|Seeley Lake Home Sales Hit a Double||11 August, 2016|
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Seeley Lake Home Sales Hit a Double
BY KEVIN WETHERELL
CEO/Broker, Clearwater Montana Properties
Read More About Kevin
THE BIG WOW
The real estate market in Seeley Lake is booming. Perfect financial times have caused several factors to affect the market in a big way. Interest rates for home loans are at all- time lows, the stock market is near all- time highs, home equity is increasing with rising property values nationwide, and buyer confidence is high. These factors have resulted in a lot of available cash and ability to borrow cheap money. There has been a total value of $39 Million worth of homes sold or placed under contract since August of 2015.
Currently there are 59 homes on the market, plus 15 homes that are under contract to be sold. The median listing price is $319,000 with average current days on the market of 122. This means there is about 8.5 months of inventory based upon the 81 homes sold or placed under contract in the last 12 months. This is the lowest inventory number we have experienced since the real estate boom in 2006. The market is seeing large increases in number of sales, but value appreciation has begun to occur as inventory continues to shrink and homes under $300,000 are being sold rapidly.
Median home prices have risen 4.2% over the past 12 months from $233,500 to $241,000 today. There has been a considerable increase in activity in homes priced in the $350,000 to $500,000 range. Homes in the Double Arrow Ranch and lakefront homes have been the market leaders.
There are currently 121 land parcels for sale plus 7 under contract to be sold. The listed parcels have a median listing price of $95,000 and an average of 412 days on the market. This means there is currently 53 months of land inventory at the current sales pace. It is anticipated that the pace of land sales will continue to increase, perhaps even very dramatically, as available home inventories continues to go down and prices continue to rise.
New construction will continue to increase over the next 3-5 years as housing needs are met in the valley. The land inventory situation can change quickly and dramatically in an improving market. As an example, 73 vacant land parcels were sold in 2006. Should sales like that occur in the coming years, rapid appreciation could take place as inventory is reduced to very low levels. There are 5 vacant land parcels for investment/ownership opportunities in the Double Arrow Ranch, Hillcrest Heights and airport area for under $30,000.
Demand for rentals is intense. Available housing for people working locally is a growing concern as many people moving here for work are faced with little or no available rentals. The rule for people looking for rentals has at times become – when the Seeley-Swan Pathfinder comes out on Wednesday afternoon, call the first "For Rent" ad and tell them you will take it. The underlying problem requires more discussion, as many people working in the valley can afford to pay between $400 and $900 per month rent. With the average home price being $240,000 it is not a good return on investment for a landlord to rent. The construction of multi-family housing units would increase rental availability and affordability. However, multi-family construction most likely won't happen in the near future because current Missoula County septic system restrictions and the underlying cost of land to facilitate the larger septic system that would be required, would make the project cost prohibitive.
WHERE ARE THEY FROM?
Finally, in my discussions with many of you about the real estate market, you have expressed curiosity as to where buyers are coming from. According to Clearwater Montana Properties sales tracking data for 2015, buyers came from: