Virginian Village

The most affordable condo in Jackson is a 474-square-foot one-bed, one-bath unit at Virginian Village for $320,000.

Single-family homes in town and to the south led the 2019 real estate market in Jackson Hole, according people doing the selling.

But that was in a market in which single-family property sales fell by 14% and overall single-family dollar volume was down 8% to $690 million while prices continued to rise, according to David Viehman, compiler of the Jackson Hole Report.

Viehman, an associate broker at Engel & Volkers, also determined that the “under-$1 million” segment of the single-family market was the hottest during 2019 but also the segment facing the biggest squeeze because of rising prices and tight inventory.

“The under-$1 million market is slowly slipping away, representing only 17% of all home sales in 2019” Viehman wrote.

He noted 45 home sales during the year in the under-$1 million market, but only seven homes listed at that price at the start of the year, with the cheapest listed for $750,000. In 2011, Viehman noted, there were 40 homes on the market for less than $750,000.

The total single-family market, in contrast to the under-$1 million segment, had 119 listings, with an average list price of $5.65 million, the highest average price ever.

At year’s end, Viehman said, the average sale price for all single-family units was $2.62 million and the median was $1.74 million. Both those figures were up 7% over 2018.

The entire single-family market during the year — sales at any price — saw 264 sales, Viehman said, with 24 of those being spec houses.

Figures compiled by Jackson Hole Sotheby’s Real Estate differed in detail but not in the overall condition of the market. The Sotheby’s report said all sales in Teton County during 2019 amounted to $922 million, with transactions falling to 514 from 532 in 2018.

Sotheby’s put single-family sales during the year at 221, with an average sale price of $2.64 million. Single-family sales accounted for 43% of all transactions and 63% of dollar volume during the year, according to Sotheby’s.

Though 2019 wasn’t much different in most respects than the previous year, 2018 was a strong one to follow, said Katie Brady, an associate broker at Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates.

“2018 was an explosive year, with transactions up 13%, dollar volume up 38%t, average sales prices up 22%,” Brady said. “I don’t think anyone anticipated that.”

The strength of 2018, she said, made some predict a drop-off, but 2019 “wasn’t the huge correction everyone expected.” She called 2019 a “pump the brakes” year for real estate.

Sotheby’s and Viehman agreed that town of Jackson sales were strongest, with Viehman reporting 69 sales for an average of price of $1.51 million (total $103 million).

Second was south of Jackson to the Snake River bridge, he said, with 56 sales for an average $2.6 million (total $146 million).

Viehman also reported strong sales on the West Bank, north and south of Wilson, with a total of 50 sales for an average around $3.3 million (total $166.5 million), and Skyline Ranch, with 18 sales for an average $2.8 million ($50.5 million).

The Sotheby’s calculation of 58 single-famly sales in town was down 18.3%, which it said was “mostly due to lack of inventory and escalating prices.”

Viehman said overall inventory of all properties ended the year up 2%, but that made it the second-lowest in 30 years. Sotheby’s agents agreed, and Brady thought a lot of inventory was new, the result of people who’ve been waiting for the market deciding it was time to sell.

“More listings came on the market,” she said. “You see that after a strong year.”

Sotheby’s also noted the relatively small part played by sales in a segment that traditionally was among Jackson’s biggest: vacant land and ranch sales. It reported 69 sales during the year, and those not particularly big, with the average price being only $1.88 million.

Land sales accounted for only 13.4% of the market in 2019, Sotheby’s said, and the “days on market” figure hit 520 days.

Matt Faupel, a partner in Christie’s affiliate Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, said a big part of that was that vacant land “just doesn’t exist anymore.”

Single-family sales, on the other hand, were completed on average after only 163 days on the market, and condo and townhome sales were done after 118 days.

Viehman said that while dollar volume is back to near where it was before the Great Recession, the number of sales still lags. Sales since 2013, he said, have been in the 600 to 700 range, while they peaked at 1,200 in 2009.

Given conditions, he said, “we’re not going to see a thousand buyers again.”

Still, Faupel said, a market that was steady or slightly down was still a strong 12 months.

“Nobody is going to tell you it was a bad year,” he said.

Ed. note: This article has been corrected to show that Katie Brady is an associate broker at Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates. Her affiliation was incorrectly reported in the original.

Contact Mark Huffman at 732-5907 or

Mark Huffman edits copy and occasionally writes some, too. He's been a journalist since newspapers had typewriters and darkrooms.

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