Missoula Real Estate Report – Oct. 2012

Missoula, MT

More good news for the Missoula Real Estate market!

For the fourth straight month in a row, Missoula’s year-over-year sales have trended to a higher level than we have seen in the last five years.  October 2012 Real Estate sales were 56.3% higher than the same month last year and 34.0% higher than year-to-date October 2011.

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 under contract properties and sales start to decline going into winter. At the end of October there were a total of 130 properties under contract, the highest level in October over the last five 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 I 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 that I recommend keeping your home on the market this winter.  Buyers will have limited options, creating the possibility to get a better price now than other times of the year. Winter buyers tend to be more qualified and ready to buy, so they are not wasting your time.  Prices may increase a little by spring, but there will be more competition which could hold some homes back from selling.  Click here for additional reasons to sell this winter.

5-Year Home Sales by Month:

Under Contract volume is still at/near the highest levels seen all year and, although sales have begun the seasonal descent into the fall/winter season, home sales over the last four months have 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 has recently adjusted the way under contract short sales were being accounted for, 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.

Missoula Real Estate 5-year trends
5-year sales trends for Missoula Real Estate Market | Oct. 2012

According to the Missoula MLS, 75 homes were sold in October this year, a level not seen in the month of October since 2009 when a first time home buyer’s credit helped buoy home sales. The following chart provides a snapshot of total homes sold, by month, since 2008. (Green columns represent Under Contract properties for the current year.)

Inventory of Missoula Homes Listed for Sale

Since the month of April, inventory levels have been lower than they have been in the last two years. Lower inventory levels can be one of the first signs of a rebounding market. Watch for inventory levels to continue to decline as we move further into the fall/winter months. The following chart presents the total inventory of homes listed for sale, by month, since January 2010.

Missoula Real Estate Inventory of homes
3 year history of Missoula housing inventory

Absorption Rate:

The health of the Missoula real estate market is recorded by absorption rates, which is the correlation between the number of active homes on the market and the number that sell per month, on average.  According to the National Association of Realtors, a normal market is 6 months of inventory.  Missoula’s current absorption rate is at 5.7 months and is the healthiest we have seen in more than 5 years.

Missoula Real Estate Supply and Demand
Absorption Rates for Missoula Real Estate Market

In general, homes priced below $350,000 performed at a better rate than a normal market whereas homes priced between $350,000 and $500,000 performed significantly slower than in a normal market.


With roughly 27% of inventory turning over each month, homes priced between $200,000 and $250,000 continue to outperform the rest of the market priced above $125,000. This October, roughly 85% of Missoula’s single family homes were sold for less than $350,000.

Click here for a PDF version of this report: Missoula Real Estate Market Report – oct 2012

Please contact me for a full detailed version of our Missoula Real Estate report that includes sales broken down by price ranges and historical market changes.

Information Provided By:

Jeremy Williams

Williams & Associates | Keller Williams Realty