Contrary to popular belief – or recent media headlines – neither the sky, nor real estate prices, are falling. In fact, as we analyze the data from Q3, it’s safe to say that the market continues to ‘normalize’ coming off the ‘unicorn years’ of the pandemic. Read on for the data, charts and the biggest takeaways from Q3 in our latest Market Report.
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||$473,049||+10%||+4%|
Last quarter’s report saw more red, with sales prices dipping from the previous quarter and year. This quarter, however, we’re in the black, and seeing prices improve across the board. In fact, both Ravalli and Lewis & Clark Counties TOPPED the highest ever reported Average Sales Prices (in the pandemic peak of Q2 2022), while Flathead County and Missoula County saw the 2nd highest Average Sales Prices ever reported, only being topped by that pandemic peak quarter.
Average Sales Price By Town
|Average Sales Price||% Change (vs LQ)||% Change (vs LY)|
“The U.S. housing market has surged over the past year after a temporary hiccup from July 2022-January 2023. . . . That downturn has proven to be short lived as housing has rebounded impressively so far in 2023. . .”
-Orphe Divounguy, Senior Economist at Zillow
|New Listings||% Change|
|Lewis & Clark County||355||-4%||-1%|
Locally, our new listing data is following recent trend lines, so while these numbers aren’t alarming, it is surprising to see new listings dip in what is typically the “busiest” quarter in real estate. General consensus from in-office conversations points at current mortgage rates and market uncertainty; sellers just aren’t convinced they’ll be able to sell in this market. Funny enough…the number of CLOSED sales this quarter would combat that thinking.
Specifically in Whitefish, we saw a 19% increase in closed residential sales from Q2 to Q3, and a 16% increase comparing Q3 2022 with Q3 of this year. While Kalispell saw a 15% dip in sales from last year to this year, they experienced a 7% increase in sales from Q2 to Q3, and Bigfork saw a 60% increase in sales from Q2 to Q3 and a 16% increase from 2022 to 2023. While not as large, Missoula and Helena experienced a 5% and 7% increase from last quarter, respectively.
Supply & Demand
|Months Supply||% Change|
|Average Days |
|Lewis & Clark County||2.9||+38%||+81%||52||+4%||-16%|
In general, residential supply is increasing, bringing back to a healthier (overall) market. A “balanced” market is considered anywhere between 4 and 6 months of supply, and while not all of our reported towns currently fall within that, many are inching their way in that general direction.
Also increasing this past quarter is supply of $1M+ homes across Western Montana. Of the 159 new residential listings in Whitefish last quarter, 63% were listed at $1M or higher. Homes at that price point currently have 15.2 months of inventory, 29% increase from last quarter and a 45% increase from Q3 of last year. In Missoula, the supply of $1M+ homes sits at 11.4 months, a 14% increase from last quarter and 27% increase from Q3 of 2022.
The Sky Is Not Falling…Nor Are Sales Prices
Contrary to popular belief – and what the media headlines would like you to think – home prices are not falling…they continue to rise. Looking back quarter over quarter and year over year, real estate prices in Western Montana have increased substantially, and with it, equity. Flathead County residential prices have increased 102% from 2019 to 2023, and Missoula County has seen a 78% increase over the same time period. While there might be times where we don’t see as rapid growth, slower price growth is still growth.
Cash Still Plays A Role…But That’s Not The Only Option
This past quarter, cash sales accounted for 50% of all closed residential sales in Whitefish, 29% in Kalispell, 55% in Bigfork, 33% in Missoula and 31% in Helena. Of course, higher mortgage rates played a role in Buyers’ decisions to use cash, but buying in cash isn’t the only option. In fact, in addition to your Agent, working with a seasoned and experienced Mortgage Broker can help you put a strong, smart and strategic plan in place. From rate buy-down plans to down payment assistance plans to delayed financing or bridge loans, there are many options that will allow you to successfully purchase that dream property. Want to discuss your options? Contact us: we have several local Mortgage Brokers we’d recommend who can help with your buying or refinancing goals.
Western Montana Is Mirroring The National Average…Until It’s Not
As we look at the past data and forecasted trends, Western Montana has followed the national trends of price dips, rebounding markets and overall growth. Where we differ, however, is in our quality of life. Those that live and vacation here know that Montana offers some distinct benefits:
Recreation & Natural Beauty
With Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort, Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River in our backyard, and over 3,200 other named lakes across the state, ample state and federal lands and pristine forests, beaches and animal habitats, Montana is a recreationist’s dream.
Safety & Security
Boasting some of the strongest power grids and access to services, Montanans are quoted as feeling safer and more secure than the average American.
Buying and owning property in Montana becomes a legacy offering that you can use now and well into the future. Our big skies will continue to stay big, recreation will still be aplenty and future generations will love and enjoy the same outdoor adventures as those who live here today.
Are you interested in Western Montana Real Estate? Contact us, we love to talk about it and would love to grab coffee or a drink and dive in with you!