Montana Home Reappraisals Show Some Stabilization in Market - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Montana Home Reappraisals Show Some Stabilization in Market

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MISSOULA - The median sale price of a home is drastically increasing in the eastern part of the state near the Bakken oil boom, while listing prices are decreasing in some parts of western Montana.

Officials at the Montana Department of Revenue have released initial findings from their reappraisal of residential homes, which takes place every six years.

Their reports show in Richland County, the median sale price of a home has increased from $80,000 to $250,000-- a 213% increase.

In Silver Bow, the median sales price has increased 38%, and in Gallatin County it's increased about 8%.

Missoula's median price has increased about 6%.

Flathead County's price has decreased about 3%. Ravalli County saw the largest drop in price, from $225,000 to $190,00-- about a 16% decrease.

Western Montana Region Manager at the the state Department of Revenue, Scott Williams, said changes in the median sales price of a home doesn't necessarily indicate a change in property value.

"The median sales price just represents the population of what's being sold at the given time," he said.

Williams said this means in places like Ravalli County, where the median price of a home has dropped nearly 16%, the housing market is being dominated by lower-priced homes.

"So their prices are starting to approach the levels that they were back in 2008, but they're just not there yet," Williams said.

Williams said the same goes for Flathead County, where there was also a small decrease. He said these counties are still digging out of the recession.

"That's actually the first place where recovery starts, it's the less expensive properties that start selling."

Brint Wahlberg, an agent at Windermere Real Estate, said foreclosure resales make up 20% of the housing market in Ravalli County, while they make up only 5% in Missoula County.

"So, it's one thing where you have a lot of resales and market activity that's still distressed in foreclosed sales, so it's kind of keeping a lid on that market value."

Wahlberg said an increase in a median sales price could suggest a slightly higher property tax rate.

"So, what this could mean for some buyers is it might affect affordability just a little bit," Wahlberg said.

But overall, the median sales price of a home in Montana has not changed much over the past six years.

"It can show that there's stabilization-- that's what we're seeing is that the market is starting to stabilize," Williams said.

The complete reappraisal will be completed this December.

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