Weather, Whitefish Market and Hotels!

February 24, 2016 • Blog, News/Updates  | By: Linda Chauner

With temperatures in the 40’s and snow melting in the valley, it feels like spring!  But it’s still only February!!!  Don’t worry, however, as the conditions on Big Mountain are great and skiing is awesome. My RE/MAX office has 25 agents and we are all much busier than usual this time of year.  Without throwing a bunch of statistics at you, I will tell you what I see here in Whitefish. I will include the link to Jim Kelley’s market stats   I will briefly discuss the new hotels under construction and the possible effect on property owners currently doing short term rentals and include a link to an article in the Whitefish Pilot.

WHITEFISH MARKET: Anything priced well and under $250k is selling quickly–and even up to $300k.  Three bed/2 bath newer homes between 1200 and 1800 sq. ft. up to $400k are selling well and there is a shortage of good inventory.  There is a shortage of inventory for quality functional family homes (3 or more bedrooms, over 2000 sq. ft, in good condition, have a yard and are somewhat close to town) up to $500k.  Residential lots are selling well and going up some in price, but it slows when those residential lots are over $120k.  Larger acreages are selling.   Jim Kelly had an article in the Whitefish Pilot in which he stated that the mean price of homes was equal or over the high during the bubble period of 2006/07.  Many people thought he meant that sales prices were equal to that time period.  He didn’t say that.  What he referred to is the “mean” which is the number at which there are equal amounts above and below that number.  With such a strong market for anything up to $300k, we have very little inventory in that range, therefore to have equal amounts on either side of a “number”, that number will be higher.  I still see prices well below those high numbers of 2006/07 although I do think we need to watch that lower end market as demand increases prices.  Home sales over $1million seem to have held the same in 2015 as 2014, but it appears that seller’s may be getting a bit in the last year.

For my stat lovers, here is Jim Kelley’s 2015 Market Report:

NIGHTLY WEEKLY RENTAL PROPERTIES and HOTELS:  There is a demand right now for properties that allow nightly/weekly rentals and not much inventory.    As you may or may not know, Whitefish has very limited areas that are zoned to allow for that.  Buyers want to offset expenses with rental income and often use VRBO and handle the rentals themselves.  For several years now, these properties have done well with the rental income but with two (and maybe 3) new hotels going up in Whitefish, some are concerned that the increased hotel room inventory will affect those numbers. In addition, there are those who feel that our past vacation rental shortage has putshed visitors to renting on Big Mountain and the new availability of over 200 additional hotel rooms may affect income for Big Mountain Properties.  I honestly don’t know.  I tend to think that individuals who seek out VRBO’s tend to prefer that experience over the hotel choices but I do think it will have some effect.  What I do know is if you are purchasing a property and looking at investment potential from rental income, take this factor into consideration.  Be a bit more conservative.

Here is the Whitefish Pilot article on the new Hotels: