Market Trends: Residential Sales 2015
2015 was the best year for home sales since 2006. There were 1,673 homes sales reported in Flathead County in 2015, compared to 1,505 in 2014, which represents an 11.2 percent increase. The median price finished at $242,500, which is 5.4 percent above the 2014 median of $230,000. Although the 2015 median is up from 2014, it is still 3 percent below the 2007 high of $250,000 and very close to the 2006 median of $245,000.
Overall, the entire year was strong with the number of sales being up 14 percent in the first quarter, up 16 percent in the second quarter, up 5 percent in the third quarter, then finishing off the year with a plus 13 percent.
As we go into 2016, it will be interesting to see if the strong market that existed all through 2015 will continue. In 2015, the average 30-year mortgage interest rate was just under 4 percent as compared to an average rate of 4.3 percent in 2014. This continued lower rate is likely one of the reasons for the near record number of home sales in 2015. In December, the Federal Reserve increased that rate for the first time in several years and will likely result in higher mortgage interest rates in 2016. The question here in the Flathead is how much will this affect our market? That answer is unlikely to unfold until later in 2016.
In 1981, Jim started Kelley Appraisal in Kalispell and has since built an extensive data base of economic and real estate-related data on northwestern Montana. Over the last several years, he has published annual reports on the Flathead Real Estate Market and been a guest speaker on numerous occasions for various groups in the Flathead.