Home prices increased 24.5% in Laurel from last year according to Laurel Realtor

LAUREL, Mont. - Laurel Broker and Owner of A Haus of Reality Angela Klein-Hughes said there was a 24.5% increase in home prices in Laurel over the past year.

"We have seen about a 24.5% increase from last year," Klein-Hughes said. "That is not normal. These last couple of years have been escalating at a very rapid pace for the increase in home prices. On a normal year, when we have a balanced market, it is around a 2-3% increase a year (that we have seen in years past)."

She said one challenge is lack of homes on the market. In 2018, there were 81 listings. Today, the number of homes on the market is about half of that.

"We have less than 45 homes on the market right now in Laurel," she said.

She said the area continues to be attractive for people moving from other places.

"This year alone, I was looking through my sales, I calculated 30% of my buyers were from out of state that have come into the Laurel/Billings market," she said. "Which is not typical. In years past, I'd be lucky if we saw one out-of-state buyer for the year."

Klein-Hughes said rising interest rates should help stabilize home prices.

"Interest rates are on the rise," she said. "They are rising continuously. We have seen rates probably settling on a conventional 30-year around 6 1/2% right now. This time last year, they were at 3 1/2%. So, that makes a fairly drastic difference on a house payment."

"We will probably see some market stabilization from those higher rates," she added. "That's the intent from the feds. They are trying to decrease inflation currently. We will probably see home pricing start to come down somewhat. It's not going to be drastic. It will be somewhat."

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