Flathead Lake Real Estate – February 2019 Sales
Winter of 2019 has proven to be one of the more severe winters in decades. As of the writing of this newsletter, Flathead Lake is nearly 95% frozen over – a phenomenon last witnessed in 1990 (see article below). While Blacktail Mountain Ski Area is enjoying excellent conditions and ice fishermen are enjoying the sport, warm weather folks are searching eagerly for signs of spring.
The Flathead experienced an unseasonably warm start to the winter season during the holidays, then winter finally arrived at the end of January. With plenty of accumulating snowfall and an extended cold snap lasting well into March, we are reminded that we live in Montana!
Waterfront real estate sales for February included two residential sales. Although we are coming out of a record sales year in 2018, this is an expected start to the new year. Inventories jumped up a bit relative to last year which will work to temper price increases that would typically accompany the higher sales volume. Over the next 60-90 days we will be watching closely as new listings come on the market to see how Flathead Lake real estate will shape up for 2019.
Prices based on a per-waterfront-foot have continued to increase to around $4,000/ft for the entire lake after adjusting for improvements in the past few years.
Annual Sales Data:
Active Waterfront Listings
Residential waterfront listings for this month are up compared to the inventory at this time last year (93 vs 79). The number of land listings has decreased from 31 to 25. Total listings on the lake historically peak in August and bottom out between January and March.
With the increased activity in waterfront sales, more owners have decided it is the time to sell and are listing their properties. As a result, listing inventory for residential waterfront properties remains higher over last year even as it should be diminishing with increased sales.
Median list prices for residential listings rose dramatically over the 2017/2018 winter months fueled by a record low inventory. Prices peaked at $1.45M in February of 2018, dropping back below $1.3M in April due to new listings coming on the market. As the inventory of lower-priced properties continues to sell, the median price of active listings continues to rise. The current median price is just under $1.5M.
Median waterfront land prices also rose last year during the colder months to the $800k range due to the lower inventory and have settled back to just over $600k. We are not seeing the increase in land prices this year compared to 2017/2018.
Flathead Lake Condominium Market
With over a dozen waterfront condominium communities around Flathead Lake, there are plenty of options for buyers who want the waterfront lifestyle without having to worry about maintaining a lake home. Below is a list of all of the current condo listings for the various communities around the lake, along with a report of total sold units and average prices since the first of the year.
The waterfront condo market is posted 31 sales on the lake last year. With 44 active condo listings, we have approximately 15 months of inventory currently on the market. This is down from highs over the past few years where we saw as much as a three to four year inventory on the market.
Sold prices continue to move upwards, and listing prices downward to meet realistic market values. This has resulted in an increase of sales – especially in the Bigfork market.