Kelley’s Market Trends: Residential Home Sales

Overall, 2016 home sales are nearly 6 percent ahead of the first five months of 2015

By Jim Kelley

Five months into 2016 and homes sales in Flathead County continue at a near record pace. After a 20 percent increase in this April over April of 2015, the May sales decreased by nearly 9 percent from the May sales in 2015. This same up-and-down pattern was seen in the first three months pf the year, with January and February being up, then a decrease in March. Overall, 2016 home sales are nearly 6 percent ahead of the first five months of 2015.

Mortgage interest rates continue at near record lows with the average 15-year rate at around 3.15 percent and the average 30-year rate at around 3.75 percent.

There were 580 residential sales in Flathead County in the first five months of this year, compared to 549 in the same period in 2015. In the first five months, 54.3 percent of residential sales were on small urban or suburban lots, 20.9 percent were on half-acre to three-acre lots and 15.5 percent were on three to 20-acre tracts. There were also 24 waterfront home sales, representing 4.1 percent of the market.

The median sales price for the first five months of this year was $245,000, compared to $233,000 for the same period in 2015.

The current overall inventory level is lower than what it was a year ago. In 2016 there were 1,212 new residential listings, compared to 1,316 new residential listings in the first five months of 2015. Of the 1,173 active residential listings in Flathead County, only 176 (15 percent) are priced below the median sold price of $245,000.

In the first five months there were 30 bank-owned or distressed sales, compared to 58 in 2015. Non-distressed sales represent 94 percent of the market, compared to 88.3 percent for the same period in 2015.

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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