Flathead Lake Real Estate
October 2019 Sales
The abrupt end to summer was punctuated with a record-setting winter storm in October. Two weeks after the surprising cold snap, the valley floor snow has finally thawed making for an awkward, spring feeling in November. All of the cliches about Rocky Mountain fall weather have been borne out this year.
Flathead Lake waterfront sales continue to post solid gains over previous years. There were a total of five residential waterfront sales in October. The year to date sales totals stand at $52.7M and 49 transactions. At this time last year, total volume of waterfront sales was $49.2M and 62 transactions. The inverted comparison of fewer transactions and higher total sales volume highlights the higher average sale price in the market this year ($1,075,751 vs $793,498) compared to the same period last year.
By most accounts, the early cold weather has slowed sales activity as we head into late fall. It is uncertain if the market can produce another $24M in closed volume over the next 60 days to match last year’s record number of $76.4M in total waterfront sales.
Prices based on a per-waterfront-foot had continued to increase to around $4,000/ft for the entire lake after adjusting for improvements in the past few years. The strong sales in the northern end of the lake through the summer have pushed the average to just under $5,000/ft on an adjusted basis for this year.
Annual Sales Data:
Active Waterfront Listings
Residential waterfront listings for this month are down compared to the inventory at this time last year (96 vs 113). The number of land listings has increased from 29 to 33. Total listings on the lake historically peak in August and bottom out between January and March.
The continued strength in residential sales has finally begun to result in a decrease in inventory. For the past 18 months, reserve inventory following 10 years of slow sales kept active listings high and downward pressure on prices. It appears that this trend may be finally reversing as residential inventory is down 18% heading into November and prices are creeping upward.
Median list prices for residential listings dropped during the spring and early summer months as lower priced listings came on the market. After bottoming out around $1.1M, they have climbed back to just under $1.3M.
Median waterfront land prices have not varied widely, but show an overall upward trend in the $650k to $750k range.
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 has posted 31 sales on the lake so far this year. With 38 active condo listings, we have approximately 13 months of inventory currently on the market. This is a decrease from earlier in the year when we were carrying as much as 24 months of inventory.
Condo sales started off slow this year as the list prices and inventory of single family homes on the lake were competitive with the condo offerings. Once single family prices began to rise with a decrease in inventory, the demand for condominiums began to increase. We expect to see this trend continue into the coming year.