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Realtors say Gallatin County is still a seller's market, but options are improving for buyers

Single-family home prices up almost 26% from last year
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Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 01, 2022

This September compared to last, there has been an increase in inventory and prices of housing in the Gallatin County real estate market. With the winter months approaching, the prices of houses seem to be cooling down.

Maria, a Gallatin County resident, is ready to start looking for a house again during this time after taking a break from her house hunt last year.

“It's been very challenging. Although now with the shift in the market, it's been much easier and there's actually been options,” Maria says.

Maria is looking for a house in the Bozeman and Belgrade areas. She has been looking since last year, but the market was too overwhelming so she took a break in hopes the market would calm down.
 
“I had very few options and I think we made, one time we made an offer, and there was like 20 other offers in; mine wasn't even considered,” says Maria.

This time around, Maria is noticing a difference in not only the prices of houses but what she can get within her price range compared to her hunt last year.  

“There is more options as far as where I want to move but I kind of noticed the difference more and like the amount of space I'm able to get for my budget is very different,” says Maria.

According to the Gallatin Association of Realtors (GAR), single-family home prices have increased 25.9% since last September from $690,000 to $869,000. The amount of time houses spend on the market has also increased from about 14 days to 34 days. Broker Jackie Wickens says even though the prices seem high, things are actually starting to settle.
 
“Interest rates are rising and with the pandemic kind of mellowing out, we're starting to see prices come down,” says Broker Jackie Wickens.

GAR President, Joanna Harper, says that houses are still selling quickly and for high prices, but in these winter months, there will be less competition to buy homes compared to the multiple offers on properties she sees during the summer months.

“They made the decision to accept less than their full list price because they're interested in getting under contract and moving forward," says Harper, "whereas earlier this year, they probably wouldn't have had to make any concessions. Now the reality is they do.” 

Now sellers have to compete and negotiate more.
 
“Now, there isn't that same kind of competition between buyers and so now sellers are competing with each other a little bit,” says Harper.

With lower prices, Harper says this is technically still a seller's market.  

“Technically, yes, we are still in a seller's market," says Harper, "But realistically, buyers have more power today than they did six months ago. Less than six months' worth of inventory means that the power differential weights in favor of the seller.”