Kalispell Market Report: Land – September 2020
Similar to the residential housing market in Kalispell, land has been selling at a record pace during the summer of 2020. Many buyers wonder what kind of options are available if they decide to purchase land and build a future home, rather than to purchase an already-built home. This post will focus on current land inventory options, as well as recent sales results.
As of mid-September, there were 196 land parcels for sale in the Kalispell area. However, 55 of those were commercial listings, leaving 141 residential listings. This post will address the residential market only.
Of the currently available listings, approximately half (69) are located in one of Kalispell’s residential developments. Some of the developments with available land are Aspen Creek, Buffalo Mountain, Countryside Estates, Fox Hill Estates, Harvest View, Sweetgrass Ranch, West View Estates and Whitefish River Trails. In general (although not always), parcels in developments are typically an acre or two at the most in terms of size, are operated by an HOA, and include covenants or specific regulations. These parcels are also usually more affordable than those outside of a development. At the time of this writing, 36% of the land available in developments is listed under $100K and an additional 48% is between $100-200K.
The remainder of the residential properties for sale run the gamut from small to large, less expensive to very expensive, zoned or unzoned, covenants or none. Some already have utilities in place, and some are totally undeveloped.
Of the listings that are not in a subdivision, about a third are in unzoned areas. Current land options include a half acre lakefront lot for $65K, a 5 acre private parcel for $90K or 1.2 acres on a lake for $299K. You could also purchase slightly larger parcels like a 20 acre one for $99K which is at 4800 feet elevation and accessible by a gravel road and switchbacks. I think it’s obvious that one is for someone with a four wheel drive and desire for privacy! There are also larger parcels available. For example, 360 acres of farmland with mountain views and river wetlands for $5.9M. Or 185 acres for $3.5M. 576 acres with four mountain tops, views, forest and meadows for $2.3M. Imagine owning four mountains. You’d have to have horses or a side-by-side to enjoy all that land.
The rest of the residential listings, those that are in a zoned area of some sort, also offer multiple choices. For example, options include nearly a quarter acre parcel close to town for $50K, several rural five acres lots for $180K, 67 acres for building development for $4.5M and more!
The bottom line with land in Kalispell, Montana – every piece is unique, with different requirements, rules, views, utility options, and of course prices.
So are land listings in Kalispell selling? You bet they are! Even with the slow land market during the March to May 2020 timeframe while quarantine rules were in place, so far this year there have been 170 individual land sales. That compares to 117 during the same time last year, or a 45% increase.
Land listings typically take longer to sell than home sales. The average days on market for land during 2020 has been 225 days or 7.5 months. Last year, the average was 258 days or 8.6 months. While those numbers do show that land listings are, on average, selling faster, it’s not that big of a difference to move the residential land market to a seller’s market.
In my opinion, average or median sales prices are meaningless with land sales. The qualities of one lot over another are so different as to make comparisons moot. That being said, I am including a view of average sales price per acre to provide some kind of comparison to the previous year. The interesting thing to note is that with the exception of January, land seems to be more costly this year than last.
This chart also does NOT mean that you have to pay more than $150K to purchase an acre of land in the Kalispell area (August figure). The minimum sale price for an acre of land in August was $10K but the sale itself was for multiple acres. The maximum price for an acre in August was $581K but that was for much less than an acre of land.
In terms of the lowest and highest prices for a land parcel (not acre), the lowest price parcel sold for slightly less than $50K. It was for ~3 unzoned acres of forested land west of town. The parcel had no utilities currently on site. At the other end of the price range was a 160 acre parcel with ponds, wetlands, rolling hills and views of the Swan Mountain range. That sold for around $1.4M.
The bottom line about prices for land – no matter your budget, you can find options in your price range!
Every piece of land is unique, even those in a development. Views can be dramatically different just moving from one acre to another. I love walking land with clients! It doesn’t feel like work. So if you are interested in selling or buying land, and you want to work with a boot-wearing broker who is ready to find the borders, call me at 406-270-3667. I’d be happy to help!
See below for current land for sale in the Kalispell area: