Report: Home Values Dropped in Flathead County After Recession

By Beacon Staff

Median home values in Flathead County dropped 7.5 percent during the post-recession period of 2010-12, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), released Thursday.

The median value of owner-occupied households in Flathead County declined $18,300 in the two-year period after the recession. From 2007-09, the median home value was $245,200. From 2010-12, the value was $226,900.

The overall median home value of owner-occupied households in Montana was $183,600, a 5 percent increase from $174,900 during the recession period of 2007-2009.

Lake County had the largest percentage increase in median home value of 13.7 percent from $195,700 to $222,600. Other counties with increasing home values include Lewis & Clark County (7.3 percent), Cascade County (7.2 percent), Silver Bow County (6.1 percent) and Yellowstone County (6.1 percent). Other counties showing a decline in owner-occupied median home values include Gallatin County (-11.2 percent), Missoula County (-2.3 percent) and Ravalli County (-1.6 percent).

The U.S. had a homeownership rate of 64.7 percent in 2010–2012, which was lower than the nation’s homeownership rate of 66.4 percent in 2007–2009. Only nine states did not show a significant decrease in homeownership rate over the six-year period: Montana, Vermont, Hawaii, Alaska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Arkansas, South Dakota and Wyoming. All other states had a lower homeownership rate in 2010–2012.

The number of housing units in Montana increased by nearly 30,000, from 375,055 to 404,990 units, but the percentage of owner-occupied households remained unchanged at 68 percent, according to U.S. Census stats. The remaining 32 percent of occupied houses in the state are renter households.

“The American Community Survey is the only data source that has the capability to show us how the economic situation in these smaller counties compares with the nation as a whole, as measured by these key housing indicators,” said Arthur Cresce, an assistant division chief with the Census Bureau’s Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division.

“The American Community Survey statistics are important because local businesses, local governments as well as homebuyers and renters can use it to make informed investment, policy and personal decisions.”

Nationally, the median home value was $174,600 in the post-recession period, a $17,300 decline.

In 66.9 percent of the nation’s smaller counties with populations between 20,000 and 65,000, the median home value in the post-recession period of 2010-2012 was not statistically different. Similarly, the median home values in 37 of the 50 smallest counties of this size were not statistically different from the recession period. In contrast, median home values in 43 of the 50 largest counties declined over the same period.

Click here to read the latest American Community Survey report on home values.

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