Jackson Hole real estate watchers are getting excited that the market in Teton County, the nation’s wealthiest, may be cooling.
There’s been a 22% decline in overall sales year over year in this popular ski resort and wildlife-rich territory, as well as a 29% drop in the overall volume of sales dollars, based on the most recent quarterly report from The Viehman Group, which tracks Teton County real estate data daily.
But listing prices are continuing to climb, and a 24% bump in available inventory has still only brought the supply of Jackson Hole real estate to about half what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re still at historic lows,” David Viehman said in a recent podcast explaining the report. “In fact, we’re at about the fourth lowest amount of inventory in almost 40 years.”
Still Setting Records, Though
Single-family home prices, meanwhile, have continued a rise to a new record despite the bump in inventory, $5.2 million, based on sales data by The Viehman Group.
According to the group’s figures, median single-family home sale prices were up 110% for the first nine months of 2023 from the Westbank to the Gros Ventre River in Jackson Hole.
Median sale prices for Westbank residential vacant land were up the most at 157%, but condo and townhomes north of the Gros Ventre River were not far behind with a 146% rise.
Jackson median home sale prices rose the least, up 55% for residential vacant land and 68% for condos/townhomes.
Single-family Jackson homes were up 110% .
The Viehman Group uses median sale prices in its report because of large price spreads in the Jackson Hole market. In a place where one home might sell for $1 million while another just down the street goes for $45 million, averages can easily become skewed.
Median sale prices are harder to move by outsized sale prices.
High Prices, Interest Rates Have Locked Buyers Out
Normally, rising supply would translate to falling costs, but what’s happening here looks to be a bit more complicated, not to mention quite expensive.
“Properties in Jackson are still worth nearly 100% more in the town of Jackson than they were 10 years ago,” Devon Viehman said during The Viehman Group’s podcast on the latest real estate figures.
The rise in prices alone had locked about 30 percent of buyers out of the market, The Viehman Group has said in previous reports. Rising interest rates on top of that have pinched off yet another layer of buyers.
“The Federal Reserve, you know, had to make the decision to raise interest rates to slow down inflation,” David said. “And of course, in the last couple of years, it has now doubled, making it really difficult for our local residents, and even some of our potential second homeowners who maybe had the majority of their purchase price, but they needed to go out and borrow some money, and it just made it a lot tougher on them.”
That dynamic is reflected in sales data showing that 69% of transactions in 2023 have been made with cash.
Higher Inventories Not Necessarily Translating To Lower Prices
Prices in Jackson Hole are so far not falling on rising inventory, as one might expect. Listing prices are up another 4% overall for the first three quarters, breaking a new record, all amid painfully high interest rates.
Sales of properties listed for more than $5 million may have been down 25%, but 16 of 77 high-end sales still closed for more than $10 million, and seven sold for more than $15 million.
In the single-family home category, sales are down 11%, and average sale prices are up 10%, settling at a new record, $5.2 million.
Most of the sales activity in the single-family home category, 60%, was in the $3 million-plus range, with 77 sales, while just two of 128 home sales were less than a million.
The least expensive home on the market at the moment is in South Park. It’s a modest, 1,048-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bath home at $1.073 million, The Viehman Group reported.
The most expensive, by contrast, is a 9,696 square-foot, four-bedroom, seven-bath home with two garages on 4.53 acres east of Teton Village. It’s listed at $37.5 million.
Any Float Is Likely A Fleeting Window, Not A Bursting Bubble
The Viehman Group believes the seller’s market in Jackson is softening, but it doesn’t necessarily mean prices are going to come down significantly.
“I see a lot of buyers saying, ‘I’m just going to wait because I think’ — and let’s take vacant land for example. When you read the numbers right here you go, ‘Oh wow, it’s down, you know these prices are coming down. The number of sales are coming down,’” Devon said. “Maybe I can find a lot for under a million next year in town.”
But that’s not likely to happen, she added.
“The prices are stabilizing, and I see this in other resort markets throughout the West with brokers that I visit with,” Devon said. “I believe that you have a window of opportunity right now where sellers are willing to negotiate. They’re willing to fix inspection items, they’re willing to come off their price a little bit.”
That window is likely to slam shut, however, come summer.
“It’s all about inventory,” David said. “And if we’re sitting, you know, at half the inventory that we would normally have, (high prices are) probably going to continue.”
Renée Jean can be reached at Renee@CowboyStateDaily.com.