Kelley’s Market Trends: Waterfront Homes

Over the last five years the median price of waterfront homes has started to recover

By Jim Kelley

This graph illustrates a 15-year history of all waterfront home sales in both Flathead and Lake County. Because of the relatively small number of sales on any single lake, the data includes all lakes as well as navigable rivers in both Flathead and Lake counties.

Over the seven years from 2000 through 2007 the median price of these waterfront homes increased from $292,500 to $850,000, with a large portion of that increase accounted for by new high-value waterfront homes being built. Along with this, a substantial number of existing waterfront homes were remodeled and rebuilt to a higher quality than the original home, then resold by speculators.

In 2008, as the full impact of the housing crisis and recession became evident, the number of waterfront home sales dropped by 43 percent with a decrease in the median price by around 13 percent. Over the last five years the median price of waterfront homes has started to recover, but is still around 30 percent lower than it was in 2007.

In the first two months of 2016, there have been 11 sales of waterfront homes with a median price of $650,000, and there are currently 269 waterfront home on the market with a median asking price of $879,000

In 1981, Jim started Kelley Appraisal in Kalispell and has since built an extensive database of economic and real estate-related data on northwestern Montana. Over the last several years, he has published annual reports on the Flathead Real Estate Market and been a guest speaker on numerous occasions for various groups in the Flathead.

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