Missoula, MT Real Estate News

By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
When I first started in real estate I witnessed the end of the "golden era" for Linda Vista.  A stereotypical 90's built neighborhood on the south-western foothills of Missoula this area features winding cul-de-sacs, large homes with forward facing garages, and homes that featured mostly pastel exterior colors.  This neighborhood as well as it's adjoining neighborhoods, Southpointe and Maloney Ranch couldn't be built fast enough as many of Missoula's Baby Boomer generation had their dream homes custom built for them.  Outside of these sprawling neighborhoods there's also some mixed large-lot homes and ranches as well as some newer subdivisions that feature larger homes on 1 to 5 acre parcels.   In 2010 there were 70 sales in this area, the median sales price came back at $291,750.  The ...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
Central Missoula, an area most easily identified as falling between Russell and Reserve street, used to actually be on the outskirts of town and featured homes on larger parcels of lands with farms and homesteads spread all around.  As Missoula grew around this area it became incorporated with the city and started to fill in.  Today you’ll find homes of all ages in this area, old and new, as well as some condos, townhomes, and multi-unit apartment buildings.  Additionally you’ll even come across two farms that are still active as well as a few large fields where you’ll find horses or cattle grazing.   Looking at 2010 there were 125 total residential sales in this area with a median sales price of $170,000.  For these sold homes their average time on the market was 109 days.  The median ...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
The south-central area of Missoula in the valley is widely referred to as the "Lewis and Clark" neighborhood as the elementary school servicing most all of that area is Lewis and Clark Elementary.  This area features mostly 60's through 80's built homes, many are ranchers of varying sizes, but many of which are larger than those you'd find in the South Hills area.  Additionally there is some over-lap just to the west of Russell Street but to the east of Brooks that is included in this area as well.   Starting with 2010 I'm getting a return of 48 total sales with a median sales price of $220,000.  These 48 sales took on average 92 days to sell.  The median list price for these homes was $229,450 which returns that homes were selling for 96% of their original listing price.  There was jus...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
When standing in the Missoula valley these two areas make up most all of the hillside homes you'll see on the south end of the valley that have been built up mostly before the mid-1980's.  A little more south and west you'll find the newer neighborhoods in Linda Vista and Maloney Ranch, I'll report them in a separate post.  Generally it seems that Missoula started expanding first in the Farviews area in the 50's and 60's and then moved across to the South Hills area in the 70's and 80's.  The styles of homes follow suit.  Farviews boasts a lot of homes with flat roofs, giant 2-level fireplaces, smaller kitchens, and many homes with wet-bars in the basement.  Moving over to the South Hills we get a lot of basic split-level homes and 1-level ranchers.   In 2010 we saw 127 total residentia...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
The University area is home to a wide array of older houses full of character and charm.  It's a neighborhood that's blended with long-time Missoula residents, families, and students attending school.  It's actually the area I grew up in, so it holds a special place for me.  The slant streets, aptly named b/c they "slant" at an angle off Higgins avenue neighbor the University area and feature a similar mix of homes but also blends in more houses built in the 50's, 60's, and 70's as well.  Both neighborhoods largely feature boulevard areas with maple trees that can be found on the historic register in town, many are now over 100 years old!   Starting with 2010 I'm pulling 82 residential sales in this area with a median sales price of $228,500.  Of these 82 sales their average time on mar...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
Looking at the 2010 market first off I see that there were 52 residential sales with a median sales price of $175,000. The time on market for these sold homes only was 137 days. The median list price for these sold homes was $179,450 showing that these homes were selling for about 97% of their original list price. In 2010 there was just 1 foreclosure sale in this area.   Fast forward to 2011 and we have 58 residential sales with a median sales price of $152,950. The time on market for these sold homes only was 122 days. The median list price was $159,900 so we see that for the sold homes only they were selling for 95.6% of their original listing price. 2011 saw a rise in foreclosures, there were 6 foreclosure sales in this area.   So comparing 2010 to 2011 I'm seeing lots of similaritie...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
First off, the beautiful Rattlesnake Valley, the mouth of which features some of the oldest homes in Missoula.  A largely residential area that has seen very little to no new construction growth.  Historically this area has held it's values which have usually been well over the median of Missoula's entire market.   First off lets look at 2010.  There were 50 residential sales with a median sales price of $314,950.  The average time on market for the sold listings only was 116 days.  The median listing price of homes in the Rattlesnake for 2010 was $334,000 so comparing median list to median sales you get homes selling for about 94% of their original list price based upon these 50 sales.  Of these 50 sales there was just 1 foreclosure sale.   Now fast forward to 2011.  There were 59 resi...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
OK from two perspectives, first we'll do a 30 day look-back and then a 6 month look-back for a broad perspective.  As always my data comes from the Missoula Organization of Realtors MLS.  Additionally I sort our data by the brackets that MOR uses as well. Absorption rates represent how much inventory is currently listed on the market.  What I put together is all active listings and then divide that number by the amount of sold properties.  On the 30 day look-back I pull all the sold numbers from that 30 day time span.  On the 6 month I do the same but when I take active, divide by sold, I then multiply that number by 6 which returns the 6 month absorption rate. Generally a good market is where you see months (supply) under 6 to 8 months of supply.  8 to 12 is a bit of oversupply, and 12...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
Since I can't look at my Christmas presents early I figured I'd look at Missoula's market summary early to see what's waiting for the upcoming year end report.  This year has been a very interesting one and we can finally start measuring actual market recovery now that we're comparing similar markets for most of the 3rd qtr and all of the 4th qtr of this year.   So... lets refresh, for the Missoula market (not including Lolo, Frenchtown, & surrounding areas) 2010: - 830 residential sales - $201,240 median sales price - average of 122 days on market - 46 foreclosure sales making up 5.5% of the market 2011 (YTD): - 740 residential sales - $206,000 median sales price - average of 128 days on market - 82 foreclosure sales making up 11.8% of the market * Additionally there are currently 105 ...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
This morning while still trying to motivate myself out of bed I was scrolling through the CNN Money headlines on my crackberry when I saw the headline "Home Prices Heading for Triple Dip." http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/31/real_estate/home_prices/index.htm?iid=HP_LN Ah dangit, that's not a good way for a REALTOR(R) to start his day.  But of course I know that there's always more to the story than a scary headline, it is Halloween after all.  As REALTORS(R) we've trained our base and a majority of the public that each market is different and what's happening nationally may not be happening locally.  So my next step was to start digging, what's happening in Missoula and have we even seen this "peak to trough" type of market? Lots of charts below but first thank God for Paragon 5.  It's abil...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
Venting blog, consider yourself warned.   Two years ago I listed a home south of town for a couple, they were moving on a job relocation.  I'd sold the home about 10 years back, it's a cute little one-level home out in the country on one acre.  At the time the market was going pretty crazy as people were frantically scooping up houses while the tax credits existed for first time home buyers.  This house was an ideal home for first-timers. After some research and discussion we decided to list the home for $195,000.  The market response was slow through the winter but picked up rapidly in the spring of 2010.  As the tax credit deadline approached our number of showings went way up and finally, just two days before buyer's had to get a sale "under contract" to get the tax credit, we got an...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
To our fellow clients, friends, and family;  One of our favorite quotes on facing challenges comes from John F Kennedy.  When talking about the challenges our country was facing in the early 60's and rising to the occasion in a speech before Rice University he said that, "We choose to go the moon in this decade and to do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."  Over the last 4 months in the midst of re-franchising and re-branding our office we have had to make some hard decisions and face challenges like never before.  After a long and thorough process we have decided to close down the current RE/MAX office and join our forces with the local Windermere office.  We couldn't be more excited about this move, the services we will provide to our clients are g...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
I'll give you both sides of the argument and leave it up to you the readers to decide!  These numbers aren't official as some records are usually a little delayed in reporting, but they'll give you the general idea.  As always, my source is from the Missoula Organization of REALTORS(R) MLS. 2010 Sales Statistics for Missoula (Residential): - 830 total sales.  Compare to 913 in 2009, a decrease of 9% in volume.  The peak year was 2006 which had 1443 sales so the 2010 numbers reflect a staggering 42.5% decrease from the peak.  What's interesting though is this summer we saw a massive drought in sales once the tax credit ceased, which was projected nationally.  Now in traditionally slow holiday months we've seen some numbers in 2010 that aren't that far off from the stimulus market of the ...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
“American home values dropped $1.7 trillion”  http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/09/real_estate/home_value/index.htm?hpt=T2 Zillow is a very interesting and comprehensive site, in fact I noticed that just last week despite years and years of suggestions that REALTOR(R) organizations take the lead on ratings and reviews Zillow will now take the lead on ratings and reviews. The continued crux of association leadership is the concern that, “what will this do to the agents that get bad reviews?!?” (To answer, push them out of the business hopefully!) However there’s concern with leadership across the board that associations should not take aggressive steps such as ratings and reviews because the concern is on the lowest common denominator and not the high quality agents who are not afraid of publ...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
Yesterday morning at the annual membership meeting for the Missoula Organization of REALTORS(R) I was awarded the 2011 REALTOR(R) of the year award (I will serve MOR as their REALTOR(R) of the year for the calendar year of 2011).  It's an honor to be awarded this, it's a recognition of my volunteer work, my professional practice, and the additional philanthropic duties I have been a part of.  This recognition of my accomplishments is mostly in thanks to the supporting cast I have helping me all along the way.  First off my business parter and mother, Judy who has been by my side with my work and my life - without her help I could not have been able to be so passionately involved in REALTOR(R) volunteer work.  Also my wife who has been my rock, supporting me through all of my efforts and...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
"House prices fall 2% SIGNS OF DOUBLE DIP?!?!?!?!" http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/30/real_estate/CaseShiller_home_prices/index.htm?hpt=T2 And then the article doesn't even mention about the dreaded double dip.  Sometimes national news media really frustrates me they latch on to a story and suggest future fears and concerns but then never expand upon it at all.  Yet, in their title they say this might be signs of a double dip, and most people who see that article will only read some of the headlines and not the body of the print.  I'll bet that a lot of people now are thinking that the nation is headed to a double dip, while if they would have read the entire piece there is no comment or speculation as to WHY or how a double dip would occur. The article itself discusses the drop in house p...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
A major topic throughout the convention coming off the heels of a big election.  There was a lot of talk in many of the meetings about what the most recent election means for homeowners, tax payers, and political action groups ahead.  1. As mentioned in the prior post on gridlock, both Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala commented on gridlock being a good thing because it forces compromise rather than extreme laws to be passed.  This should be good for the common Americans, we won't see far-reaching laws or massive slashing of programs, but hopefully something in the middle. 2. The major concern for all people talking on politics ahead was the budget deficit, however there were differing opinions on how to handle it.  Some ideas were; tax holidays to bring businesses back into the USA, exten...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
In the elections the other week the economy was huge, it was also the main discussion point in many of the meetings I attended, I heard from NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun, a cheif editor from Forbes, and pundits Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala.  The general consensus was that it's a long haul ahead, there's no quick answers and don't look for overnight changes.  Generally speaking here's the big things to look at over the next few years: 1. Expect continued unemployment for 2-3 years at least.  No one was optimistic that unemployment would dramatically improve anytime soon.  While there are positive gains in private sector hiring it won't make a major impact like many would hope for. 2. Businesses and banks are sitting on tons of cash but refuse to spend it.  It was reported that na...
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By Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team
(Windermere Real Estate)
So I was reading this CNN/Money article today: http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/23/news/economy/existing_home_sales/index.htm?hpt=T2 It talks about how existing sales rebounded in August, up from a big slide in July. I thought I’d check it compared to Missoula and unfortunately the news isn’t the prettiest. So lets look at the basic news nationally, we’ve got 11.6 months of listed inventory, sales came up 7.6% in August compared to July, and the August median sales price nationally was $178,600. Now, look at Missoula’s August: 52 sales, median sales price of $195,300, and about a 16.8 month supply of inventory overall. Furthermore there were 82 sales in July - so Missoula went down 36.6% overall. If you pull out new construction and compare apples to apples you get 80 sales in July and 47 s...
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By Paul Griffin
(EXiT Realty of Missoula Montana)
When a person starts their search for a home in Missoula Montana it can be a daunting process. Though there are only about 107,000 people as of 2008 in Missoula County, the area covered is much greater than most will realize. For example, a person may come to me and tell me a general price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms they are looking for and possibly a square footage range to look for. I'll narrow the search down to fit what they're looking for and pass on the list for their approval. This list may consist of 5-10 prime properties that fit their descriptions but it will take a full 2-3 days and 500 miles to look at them all. I used to cover a 5 or 10 property list in a half a day in south eastern Idaho where I used to show properties but not here!  One thing that holds true ...
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