Kalispell Market Report: Land – October 2020
This report covers the residential land market (active listings and sales) in Kalispell Montana as of the end of September 2020. Similar to the housing market, land sales have been very strong.
As of mid-October, there were 133 residential land parcels for sale in the Kalispell area, which is a 6% decrease from the previous month.
Of the currently available listings, slightly more than half (69) are located in one of Kalispell’s residential developments. Some of the developments with available land are Aspen Creek, Buffalo Mountain, 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 45% is between $100-200K.
At this time, the lowest priced parcel located in a development is a .16 acre plot in Aspen Creek listed at $59,900. The parcel comes with all city services and is located near Aspen Creek. Completed homes in this development have been selling around $400K.
The highest priced parcel in a development is located in Harvest View. The 39 acres encompasses the open space lot in the community. Only one home can be built on the land and it is listed at $499,900.
The remainder of the residential properties for sale run the gamut from small to large, less expensive to very expensive, zoned or unzoned, with covenants or none. Some already have utilities in place, and some are totally undeveloped.
Of the listings that are not in a subdivision, 19 are listed as Agricultural property with an average cost per acre of $67K and an average size of ~19 acres. Sixteen properties are listed with County zoning. Those properties average about $61K in terms of cost, and on average have approximately 16 acres each. Of course, as I mentioned in the last report, these averages are not that useful but just give you a frame of reference when considering properties in NW Montana. For example, in the county listings, two have 100 acres each, one has 20 acres, and the rest have much smaller acreage counts.
There are also 38 listings with no zoning or with scenic corridor zoning. In no-zoning areas, you can build what you want. So can your neighbors (!).
The least expensive parcel that fits the above zoning description is a half acre lot with lakefront and mountain views. That is listed at $65,000.
The most expensive parcel on the market now, Cooper Farms, contains 360 acres with views of the Swan Mountains. The land includes multiple types of birdlife in the Flathead Lake wetlands. The property has highway frontage and can offer opportunities for both residential and commercial development. The asking price for this one is $5.9M.
There is also a 576 parcel with four mountaintops and mountain views for $2.3M or a 130 acre listing on a mountaintop with 360º views also for $2.3M. On the less expensive side, there’s a beautiful 20 acre parcel with views of Flathead Valley, Swan Mountains, and Smith Valley. That one is $239K. Or you could opt for 1.23 acres in a cove with 225 feet of Ashley Lake frontage for $299K.
The bottom line with land in Kalispell, Montana – every piece is unique, with different requirements, rules, views, utility options, amenities and of course prices.
Land listings continue to sell at a very strong rate this year. Three months this year had sales of 36 and so far this year, 206 total land listings have sold. That is already 5% more than all the sales combined in 2019.
Time to Sell
Land listings typically take longer to sell than home sales. The average days on market for land during 2020 has been 7.7 months. Last year, the average for the same time period was 8.5 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.
As an aside, 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, is facing in the correct direction, has the right kind of building site, has the required utilities, 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 8 months from listing to sales is not unreasonable!
As mentioned in my last report, 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 by the red bars in the chart below, the total value of land sold in 2020 far exceeds 2019. Through the end of September, there has been over $33M of land sold. The total amount sold last year was less than $25M. So this year is already 35% higher than all of last year. Also of interest, there are currently 52 (Fifty Two!) land parcels under contract with a list price value of $17M!
In terms of the lowest and highest prices for a land parcel (not acre), the lowest price parcel in September sold for slightly less than $50K. It was for 2 unzoned acres of forested land west of town. The parcel had no utilities currently on site but had prior septic approval and prior agreement for shared well. At the other end of the price range was a 93 acre parcel with multiple horse-related outbuildings. 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: