The Flathead Real Estate Market continues to improve with a near record number of sales in 2016.
This report addresses statistical details of the Flathead County Real Estate market over the last few years and summaries on the 2016 market.
In general, 2016 was mostly stable with numbers similar to the last three years. The following is a list of some key points:
- The employment picture continues to improve.
- Subdivision activity continues near its all-time low, but as the inventory of bank-owned has mostly gone away. There is some new interest in development, but mostly within the City limits. There continues to be little interest in rural subdivision development.
- New home construction is increasing in all areas of Flathead County.
- The number of residential home sales was about the same as it was in 2015, but the inventories are down from 2015.
- REO sales continue to decline and are no long a material segment of the Flathead Market.
- Of the County’s sub-markets, most areas showed an increase in the number of sales. The largest increase was in Whitefish.
- The number of land sales were about the same as they have been over the last three years.
- Housing is under pressure with prices outpacing the affordability as interest rates start to increase.
- The number of foreclosures continued to decrease through 2016.
- Commercial property sales decreased in 2016.
2015 was the best year for home sales since 2006 and 2016 is at the same level as 2015. There were 1680 homes sales reported in Flathead County in 2016, compared to 1,683 in 2015. The median price finished at $255,000, which is 5.2% above the 2015 median of $242,500. The 2016 median of $255,000 is the highest its ever been and is $5,000 higher than the 2007 median of $250,000.
Overall, the entire year mostly matched 2015 with the number of sales being up 8% in the first quarter, down 5% in the second quarter, down 2% in the third quarter, then finishing off the year with a plus 4%.
This January, there are 851 homes that are on the market compared to 1065 in January of 2016 and 1177 in January of 2015. With 851 current listings, this represents 6.1 months of inventory compared 7.6 months of inventory in January of 2016.
As we go into 2017, interest rates will be a key factor. The overall average 30-year rate in 2016 was 3.7% and the current 30-year rate is nearly 4.1%. The 15-year rate averaged around 3.1% in 2016 and is now nearly 3.6%. The question here in the Flathead is, how much will this affect our market?
According to the National Association of Realtors research department, the national average inventory as of November 2016, was 4.0 months. In Flathead County, the average inventory for properties under $300,000 is 2.5 months and the overall average is 6.1 months.
View the complete Kelley Appraisal Flathead Market report here.
Search Flathead Valley Real Estate at Glaciersir.com
About Jim Kelley:
Jim is the owner of Kelley Appraisal and is a 1975 graduate of the University of Montana Business School. He has been a leading provider of appraisals for commercial, residential and investment real estate in northwestern Montana for the last 36 years. With extensive professional experience and education in Finance, Mr. Kelley specializes in appraisals for purchases, sales, commercial loans, residential loans, and litigation. Mr. Kelley has built the most extensive statistical data base for the economic and real estate in northwestern Montana and been a guest speaker in the finance industry on numerous occasions. He was an invited lecturer to college students in China in 2007 on how the real estate and the appraisal business works in the United States. Mr. Kelley’s active roles in the Flathead Valley community in the past 36 years extend also into sailboat racing on the Flathead Lake and skiing on the Big Mountain.