Flathead Lake Real Estate Sales
The smoky days of late August and early September ended with our first wet weather system of the season on September 14th. The system dropped snow in the high elevations and rain in the valleys extinguishing several area fires, and giving firefighters a significant advantage in others. We now look forward to blue skies and the changing colors of fall in the Flathead.
September waterfront sales on Flathead Lake were a strong follow up to the banner sales in August. There were eight reported sales in MLS for the month, continuing a strong sales trend for the summer. While 2017 started off a bit sluggish, the year-to-date numbers have now outpaced last year by nearly 30%.
We have reported 48 closed transactions and over $34M in total sales through the end of September. Last year over the same period, we reported 35 transactions totalling $27M in sales. The average transaction size has held relatively steady.
I expect the stronger sales trend to continue and that this year will end significantly higher than 2016 in transactions and total sales.
While there was not an individual sale for the month of September on Flathead Lake for over $1M, the simultaneous closing of two adjacent properties occurred in the Bigfork area on Albright Lane. Originally designed as a main home and guest home on a total of 207 feet of lake frontage and over 6 acres, the combined properties sold for $1.575M.
Prices based on a per-waterfront-foot have continued to increase to over $4,000/ft for the entire lake after adjusting for improvements in the past few years.
Given the reduction in inventory, we expect to see continued upward price pressure.
Annual Sales Data:
Active Waterfront Listings
Residential waterfront listings for this month are on par from the number of listings for this time last year at 116 listings, up from 114. The number of land listings is down significantly to 39 from 53.
Total listings on the lake historically peak in August and bottom out between January and March. While this year was a bit slower to get started with lake listings, the numbers have normalized over the past 4-6 weeks. Year-to-date waterfront land sales are up this year to 13 transactions averaging $479k each.
Median list prices for residential listings have been bouncing between $1.0-1.1M. With a higher percentage of properties under the $1M mark selling, the ratio of active listings above this price mark has been shifting.
Median waterfront land prices had held relatively steady in the $550-$600k range this year, increasing steadily for the past three months. The increase in lower-priced land sales has depleted the inventory and the remaining, higher priced listings yield a higher median price trend.