Whitefish is setting the pace for growth in home prices in northwest Montana, and economists say housing markets in Flathead County are looking healthy. MTPR's Nicky Ouellet reports from the 2018 Economic Outlook Seminar in Kalispell.
Whitefish housing prices have increased 26 percent since 2012, according to research by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
Rents have also increased by a steady 4.6 percent each year since 2012 statewide.
Brandon Bridge, an economist and director of forecasting for BBER, says Flathead County was building at a higher rate than the statewide average when it last peaked in 2005.
"The bust didn't hit Flathead County as hard percentage wise as it did across the state, now we're just a little bit below the statewide percentage to 2001," Bridge says.
Flathead County is building at 73 percent of 2005 levels. That’s higher than the rest of northwest Montana, but continues to lag slightly behind the rest of the state as a whole.