LISTEN -Good News and Bad News From Annual Missoula Real Estate Report
Windermere Real Estate's Brint Wahlberg was on the team that put the annual report together, and gave the positive news first.
"Home sales have increased again," Wahlberg said. "What we saw for 2015 was a total of 1,390 residential home sales here in Missoula, and that's almost a 10 percent increase from last year. Our median sales price has gone up from $225,000 all the way up to $238,700, and that's a little over a six percent increase,"
Wahlberg said rental vacancy rates went from three to four percent, but with the national average up around seven percent, investors and rental property owners in Missoula are doing well.
Now, the not-so-good news on housing affordability.
"Median income in Missoula decreased last year, so affordability has taken a hit," he said. "The National Association of Realtors assumes that everyone purchases a home using 20 percent down, so when we look at the figures, the only household size that can afford a median priced home is a four person or larger household. However, here in Missoula, most of our first time homeowners don't have that 20 percent down payment, so the banks will add in mortgage insurance. When you apply that it pretty much punches out affordability for all household sizes."
Wahlberg says affordability is becoming more and more challenging for median income wage earners.
"In the city of Missoula, 59 percent of Missoula rents their homes, so we have more renters than home owners in the city of Missoula."