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Report: Median Missoula home prices hit record high

Posted at 3:52 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 17:52:19-04

The median price of a home in Missoula continues to soar, hitting a new record in the last year of over $300,000.

The Missoula Organization of Realtors' 2020 report finds Missoula home sales were on pace with the past several year s, although short of the record set in 2017. Sales of multi-family units like townhouses and condominiums also remained strong.

However, the report shows Missoula falling behind creating new housing for a growing population. MOR. says new construction remained essentially flat in 2019, with 459 new homes. But total housing permits for single-family homes were down 22% over the five-year average, with multi-family permits down 42%.

That pushed the housing supply, tracked as the "absorption rate", down to as little as three months in 2019. Consequently, housing prices climb, with the median price hitting a new high of $315,000.

Missoula Housing<div class="Figure-credit" itemprop="author">MTN News file
Due to the timing of the 2020 report, the numbers aren't expected to reflect some of the emerging trends of the past few weeks.

The Missoula Organization of Realtors notes "it would be a struggle" for a family making the median income of $51,000-to-$73,000 to buy a median-priced home, even with a 20% down payment.

"Basically, what we've seen, and it's been even more exponential in 2019 and so far into 2020 we're seeing it as well, there's just in certain price points, especially our more affordable price points, there's really a lack of available supply,” said the MOR’s Brint Wahlberg. “There's effectively people that want to buy. But there's not much for them to buy."

The report was prepared before the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Wahlberg says Realtors are watching those trends closely to see how that will affect the rest of this year. The full report can be viewed here .