December Bozeman Real Estate Report

Tim Ford

With the holiday season upon us, many people often ask about timing the market. It seems that many assume the holidays are the worst time of year to sell a home, but let’s take a look at the numbers.

Since December sales datum is not complete, I’m including data for 2014 and 2015. The accompanying charts include the number of single family homes listed each month in Bozeman, and the number of new contracts. The New Contracts column includes the number of home sales that went under contract that month, or the date that buyer and seller came to an agreement upon terms, not the closing date. It should also be noted that for any given month, more homes were likely on the market at that time than are included in the New Listings column, this number simply reflects the number of homes that were brought onto the market that month.  

There are some differences between 2014 and 2015, but there are more similarities. As a general rule, new contracts appear to slow in the winter months and pick back up during the warmer months, which appears to be on par with popular sentiment, but what about competition? One could read from the data that while there are more buyers in the spring & summer, there is also more competition. Fall & winter bring fewer buyers to the market, but there is also less competition. For both years, the number of new listings & new contracts for November & December are almost identical. This doesn’t mean that the same homes that hit the market sold, many of the homes that went under contract could have been on the market for some time.  

Perhaps the best answer is not to try to time the market, but to make the move when the timing works well for the individual or family. There are pros and cons to all the seasons. For buyers, the best way to get into the home that is right is to put one’s self in a position where they’re ready to buy but not in a time crunch to buy. Owners looking to sell could pay attention to the activity and interest in their immediate vicinity to gauge the timing, but there is also something to being said for timing it to personal needs.

Looking at this year’s sales, from the first of the year through November 15, 2016: 849 homes have sold thus far in Bozeman at a median sold price of $375,000.  In addition, 166 sales are currently pending, or under contract, as of the date of writing this article. This is compared to 149 sales that were pending this time last year.  

The included data reflects sales of homes on less than and more than 1 acre in the greater Bozeman area, including Four Corners, Gallatin Gateway, Bridger Canyon, and Bozeman city limits. The data includes home sales reported through the local Southwest Montana MLS, and does not include private party sales, Condominiums, or Townhouses. 

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