Kalispell Market Report: Land – January 2021
This report covers the residential land market (active listings and sales) in Kalispell Montana as of the end of January 2021. Similar to the housing market, land sales remain strong.
As of early February, there were 74 residential land parcels for sale in the Kalispell area, which is a 24% decrease since the last month’s report. The decrease is attributable both to properties going under contract, a listing expiring and small amount of new listings during January.
Five or more acres
Of the land currently for sale, 53% of listings include five or more acres. While most of the land in Montana could be considered rural, 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 use options.
This month, the active properties over five acres range in price from $112,500 to $5.9M with an average price of ~$987K. The listing at the lowest end of the price spectrum is 5 acres of property in East Many Lakes with views, two building sites and electric to the property. The highest priced parcel includes 359.4 acres with views of the Swan mountains, wetlands and all the associated birdlife, and a potential for a 700 unit development.
Price per acre can vary dramatically. The 5 acre parcel described above is $22,300 per acre while the 359 acre plot is ~$16,400. Looking at all the rural parcels for sale, the least expensive price per acre is $3,718 and the most is $227,273 an acre. Now that is a huge difference!
Below five acres
In terms of the listings below five acres, many are located in developments. These parcels range in size from .12 of an acre to 4.8 acres and in price from $59,900 to $790,000 with an average price of ~$164K. 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.
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. If you want to purchase land, in addition to knowing what you want to spend, you’ll need to know how you want to use it, what kind of amenities you might like, and what kinds of rules you could live with. That will help you and your real estate professional select the right locations and parcel sizes!
Land listings sold at a very strong rate in 2020. 2021 is off to a good start with 16 sales in January, 23% more than both last month and the same time last year. There are currently 45 land deals that are either pending or under contract, which is 67% more than the same time a month ago. Therefore, the strong results should continue through the next month or so.
Length of Time to Sell
Land listings typically take longer to sell than home sales. The average days on market for land in 2020 was 7.3 months. In January, the average days on market equalled 9 months but that was exaggerated due to one property that took 3 and a half years to sell. If that was not included in the calculation, the sold parcels took slightly under 7 months to sell.
As mentioned previously, my explanation of the longer timeframe to sell land has to do with the buyer market. There are fewer buyers who want to start from scratch, buying the land and then waiting for a home to be built. And those buyers who ARE interested in doing so have very particular requirements.
It sometimes takes them quite a while to find the right parcel that has the right views. Or the one that is facing in the correct direction, has the right kind of building site, has the required utilities, the desired covenants (or not) and so on. Once they do find that perfect parcel, it takes some time to do their due diligence. Can they get appropriate internet and cell service? Are the roads passable in the winter? Who plows them? What might it cost to dig a well or add a septic system? So the estimated 7 months from listing to sales is not unreasonable.
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.
As can be seen in the chart below, 2020 total land sales equalled $52M which was more than double the previous year. In January of 2021, close to $2.8M of land was sold, 36% more than the same time last year. Also of interest, there are currently 45 land parcels under contract with a list price value of nearly $10M. Results for the next few months should remain higher than the same time last year.
In terms of the lowest and highest prices for a land parcel, the lowest price parcel in December sold for around $70K. It was 0.17 of an acre in a subdivision with access to city sewer and water. At the other end of the price range were 39 acres of land with valley and mountain views. This sold for around $400K.
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.
See below for current land for sale in the Kalispell area: