Paul Austin, Home Buyer in Pensacola, FL

how has the local real estate market been affected by the general economy?

Asked by Paul Austin, Pensacola, FL Mon Nov 24, 2008

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The Flathead Valley has experienced changes in home market by the general economy. We have had layoffs, cutbacks, and some closings of significant employers. Yet the Flathead Valley is unique in that as a destination point. A great portion of the Valley is owned by Public so land availability is not as great, but we do have a great number of subdivisions already with lots available. Thus, the area is predisposed to less drastic changes than other areas of the country. Our Sold Statistics show we are up nearly 22%, Pendings (under contract) slightly more than 18%., active listings (whats on the market) up 3%, while our New listings are 2.3% compared to last year. Our Absorbation rate (how fast we sell what is in our inventory) is still down slightly more than -24%, our average list price is down only -5.13%. Our Average list price is up nearly 27% however our days on market are also up nearly 24%. The median home sale price is $210,000. Indeed, Flathead Valley is a great place to live if you have the job that supports your lifestyle.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
While the Flathead Valley as a whole has experienced some of the typical trends going on in the rest of the country: increased supply, lower demand and an abundance of distressed sellers and foreclosures on the market - pockets within our valley have retained value better than others. Whitefish and Meadow Lake resort in Columbia Falls seem to be the two areas that have been affected the least by the depressed economy. Whitefish maintains a resort town charm while still being priced well below similar resort towns in CA, CO or UT. The constant traffic generated by Glacier National Park also helps brings first time visitors to the Valley in the thousands every Summer and this past Summer was no different. Being geographically quite close to Canada and Calgary in particular, where the economy is currently flourishing has helped home sales as well. The long answer is, yes, we like most other areas have been affected by the economy but not to the same extent that most others have experienced.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 2, 2010
Bigfork, Montana and the Flathead Valley is a strong second home market. Though the state of Montana has relatively lower foreclosures compared to the majority of the states, our buyers come from the top ten states with high foreclosure rates. Though our inventories of homes on the market has grown, we are not seeing hugh desperation pricing such as found in Florida, Nevada, Arizona or California.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 20, 2009
It depends. In general, buyers are finding it increasingly more difficult to obtain conventional financing; however, this doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. (Check out 'creative financing' for more info.) In some markets, where there's a high number of (pre-)foreclosures/REOs, the property values continue to decline. Yet, in other markets, like in Dallas/Ft Worth, there appears to be no correlation between the property values and the performance of the economy overall; the property values in DFW have only declined about 3% thus far. Recently, lenders have become increasingly more flexible with allowing their borrowers to renegotiate the terms (including interest rate, principal [sometimes], amortization period, etc) of their mortgages. Appraisers have grown increasingly more skittish and extremely conservative on their appraisals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 24, 2008
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