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Real Estate Market Trends

How much more to be on the water?

Over the past year, 90 residential land parcels (2-5 acres) sold across Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Bigfork, Lakeside and Polson (see chart). Seventy-seven were not declared as being on navigable or nonnavigable water; the other 13 were “on water.” Such exclusivity usually costs a premium – but not extreme in all cases. Due to single sales, I didn’t chart Lakeside or Polson. Lakeside and Polson non-waterfront median per acre prices were about $19,000 (4 parcels) and $16,000 (5 parcels), respectively.

Median non-waterfront prices were as affordable in Bigfork as Kalispell. The real outlier was the median price per acre for waterfront parcels in Kalispell (Kalispell six-to-nine acre waterfront parcels, over the same period, had median per-acre pricing around $21,000). Columbia Falls was closer to Whitefish and further above Bigfork than you might expect. Bigfork and Whitefish both showed very similar pricing between their two categories of parcels.

Ten-to-13 acre parcels had the following median prices per acre (and median days from listing to contract): Lakeside $8,373(158), Polson $8,416(180), Columbia Falls $15,650(544), Kalispell $15,991(137), Whitefish $23,500(134) – (Bigfork I cannot divulge).

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