Uncategorized December 18, 2011

2011 Missoula market preview

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)


– 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 properties in the MLS that are listed as under contract, however I’d expect a majority to close in January.


So overall what does this mean?  Well it doesn’t come as a surprise that the volume of 2011 is lower than 2010’s for the main reason that 2010 was a market that was influenced by 8 months of stimulus funds that over-inflated it.  It’s also not a surprise to see a slight value recovery as last year’s stimulus pushed more first time buyers into the market which naturally moves the median sales price lower.   Foreclosures are up, practically doubled.  That’s a double-edged sword, obviously it floods the market with bargain sales that deflates value but it also provides better new entry opportunities for buyers and investors.


But lets look also look at September 1st through today.  Why?  Because after 9/1/2010 all sales that had tax credits tied to them were done.  So moving forward we’re comparing apples to apples.  Interest rates are marginally similar, economic conditions are mostly the same, consumer confidence overall is still pretty low.


Looking at 9/1 to 12/18 so far:



– 218 residential sales

– $215,000 median sales price

– average of 119 days on the market

– 18 foreclosure sales making up 8.25% of the market



– 209 residential sales

– $209,600 median sales price

– average of 131 days on market

– 21 foreclosure sales marking up 10% of the market


It’s very interesting to see how marginally similar our market is when you compare two non-incentivized periods.  Sales are slightly off, median is down a bit, time on market is a little longer, and foreclosures have notched up.  There’s no real eye-popping number change over these two periods but there’s definite evidence that our market is not recovering just yet.


These numbers suggest that Missoula’s market overall has not “hit bottom” and is still trying to find that point.  Foreclosures continue to rise (right now foreclosures make up only 3.5% of the current active listed inventory).  I’ll get another post out this week with absorption rates.  It looks like right now our rates for the whole market are hovering around 10 months which would be a record low for the early winter.  Usually our total market absorption rates are in the 16 to 24 month range.  This obviously suggests seller fatigue of market times, less overall activity, and more people taking their home off the market.