What’s the current state of the real estate market?

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Is the current real estate market different from the market a year ago?

In a recent discussion with real estate experts from around the country, Yahoo! Finance has shown that the current market is different from what we saw a year and half ago.

Kathy Casey, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker’s Residential Brokerage, stated, “Last year, we were running at a fever pitch, and fevers aren’t good. I feel like (the market) is slow and steady now. We’re in a more stable market, a more sustainable market. I actually think it’s better for buyers than last year even though the interest rates are higher.”

Dan O’Brien, a Trueblood real estate agent, said, ”It’s a different ballgame than it was 12-to-18 months ago. A lot of uncertainty last year with what was going to happen. Were we going to see 10% interest rates? But now, interest rates have somewhat normalized.”

The experts on the panel were optimistic about the current condition and expressed that they  felt that the current market was better for buyers than last year. Casey and Melanie Atkinson, a Smith & Associates real estate agent, stated that they were seeing more seller concessions and more time for buyers to decide in the current market. 

What’s the current expectation for this week’s inflation data?

CPI data will be released later today and the overall expectation is that headline and core CPI data should come in below consensus. This means that inflation is cooling off and the figures are expected to bolster the case for a pause in interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Falling energy costs in May are expected to offset increases in other areas of the market.

CPI data was released around 830 AM EST today.

What does the housing market look like in Montana?

Flathead County in Montana saw a pandemic-triggered housing boom about three years ago. According to recent data, the market has cooled off a bit, but it’s still slightly elevated.

The median sales price for a home in Flathead County was only $577,550 in May 2023 compared to $625,000 a year ago. That a 7.6% decrease year over year.

When asked about current conditions, Northwest Montana Association of Realtors Public Affairs director, Erica Wirtala said, “What we are seeing now is a return to a more traditional way of selling. A realtor will hold an open house and people will tour and make more calculated, thoughtful choices. Some people are downsizing or moving out of the area, or they need something bigger,” Wirtala said. “I have not seen interest rates play into sellers, it’s more the buyers.”

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