Missoula Real Estate Report 2012
Use this link for a full PDF version of this report: Missoula Real Estate Report 2012
For the sixth straight month in a row, Missoula’s year-over-year sales have either matched or trended to a higher level than we have seen in the last five years. December residential home sales were flat compared to December of last year and on an annual basis, 2012 sales outpaced 2011 by more than 31%.
An even more encouraging sign of a rebounding Missoula real estate market can be found in the under contract numbers. Typically, around August and September, we see the number of properties under contract and sales start to decline as the start of the school year approaches and fall/winter is on the horizon. While that did happen this year, under contract figures remained strong and at the end of December there were approximately 101 properties under contract. This represents about 50% to 75% more homes under contract at the end of 2012 than in the last three years.
Buyer Recommendation: Take advantage of low interest rates and home prices this winter to maximize your buying power. Next spring more options will be available, however, if trends continue we would expect the same homes to be selling for a higher price. Be ready to look at the good homes immediately to avoid possible multiple offer situations.
Seller Recommendations: Inventory is so low right now that we recommend putting/keeping your home on the market this winter. Buyers currently have limited options, creating the possibility of getting a better price now than in other times of the year. In our experience, winter buyers tend to come pre-qualified and ready to buy, so they are not wasting your time. While prices could increase a little by spring, there will be increased competition which may hold some homes back from selling.
5-Year Home Sales by Month:
Under Contract volume is still quite high as we close out the year and, although sales have dropped off slightly for the winter season, home sales over the last several months have either matched or outpaced most all of the last five years when compared to the same months in prior years. It is important to note that the Missoula MLS adjusted the way under contract short sales were accounted for midway through 2012. However, this change does not affect the figures significantly. Prior to the change, short sales were considered “Active” listings until the transaction was closed. Now short sales that are in the process of being finalized are counted as “Under Contract” in the MLS.
According to the Missoula MLS, 54 homes were sold in December this year. The following chart provides a monthly snapshot of total homes sold since 2008. (Green columns represent Under Contract properties for the current year.)
Average Sold Price:
While average sold price had been declining slightly each month since August, prices rebounded significantly in December. As expected, with the further decline in listing inventory, average sold prices increased approximately 8% from about $247,500 in November to approximately $268,000 in December. When looking at the year as a whole, there were roughly 600 fewer homes listed for sale in 2012 than in 2011 and approximately 31% more homes sold this year than last. The combination of these factors resulted in an average annual sale price of approximately $244,000, a mere 0.4% lower than the estimated overall average in 2011 of $245,000.
Inventory of Homes Listed for Sale:
Since the month of April, inventory levels have been lower than in the last two years. Lower inventory levels can be one of the first signs of a rebounding market, as it could indicate that more homes are selling than new listings being put on the market. We have noticed a significant shortage of homes on the market over the last couple of months and we expect inventory levels to continue to decline as we move further into the winter months. The following chart presents the total inventory of homes listed for sale at the end of each month since January 2010.
Williams & Associates Real Estate Consulting
In an effort to provide our clients with the most up to date information available, we provide them with a detailed market report. In changing markets it is important that you are making decisions before the competition. This month we are including a full version of our 2012 recap. Please let us know if you would like to receive this report every month. In addition, we do provide customized reports for different market segments.[email protected]