Where did all the available inventory go?

Spring 2018 marks Jackson Hole’s lowest available inventory in well over 35 years, with only 267 listings currently available (down 15% from 2017).  Both single-family homes and vacant residential lots broke records for the lowest level of available inventory recorded since the early 1980s.  The last time we saw levels this low was in 2006-07 when we averaged 325 listings.  The key difference between 2006-07 and 2018 is the number of sales in the first quarter.  In 2006 there were 208 sales. This year we only registered 128 sales, which means sales are down by 38%.  So, what has changed in the last 12 years to bring down the number of sales?

One: Construction prices skyrocketed, making it virtually impossible to build a standard 2,000 sq. ft. home on the least expensive single-family lot in the valley (currently $295,000 for 1.27 acres in Buffalo Valley) for under $1 million.

Two: During the Great Recession, almost half of the general contractors left the valley looking for work.  Unfortunately, after the recession, most did not return.  The few contractors who did survive the recession are now booked out for several years, with most of them building luxury homes.  The few contractors building somewhat affordable spec homes can’t bring them to the market for under $1 million.

Three: Over the past 20 years, Teton County, and Town of Jackson (TOJ) Planning Commissioners have done their best to slow development down.  They now require affordable housing exaction fees, limiting the impervious surface area you can build on, requiring additional parking for condos in the TOJ, increasing the amount of dedicated open space for new subdivisions, limiting the size of a single-family home (8,000 sq. ft.), and taking away zoning tools that were used to increase density.  These requirements were meant to slow growth and the appreciation rate so locals could afford to live in the valley, but the opposite has happened.  Today there are only 10 homes on the market for under $1 million, and 63 listed for over $2 million, or 71% of available homes.

Compared with the first three months of 2017, the 2018 number of sales is up 20%.   In contrast, the overall dollar volume was down 9%, the average sale price was down 24%, and the median sale price was down 4%. The decrease in these three segments are due to a large number of sales under $1 million (up 28%). In terms of price, the most activity was under $1 million, where 58% of overall transactions occurred. Geographically, the Town of Jackson experienced the most activity, the total of which accounted for 37% of all sales in the valley.  The Westbank came in a close second with 32% of all sales.

The upper end of the market—properties priced at $3 million and above— registered 18 sales (up 13%) in the first quarter of 2018.  Of those 18 sales, 7 were for over $5 million.  While it may appear the upper-end is leveling off, a quick look at properties under contract tells a different story. Currently 37 upper-end properties are under contract with an average list price of over $5.2 million. Of those, 78% are on the Westbank, with 43% located in in Shooting Star. While the available upper-end inventory is down 14%, these 87 listings make up 76% of the current overall dollar volume of available properties valley-wide.

There are 55 properties on the market in the $5 million+ price range, which is down 10% from Q1 2017. The most expensive listing is north of Town; a home priced at $28 million with 11,500 sq. ft. situated in the middle of 40 private acres offering 3/4 mile of trout-filled spring creeks and private golf under the shadow of the Tetons.

Q1 2018 marks the lowest level of overall available inventory since the early 1980s.

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*While other local Real Estate Brokerages attempt to report on the local real estate market, we are the only Realtors who track every single transaction.  Therefore, if you want the most accurate information to help guide you through your next real estate transaction, call us today.  We are the Experts. 

*All statistics are supplied by sources that have been deemed reliable but are not guaranteed.
*All statistics quoted in this newsletter are based on sales in 2018 compared to sales in 2017. 
*Median sale price is the cost of a property that has an equal number of sales above and below it on the price scale.
*Average sale price is the total combined dollar volume divided by the number of sales.
*The word “Overall” in this newsletter refers to all sales in Teton County combined (homes, lots, condos, commercial and ranch).

*Alta, Wyoming is not included in this report.
*The term “Market Value” means; the value of a property in terms of what it can be sold for on the open market; current value.

© Copyright 1995 – 2018 by David Viehman and Devon Viehman, dba The Clear Creek Group.  All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without explicitly written permission from David Viehman.