News & Features

Real Estate Market Trends: Land Parcel Prices

Breaking down residential land sales by size and city

Land costs more in Bigfork, right? Nope. Well, at least land is cheapest in Columbia Falls, right? Nope. Okay, well, it’s certain that land costs less per acre when buying bigger parcels, right? Not always.

This chart shows the past year’s residential land sales — in 5-acre sizes ranging from 1-25 acres — by city. The cheapest median sale price per acre was the 21-25 acre range, but only in Kalispell. Lakeside’s cheapest were the 11-15 and 16-20 acre range; Bigfork’s was the 11-15; Columbia Falls’ was the 16-20.

Highest per acre were the smallest parcels. Readers might be surprised, however, that Bigfork and Lakeside had the cheapest median per acre cost in small tracts, and Columbia Falls had the most expensive. Assumptions of Lakeside and Bigfork being spendier? Well, they used to be — in the past.

Whitefish was “off the chart” — both literally and figuratively. Its 6-10 and 16-20 parcel median prices per acre (these past five years) were just shy of $20,000, but the 1-5 acre parcel medians ranged wildly and without trend, from $50,000-107,000.

Richard Dews is CEO of Glacier Flathead Real Estate, a Flathead-based real estate software and services company.

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