Is this the new normal?

For the last 23 years, we have tracked every single free-market transaction in Jackson Hole. As part of our research we always look for trends, good or bad, to help predict the future for our clients and customers. After reviewing the 2017 stats, it’s become very clear that we have entered into a new normal for Jackson Hole. Starting in 2013, the average number of sales per year in the valley has been 642, whereas the average number of sales per year from 2003 to 2007 (pre-recession) was 929. During 2003 to 2007, we had an average of 465 listings at year’s end, whereas the last five years we have averaged 356 listings at year’s end, with only 290 listings at the end of 2017. When you compare these two time periods, the number of sales today is down an average of 31%, and inventory levels are down 23%.

So what has changed in the last ten years, and where did the inventory go? First, during the recession we lost about 50% of the contractors in our valley, and after the recovery they did not return. For this reason, we are only seeing a handful of new spec homes built annually, which limits our overall supply. Second, the market has not only recovered from the Great Recession, but some segments are 10% to 20% higher in value than the all-time high of 2007. These higher values have once again priced out our local buyers, who work for a living, and brought down the number of annual transactions. Third, locals who already own real estate are not trading up. Prior to 2008, many locals looked at their real estate investment as part of their retirement portfolio. To build value into their portfolio, they would trade up every 3-5 years. For example, they may have owned a two bedroom condo and traded up to a three bedroom house with a small backyard. Then they would trade up again to a home with some acreage, and a larger or newer home.

Today locals are not trading up. When asked why, many tell you there is nothing nice out there to buy, or they are concerned about overextending themselves. Of course, this is because so many lost all their built-up equity during the recession, and the loss is still fresh in their minds. Lastly, costs of construction labor and materials have gone through the roof, making it almost cost prohibitive for a local to build a new home. This combination of factors has created a limited supply, and prices have accelerated to the point where most local buyers can no longer afford to enter our market. Case in point: The highest number of annual sales happened in 2005 with 1,122 sales, of which 429 sold (38%) for under $500,000. In 2017 only 90 sales occurred for under $500,000, or 15% of the overall sales, and only 14 are listed today for under $500,000.

To guarantee the most successful outcome in your next real estate transaction, call us today. The Jackson Hole Report is the most widely distributed and trusted quarterly newsletter in Jackson Hole.

As you may have read in previous reports, we spent all of 2016 inventorying every free-market deed in the entire valley, an exhaustive process that allows us to say, with complete confidence that we have the most comprehensive real estate database in the valley. Simply put, we know this market better than anyone else. Our in-depth, unparalleled knowledge make us the most thorough and trusted advisors to buyers and sellers alike. So whether you are a buyer or seller, let our knowledge empower you in your next real estate transaction.

The Year in Review: 2017 Sales & Trends

The year closed with the overall market—all home, lot, condo and commercial transactions or listings— reporting 2% less sales than 2016, for a total of 604 properties sold in 2017 in Teton County.  The overall dollar volume inched up to $1.019 billion.  The Luxury Market (over $3 million) slipped a bit, with a 5% decrease in the number of sales.  The decrease in overall sales can be attributed to two main factors: a decrease in single-family home sales (down 16%), and the overall available inventory, which is at the “LOWEST” level in 30 years.

The hot spot in 2017 was under $1 million, where 55% of all transactions occurred.  The steady demand in this segment—in tandem with the dearth of homes listed under $1 million (only 14 are available valley-wide)—suggests prices will continue to climb in 2018.  We predict buyers will continue to flock to our market, but our underlying concern remains: How much well-priced inventory will be available for buyers?

Vacant land values finally on the rise: While all other segments of the market have recovered from the recession, residential vacant land values have struggled.  Even though vacant land values were the least impacted during the recession, going down an average of only 20%, it has taken 10 years for this segment to recover.  Excessive inventory and non-motivated sellers were the main reasons for the slow recovery.  But, you also have to consider construction cost and lenders hesitation to lend money on vacant land until recently.  While the average sale price went down 24% in 2017, the number of sales doubled to 114, and the number of active listings at year’s end dropped 27% to 100 listings.  NOTE: The 100 residential vacant land listings represent the lowest available inventory in over 30 years. If this trend continues, expect to see some increase in values for 2018, especially in the under $1 million segment.

Overall real estate currently under contract: At year’s end, there were 70 properties under contract (up 11%) with an average list price of $2.2 million (down 43%) and a median list price of $1.2 million (down 62%).  Of the 70 properties under contract, 25 are in the Town of Jackson, with a combined list price of almost $40 million, and 28 are on the Westbank, with a combined list price of over $93 million.

Current overall available inventory has decreased 17% when compared to the close of 2016, making year-end 2017 the “LOWEST” level of overall available inventory in more than 30 years. The average and median list prices have jumped, up 16% and 30% respectively, but dollar volume slipped 3% to $1.03 billion. NOTE: The under $1 million segment reported the most current active listings, with 78 (down 26%), and the $1-$2 million segment comes in a close second with 71 listings. The $1-$2 million segment logged 156 sales in 2017. Also noteworthy, there are currently 62 single-family homes listed for $3+ million.

If you are a property owner in Jackson Hole and would like a free comparative market analysis, please email David or Devon at or, or call 307-690-4004. Our in-depth local knowledge gleaned from producing the Jackson Hole Luxury Report has made us Your Local Luxury Experts.

Jackson Hole Luxury Report

The market dynamics have changed drastically during the 23 years we have published the Jackson Hole Report. During our tenure tracking real estate, we marveled at the growth of the high-end market and came to realize this elite segment warranted special attention. For this reason, we launched the Jackson Hole Luxury Report six years ago, a limited-edition newsletter focused exclusively on high-end properties, which we define as $3 million and above.

The purpose of this limited-edition report is to provide high-end buyers and sellers with a clear understanding of the luxury landscape in which they find themselves.  Building upon the analysis of the Jackson Hole Report, we delve deeper into the dynamics of the market above $3 million.  Since 2013, each semi-annual edition has garnered great response and feedback from our readers.  Some clients request our property valuations for estate planning, or hire us when they decide to sell, and others simply seek more information about the overall luxury market.  Many existing and future property owners also want more information about real estate-related services such as a Property Manager, Interior Decorator, Homebuilder, Architect, or Estate Planner, which we are happy to provide.

The singular nature of luxury listings in Jackson Hole requires that each sale be examined in great detail and truly special properties must be considered incomparable. When pricing this type of property, you need a luxury data specialist to ensure success. As a courtesy to new clients, we provide a free confidential market analysis of their distinctive property, and continue to update the current value of the property for estate planning and/or trust revisions.

While the Luxury Report focuses on luxury homes, condos and single-family vacant parcels, our mailing list considers a wider lens inclusive of select commercial properties, large tracts of land, and ranches in Jackson Hole.  Currently there are 1,601 properties worth $3+ million in Jackson Hole—all of which we include on our mailing list.

If you are not currently receiving the Luxury Report, would like to know what your luxury property is worth in today’s market, or if you are ready to sell, please contact David Viehman at 307-690-4004 or To sign up for the digital version of the Luxury Report, visit

*While other local Real Estate Brokers attempt to report on the local real estate market, we are the only ones to track every single transaction. Therefore, if you want the most accurate information to help guide you through your next real estate transaction, please call Devon, Luke or David 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 2017 compared to sales in 2016.
*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.
*In this report, “overall” refers to all sales in Teton County combined (homes, lots, condos, commercial, ranch), minus Alta, WY.
*The term “Market Value” means the value of property in terms of what it can be sold for on the open market; current value.

© Copyright 1995 – 2018 by David E. Viehman and Devon Viehman. 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 E. Viehman.