Q1 2023 Market Report

Ah, Springtime in Western Montana. At times, the real estate market and the weather report seem to be on similar trends – one minute, peaceful and sunny, the next, frigid and snowy. While real estate is like springtime in Montana – nothing for certain – data suggests that we are starting to look towards more positive times, with a stabilizing market. Let’s dive into the Q1 2023 Market Report; first up, the numbers. If you’d rather hear our thoughts, scroll down for our analysis (aka “So What?”).

Mobile Readers: Swipe left on the tables below to view all data.

Average Sales Price By County

Average Sales Price% Change (vs LQ)% Change (vs LY)
Lewis & Clark$487,141+9%+11%
Residential data only. All data from the Montana Regional MLS.

Q1 saw positive change almost across the board (with the exception of Ravalli County), with strong increases from Q4 2022 and from the same quarter last year. If we recall the Q4 2022 market report, both Average and Median Sales Prices were mixed, with strong increases AND decreases. Therefore, watching the County reports with almost no red to report, presents a positive outlook for the future.

Average Sales Price By Town

Average Sales Price% Change (vs LQ)% Change (vs LY)
Residential data only. All data from the Montana Regional MLS.

We saw increases across Western Montana in Average Sales Price, with Whitefish, Bigfork and Helena posting impressive double-digit gains. Even for Kalispell and Missoula, strong single digit increases shows a stabilization of market prices.

Supply & Demand By Town

Months Supply% Change
(vs LQ)
% Change
(vs LY)
Average Days
on Market
% Change
(vs LQ)
% Change
(vs LY)
Residential data only. All data from the Montana Regional MLS.

In general, homes are sitting longer on market than the previous two years, as seen from the triple-digit increases in Months Supply from Q1 of 2022. However, it’s important to remember that 2 – 5 months is an average (and acceptable) amount of time to the closing table.

*Specifically in Whitefish, both Months Supply and Average Days on Market looks incredibly high, however, this is due to the sheer amount of condos and townhomes currently under construction but still on the market. If you only look at single family homes, the data comes way down:

Single Family Homes in Whitefish

  • Months Supply: 4.0
  • Flat vs LQ
  • +263% vs LY

Condos/Townhomes in Whitefish

  • Months Supply: 18.0
  • +61% vs LQ
  • +374% vs LY

New Listings

New Listings% Change
(vs LQ)
% Change
(vs LY)
Flathead County416+2%-29%
Missoula County276-11%-16%
Ravalli County195+42%-2%
Lewis & Clark County224+15%-4%
Residential data only. All data from the Montana Regional MLS.

The achilles heel of Western Montana real estate still is the sheer amount of volume we have (or not) on the market today. Inventory – or lack thereof – will dictate much of the data for the future, as demand continues to outweigh supply across the western half of the state.

So What?

The real estate market is undeniably cyclical (listings peak in the summer, closings peak in the early fall, and everything drops to a quiet in the winter months). However, the real estate market is also very nuanced, with many factors affecting its success, most of which are out of our hands (mortgage rates, inflation, etc.). What we can control, however, is the appropriate pricing of the inventory we do have, how our listings show and the timing of it all. By doing so, we will keep inventory churning, reducing stagnation.

Pricing Appropriately
The pandemic-fueled buying frenzy in our market elevated home prices beyond what we had ever seen before. Additionally, contingencies (ie: home inspections, seller’s credits) were out the door, as Buyers were so desperate to land a sale, they were giving up any negotiating rights they once might have had. What your neighbor’s house sold for two years ago most likely won’t garner the same price today. The market – and pricing – has cooled from its peak of Summer 2022, and we don’t anticipate it returning to those levels.

That said, pricing your home appropriately to sell is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a timely (and efficient) sale. Listen to – and work with – your Agent, as they give pricing recommendations. Heart and emotion often play a role in pricing, but if you can leverage data and comps (and the expertise of your Agent), you should be set up for success.

Preparing Your Home to Show
Before you list your home, invite several Agents into your home to interview (read Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Agent) and garner feedback on how to prep your home to show-ready. Buyers are more discerning than they were two years ago, so a can of touch-up paint and repairing jiggly handles or loose knobs, will go a long way to show them you’ve put the time (and effort!) into the upkeep of your home.

The Timing To “Go Live”
Listings in Western Montana peak in mid-Summer (typically somewhere between late June and early August). Knowing that inventory across the area is so sparse, if you want your home to stand out, ensuring the maximum amount of eyes, list before then! In our office office, we have clients – Buyers – waiting and ready for the “right home” to come along. By listing your home before the Q3 surge of new listings, you’ll secure interest. Pairing the timing with the appropriate pricing AND a show-ready home will only surely lead to a smooth and successful sale.

If you’re ready to talk about listing, or just want to understand the process, contact us. We’d love to welcome you to our office to hear about your property, goals and discuss the local market over a cup of coffee or happy hour beverage.

Picture of Kyna Williams

Kyna Williams

Kyna Williams has spent her entire career telling stories for world-renowned brands like Nike and Underwood wine-in-a-can. Now, she joins Revel as CMO and COO. On any given day, you can find Kyna negotiating ad buys, brewing a pot of coffee or assisting agents with their listing presentations.
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