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Missoula Home Sales Hit Record Highs

House for sale.

More homes were sold in Missoula last year than any other year on record. That’s according to a new report released today by the Missoula Organization of Realtors.

The latest housing report illustrates just how hot Missoula’s housing market is. In short, it’s white hot. Buyers snapped up over 1,500 homes; 151 more than in 2016.

MOR's Brint Wahlberg says house sales increased every quarter last year.

"What we’ve started tracking is how close houses are selling to their original list price. What we’ve noticed is right now it's still hovering around 98 percent," Wahlberg says.

The median sales price surpassed $268,000. That’s the seventh straight year Missoula’s median sales price increased. Homes priced between $200,000 and $275,000 made up the largest proportion of sales last year.

As Missoula’s population grows, that puts more pressure on the local housing supply, including rental housing, which remained at a 3 percent vacancy rate in 2017. 

Nearly half of renters spend over 30 percent of their income on rent.

These and other factors means affordable housing remains at arm’s length to many in Missoula County where the median income in 2016 was more than $46,000.

Missoula Mayor John Engen describes the lack of affordable housing as one of the community’s most pressing problems.

"We are not going to move the needle on the numbers that you’re seeing here today without public investment in housing. The form that takes is yet to be determined, but we know that we have enough support and we have enough resources that we can begin to buy down the cost of housing for folks in our community," Engen says.

Read the 2018 Missoula Housing Report here.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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