- Associated Press - Sunday, November 2, 2014

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - The Montana housing market, which got off to a slow start this year, has jumped in many areas of the state since July, according to statistics.

The state has seven major markets that report sales each quarter: Billings, the Bitterroot Valley, Gallatin Valley, Great Falls, Helena, Missoula and Northwest Montana.

The Montana Association of Realtors received sales data from these markets from July 1 through Sept. 30 for this year, which showed more single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and lots have been purchased during the third quarter of 2014 than last year at the same time.

Of the seven reporting markets, the Helena region saw the largest increase, up more than 16 percent over the first half of 2014,, followed by Kalispell with a 14.2 percent increase.

According to the Northwest Montana Association of Realtors, this increase looks like it will continue throughout the rest of the year and into next year.

“It’s a very optimistic time for the market,” Tia Robbin, executive director of the Northwest Montana Association of Realtors, told the Daily Inter Lake (https://bit.ly/1yONRhD). “Not only do you have good values on the market that have been there for a while, but you also have buyers who are actively looking to buy. It’s a unique time for the market, but a good opportunity for everyone.”

A total of 3,037 single family homes were sold throughout the state between July 1 and Sept. 30 this year, compared to 2,910 during the same time in 2013.

“Buyers are actively looking,” Robbin said. “This area took a decrease with the difficult economic times, but now we’re bouncing back, with new construction, new retail and the market infusion from the Canadian buyers.”

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Information from: Daily Inter Lake, https://www.dailyinterlake.com

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