Jackson Wyoming and Teton Valley

Low supply and high demand keep market inflated with building costs high.

Currently, you will find there isn’t much inventory for locals or those seeking a vacation home. Real estate prices in Jackson have largely rebounded from the 2008 recession, when many properties lost 40 percent of their value or more, and there is not a lot of inventory for locals or vacation homeowners. Single-family homes, condominiums, and commercial real estate have all exceeded the all-time high values of 2007, while vacant land values, which weren’t as affected by the recession, have yet to fully recover.

At the high water mark, there were about 1,122 real estate transactions in Teton County, versus fewer than 600 so far this year. But with more than 97% of the land in the valley in public hands or encumbered by conservation easements, it is no wonder that real estate is still at a premium.

“Given the lack of available land, if you’re a smart buyer, you need to be ready to go when the right property is listed for sale,” says The Clear Creek Group founder Phil Stevenson.

Stevenson, who has been in the business for more than 30 years, says property is trading, on average, at about 97% of its list price today. While there is more inventory in the high-end, homes listed in the $3-$5 million range, properties listed for under $1 million, which are hard to come by, are the hot segment of the market.

Given the lack of available land, if you’re a smart buyer, you need to be ready to go when the right property is listed for sale.

Another dilemma homebuyers and sellers are facing is the high cost of renovations and difficulty finding and retaining contractors. More than half the construction workers who were in Teton County during the boom of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s left the valley during the recession to find work elsewhere.

“Part of the go, no-go decision is the cost of renovations,” Stevenson says, adding that while renovating homes is becoming more and more common in East Jackson, it can be cost prohibitive for many locals who are on a budget. “A lot of buyers are looking for places with no deferred maintenance.”

Carpenter Measuring A Wooden Plank.
A Residence Renovation
Carpenter Sanding Cedar Deck

These professional challenges are personal to Clear Creek Group’s David Viehman, who is struggling to find contractors for an addition to his own, personal residence.

“I’m my own general contractor on my remodel because I can’t find one,” says Viehman, who writes the seminal Jackson Hole Market Report, quarterly.

Both Viehman and Stevenson have made room in their own homes for their grown children. They agree it makes more economic sense to live together while their children build their careers, rather than see them struggle to pay a mortgage they can’t afford.

“I expect prices to continue to go up and continue to outprice many locals,” Viehman says, adding that he sees people hanging-on rather than trading up, like they did in the 90’s. “At some point, locals may find their dreams are dashed, and they don’t want to stay.”

Vacant Lot on the Snake River near Hoback, Wyoming, listed for $575,000
4 Lots in Jackson Hole's Gill Addition Under Contract for $4,795,000

For vacation homeowners, Jackson is attractive because there is no income tax, no real estate transfer tax, no inheritance tax, and it supports a growing airport and hospital with amenities that are improving every year.

But most of all, Jackson is attractive because it offers a quality of life that is difficult to duplicate in many other mountain towns.

“Jackson Hole is not just another mountain town,” says Phil Stevenson. “You don’t replicate the Tetons, the Snake River and the proximity to Yellowstone.”

To see a breakdown of available land and learn more about the real estate market in Jackson, go to Viehman’s website, jacksonholereport.com or call a Clear Creek Group Broker at (307) 732-3400.