Kalispell Market Report: Land – August 2022
This report covers the residential land market in Kalispell Montana as of the end of August 2022. For the fourth month in a row, land sales decreased. Available inventory continues to increase. The residential land market in Kalispell has slowed from the robustness of the last few years.
As of early September, there were 173 residential land parcels for sale in Kalispell which is 7% more than August’s inventory of 162. It is the fifth month in a row of increasing inventory.
Five or more acres
Of the land currently for sale ~36% of the listings include five or more acres. I define rural as those properties in the 5+ acre category. Those are most likely to be parcels located on a gravel mountain road, agricultural farming land, or acreage adjacent to National Forest or lumber parcels. They are often not located in a development, but by themselves, and provide privacy and multiple building and usage options.
The currently active properties over five acres range in price from $225K to $4.9M with an average price of $996K.
The lowest priced 5+ acre parcel is the same as last month. This is 20 acres of forested land with access issues. The highest priced parcel includes 795 acres of land adjacent to forest service with tons of wildlife and several building sites. Last month’s highest priced listing ($7.8M) has expired without selling.
Below five acres
In terms of the listings below five acres, many are located in developments. These parcels currently range in size from .09 of an acre to 4.5 acres and in price from $69K to $659K with an average price of ~$250K. Many of these come with monthly or annual HOA fees. They are also often covered by CCRs or Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions which define rules for building and living in that area.
Price per acre can vary dramatically and often doesn’t seem to make sense when viewing prices. Why is one 20 acre parcel priced under $200K and another $500K or more? Great question. Following are some pricing rules that seem to be true for land.
The first is, every parcel is unique. With land, you can’t say the average price is $/acre, and this is a 20 acre parcel and therefore it should be $/acre times 20 acres. Instead, the specific topography, physical and legal access, utility availability, distance from town, potential usage, views, zoning, covenants and more need to be taken into account in order to come up with a legitimate price point. If you are thinking of selling your property and are told by an agent that the average price for land in Kalispell is a certain amount, and that you can just multiply that by the number of acres you have, call me. That’s simply not the way the process works.
The second general rule is that the more land you are selling or buying, in general, the less you should expect to pay per acre. For example, looking at the past eight months of land sales in Kalispell, you can see that as you purchase more land, the average price per acre decreases.
The bottom line with land in Kalispell, Montana is that every piece is unique, with different requirements, rules, views, utility options, amenities and of course prices.
In August, only 6 land parcels sold which was 84% fewer than last year and 25% less than last month. Last August saw 38 sales compared to 6 this August, which reflects a major market slowdown. There are currently 37 land sales under contract which higher than last month. Those numbers indicate next month may show an improvement over August.
Length of Time to Sell
Land listings typically take longer to sell than home sales. The average days on market for land in 2021 was 5.1 months which was significantly less than the previous year. In August, it took 7 months on average for the six parcels to sell. Property that is priced well for its location, services and amenities can sell relatively quickly but in general land seems to be taking longer to sell than it had in the last few years.
Average or median sales prices are meaningless when discussing land sales. The qualities of one lot over another are so different as to make most comparisons moot. That being said, I am including a view of the total dollar value of all land sold per month to provide some kind of comparison to the previous year.
In August 2022, $2M of land was sold, 73% less than last August and 63% less than last month. Land parcels currently under contract have a list price value of close to $12.3M. Therefore, next month’s results should be better than this month’s, depending on which of those under contract deals close.
In terms of the lowest and highest prices for a land parcel sold, the lowest price parcel in August sold for around $140K. It was a half acre parcel in Evergreen. At the other end of the price range was a 4 acre island with an acre of shoreline. This sold for around $1M.
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! 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!
To see previous land-related market reports, click here.
Thank you for reading Kalispell Market Report: Land – August 2022!