Flathead Lake Real Estate
September 2019 Sales
It is not uncommon for the first northern storm to show up in mid-September bringing cooler weather down from Canada and initiate the fall season. This year the first major cold system waited until the last week of September, but came with record wind, low temperatures, and snowfall. There is no mistaking that summer is over!
Flathead Lake waterfront sales continue to post solid gains over previous years. There were a total of 10 residential waterfront sales in September. The year to date sales totals stand at $43.1M and 44 transactions. At this time last year, total volume of waterfront sales was $36.6M and 50 transactions. The perceived paradox of a 12% decrease in transactions but an 18% increase in sales volume highlights the higher priced sales for this year.
The driving factor for increased sales volume this year is directly related to a higher number of $1M plus sales earlier in the year. There have been 16 such sales posted this year; while last year saw only 7 sales over the $1M mark through September.
With interest rates staying low and a national economy that continues to grow, we expect we may see another record sales year for the Flathead Lake real estate market.
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 (104 vs 126). The number of land listings has increased from 33 to 36. 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.
Median list prices for residential listings rose steadily throughout 2018. Prices peaked at $1.6M at the end of the year as inventory dropped with increased sales. The increased inventory of lower-priced properties over the first 6 months of the year combined with the sales of several higher-priced properties dropped the median line closer to $1.2M since June.
Median waterfront land prices held steady for the last half of 2018, showing a $150k spike for the past five months due to a few high priced listings and reduced inventory.
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 26 sales on the lake so far this year. With 41 active condo listings, we have approximately 14 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.