Flathead Lake in Montana is one of the 300 largest natural lakes in the world and the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River and as such is attracting real estate investors, vacation home buyers and waterfront enthusiasts to its shoreline.
According to studies done at the Flathead Lake Biological Station in Yellow Bay (located just south of Bigfork, MT), the water in Flathead Lake is among the cleanest in the world. Every New Years folks take to the lake for the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Woods Bay on the eastshore and the plunge in Polson Bay on the south shore.
The lake, located in NW Montana and about 8 miles south of Kalispell, is about 191 square miles in surface area with an average depth of 164 feet and a maximum depth of 370 feet. The varied shoreline meanders over 160 miles around all of the waterfront property with the towns of Bigfork, Lakeside & Somers, Rollins, Elmo, Big Arm and Polson on its shores. Wild Horse Island in Big Arm Bay near Rollins is managed by Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and is open for day use to enjoy the 2,100 acres of land. A few lucky people have private ownership of lake property on Wildhorse Island. Hikers will see bighorn sheep and wild horses. There are many public access points on Flathead Lake, with most at one of the beautiful Montana State Parks dotting the shore line. (For a wonderful synopsis of the parks around Flathead Lake, read Water,Water Everywhere.) A favorite among locals is WayFarer’s State Park with it large rocks on which to sunbathe (or jump off of to cool down.)
Take a 3 minute photo video tour of Flathead Lake:
Flathead Lake real estate would be considered mostly developed with vacation homes for sale, high end custom lakefront homes, cabins, condos and few unimproved land or property sites available for sale . The Flathead Lake real estate market has reflected the inventory over the years with “hot years” showing only a handful of homes for sale, and also slow sales years with high inventory of over a 150 homes for sale. View our visual tour inventory including Flathead Lake homes for sale .
The 2013 Flathead Lake Market Recap: Coming soon!
The 2012 Flathead Lake Market Recap: January – December 2012 showed final sales on Flathead Lake to be 49 homes sold and 13 vacant land properties sold. (This count does not include the 25 waterfront condo/townhomes in Bigfork, Somers, Lakeside and Polson that sold.) At the end of the year there were still 71 waterfront homes available for sale, with only 1 of these being “bank owned”. Five out of the 71 homes for sale were shown as “Pending” at year end but had not yet closed.
Based on the 2012 rate of sale of 49 homes with 71 homes remaining to sell, there is only 1.4 years worth of inventory (absorption rate). (That is about half of the time as shown in 2011 – This shows that Flathead Lake inventory is shrinking as sales pace quickens!)
The highest sale on the lake in 2012 happened in the Fall with a final sales price of $3,400,000; This home was on the market for 5.5 years and was located on beautiful Finley Point on the south end of Flathead Lake. It had over 9,000 sq ft with 330′ of frontage. The least expensive home that sold in 2012 with full navigable frontage was a foreclosed home in Big Arm – it sold for $290,000. Overall, the median sale price on Flathead Lake was $580,000; the average was approx $796,000. The average days on market for the 49 that sold was 521 days.
Currently there is a great selection of lake homes for sale in various price ranges, along with a nice selection of condos that have common frontage on Flathead Lake and dock systems. Here is the real estate currently for sale: