Kelley’s Market Trends: January Residential Sales

Overall number of sales comparable to January 2016

By Jim Kelley

There were 103 residential sales in Flathead County in January compared to 106 in January of 2016.  Of the January 2017 sales, 53 percent were on small urban or suburban lots, 24 percent were on half-acre to three-acre lots and 7 percent were on three- to 20-acre tracts.   

The median sales price this January was $250,000, which is 8.3 percent higher than the January 2016 median, but 2 percent lower than the overall median for 2016. This is to be expected because the majority of the higher valued lake and recreation homes will typically be sold in the middle part of the year.   

The current overall inventory level is slightly lower than it was a year ago, however only 16 percent of the overall inventory is priced below the January median of $250,500.

In January there were only seven bank-owned or distressed sales, compared to nine in January of 2016. Non-distressed sales represented 94.2 percent of the market this January, compared to 91.4 percent for the same period in 2016.

The current 30-year mortgage rate is around 4.2 percent, compared to 3.8 percent at this time last year.  As interest rates increase, affordability decreases.   Over the last year, the median home price has started to exceed the median affordability value, which suggests there will be a limit to price increases over the next year as interest rates increase. Even with this limitation,  2017 has gotten off to another good start for residential home sales.

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