The panoramic Shields Valley lies in the heart of Park County — 47 miles from Bozeman and just 20 miles north of Livingston. You’ll find plenty of natural beauty, breathtaking views and scenery, and outdoor recreational opportunities in this sparsely populated area. The Absaroka Mountains lie to the south, the Bridger Mountains to the west, and the Crazy Mountains to the east, with the Shields River winding its way through the Valley. Outdoor enthusiasts love living along the Shields River, where they spend the summer enjoying the views and fishing in their private backyards. In the winter, you’ll find the valleys blanketed in white, fluffy snow, perfect for cross-country skiing. The Montana Property Brokers
have gathered some insights into the market, including the cost of living in Shields Valley and what you need to know about the coming year.
Before diving in, it’s essential to know that real estate markets are often unpredictable, and though professionals make predictions based on current and previous data, things often change quickly. Agents and other professionals tend to ask questions about rising rates, shifts in the market, whether the market will lean toward buyers or sellers, or if the market might crash. Watching current trends, paying attention to the quarterly reports, and having attention to detail are critical in forecasting the future of real estate markets. Based on this and more, we can make specific insights into the future of Shields Valley real estate, but first, let’s look at where the market has been this past year.
Shields Valley market insights
In the heart of the Shields Valley, land values are higher, and the housing market ranges from quaint to expansive in terms of homes and land. Neighboring cities also range from more minor to much larger markets, meaning inventory in the area and home prices can swing higher or lower than the area averages.
As of April 2023, the median home price in Shields Valley is around $687,000
, slightly below the state average. Homes last an average of 150 days on the market in Shields Valley, a significant decrease since last year, but higher on average than the rest of Park County, which holds an average of 72
days on the market.
The Montana housing market remained strong in 2022 thanks to high demand and price, plus a limited supply that keeps sellers in the light. Although the total home sales dropped since the previous year, home prices continue to increase, time on the market is decreasing, and overall there is plenty of growth in the area. Park County and Shields Valley have seen significant growth and maintained their status as a seller’s market.
What is a seller’s market?
We know that Shields Valley maintains its status as a seller’s market when properties are priced accordingly, which means the demand for homes is far greater than the supply. Though the number of homes available has increased over the last year, this increase is insignificant and allows the market to favor sellers. This is also seen in how quickly homes tend to get taken off the market and the consistent rise in home prices. When homes are selling relatively quickly, with time on the market dropping, and the median sales price is slightly above the area’s average, it’s possible to have bidding wars. Properties are selling quickly, time on the market has dropped throughout the year, houses consistently sell above the asking price, and bidding wars are likelier to break out.
What is a buyer’s market?
On the other side of bidding wars and high home prices is the buyer's market. Simply put, this is when the supply of homes exceeds the demand. In this instance, there are plenty of homes for sale, but more interested buyers are needed. This type of market is great for buyers because they hold the leverage. As mentioned, real estate markets fluctuate based on several factors, including the type of market. Home prices in a buyer’s market tend to fall, time on the market increases, and negotiations are far more common. Sellers will compete to attract buyers and need to act accordingly.
The outlook for Shields Valley in 2023 remains optimistic, much like the rest of the state and the Southwestern region of Montana. Home prices should not increase drastically, instead, remain reasonably flat for the remainder of the year and well into the next. Buyers and sellers are still reacting to higher mortgage rates, extensive financing costs, and higher inventory levels, so home prices should remain steady. Those considering selling need to price their homes competitively yet realistically to stay in the competition and attract buyers.
Those purchasing homes need to be mindful of rising interest rates, which aren’t expected to decline until at least the second half of 2023, but buyers can always refinance if the rates decrease. With the housing market reacting to increasing mortgage rates, sellers are adjusting to higher inventory, expensive financing, increased competition, and more. These things tend to favor buyers, so the market is shifting slightly away from the sellers but has yet to shift completely toward a buyer’s market. The Shields Valley real estate market should begin to settle in the middle with a more balanced market into next year.
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