New housing report shows positive outlook, seller's market


MISSOULA, Mont. - The general outlook for Missoula's housing market is good, despite several areas of concern, according to the newly released 2014 Missoula Housing Report.

The report found that the Missoula urban area had a 23.8-percent increase in overall home sales from 2012 to 2013, which works out to 1,322 homes sold. That's a 50.5 percent increase in the number of residential sales since Missoula's low in 2011.

Prices have also gone up, from a median of $209,000 two years ago to $215,000 last year.

Prudential Missoula Properties Realtor Shannon Hilliard says those numbers mean it's a seller's market.

"I'm really seeing a lot of crazy activity in the market right now, a lot of multiple offers, bidding over asking price, bidding wars," said Hilliard. "I'm seeing trends in the market where we have a low supply and a high demand, which tends to lead to increasing prices."

That's good news for sellers, but not everyone.

"It's going to be tough for buyers who have waited. I'm going to say to buyers, it's time to do it, right now," said Hilliard.

She says renters, who make up 40 percent of Missoula County residents, are also feeling the effects of the shifting market.

"For renters, I'm seeing that there's going to be an increase in the number of units available, and the trend there tends to keep rental prices steady, or potentially keep them down, or give more incentives."

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