlights the recent surge in market activity for large ranches, due to the coronavirus, and characterizes the new buyers as "billionaire cowboys." The article references multiple Montana properties, and also features Hall & Hall broker Bill McDavid from western Montana, and mentions multiple large Montana ranch owners by name. McDavid rightly points out that many of the factors that are attracting buyers have always been in place in Montana, namely social distance. Many brokers report that fear of the virus and social unrest have been tipping points for buyers, who were already interested in land in Montana.
While the article focuses on largest ranches, in Montana, the small and medium-sized properties are showing the most market activity. Multiple brokers report that large properties are not getting as much attention as small and mid-size properties. This is probably due to buyers being motivated to relocate immediately. Large ranches are significant investments, and investment per se is not the dominant motivation of buyers.
One factor the article did not point out, is that another consequence of Covid-19 is that many now have the ability to work remotely. This of course is not as relevant to very high net worth individuals as it is to wage earners, hence the very high demand in Montana right now for smaller properties and residential properties.