This report covers the residential land market (active listings and sales) in Kalispell Montana as of the end of December 2020. Similar to the housing market, land sales have been very strong.
As of early January, there were 98 residential land parcels for sale in the Kalispell area, which is an 18% decrease since the last month's report. The decrease is attributable both to properties going under contract and some listings expiring.
Five or more acres
Of the land currently for sale, 45% 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, or 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 $90,000 to $3.5M with an average price of $678K. The listing at the lowest end of the price spectrum is 20 acres of secluded property, with views of mountains. The highest priced property includes 185 acres adjacent to a conservation easement and located in between the Flathead River and Ashley Creek. This is billed as a wildlife and hunting landowner dream and it's listed for $3.5M.
As you can see, price per acre can vary dramatically from listing to listing. The 20 acre parcel is approximately $4,500 per acre while the 185 acre plot is more than $18,900. Looking at all the rural parcels for sale, the least expensive price per acre is $3,718 and the most is $129,268 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 4.6 acres and in price from $59,900 to $790,000 with an average price of $155K. 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 continued to sell at a very strong rate all year. In fact, there were 43% more land sales in 2020 than the year before. In addition, there are currently 27 pending/under contract land deals, so the strong results should continue into 2021.
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. Last year, the average for the same time period was 8.6 months. Land listings are, on average, selling slightly faster. But it's not that big of a difference to move the residential land market to a seller's market.
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 by the red bars in the chart below, the total value of land sold in 2020 far exceeds 2019. In 2020, $52M of residential land sold. The total amount sold the previous year was less than $25M. So 2020's results were more than double the previous year. Also of interest, there are currently 27 land parcels under contract with a list price value of nearly $6M. The January 2021 results should be higher than both January 2020 and 2019.
In terms of the lowest and highest prices for a land parcel, the lowest price parcel in December sold for around $70K. It was 0.20 of an acre in a subdivision with access to city sewer and water. At the other end of the price range were 171 acres of land with potential for a residential development. This sold for more than $3M. 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. 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.
For current land for sale in the Kalispell area, scroll to the bottom of this link.