The COVID-fueled fever to buy Jackson Hole real estate is still running hot, according to agents.
Despite low inventory and rising prices, people are still buying, with single-family houses and condominiums leading the market.
According to figures compiled by Compass, among the biggest players, total sales through the end of October hit $1.955 billion, up 33% from the same point the year before.
Single-family houses accounted for 39% of those sales, with condo sales making up another 32%, according to Compass statistics.
The Jackson Hole Report, compiled by Realtor David Viehman of Engel&Volkers, put together similar figures for the first nine months of the year.
Compass’ report for the period noted that what seems to be a slight slowing this year on the always-important single-home market must be compared with a 2020 that set records.
“While at first glance the single-family home category appears to have leveled off YTD versus 2020, we must recall what was happening in the market in Q3 of 2020,” the Compass report reads. “The pandemic was still in full effect, and people were prioritizing ‘home’ more than ever” last year.
Viehman put sales in the first nine months of this year at $2.16 billion, an astounding figure driven by big demand but even more by spiraling prices that have resulted from the never-ending demand spurred by the desire of people to bail out of urban areas and decisions that have turned maybe-someday thoughts about moving to the Rockies into do-it-now reality.
Viehman noted that record dollar volume came in spite of transaction volume lower than historic highs. He put the number of sales in the nine months just ended at 646, “nowhere close” to the record of 839 that was recorded in the same length of time in 2005.
But there’s a “but,” he said.
“What was record-breaking was the overall dollar volume spent in the first nine months of 2021,” he wrote. “Up until 2020 Jackson Hole had never reached the $1 billion volume mark in the first nine months of any given year.”
In 2021, though, the Jackson Hole market hit that point by mid-July, ahead of the busiest buying time of the year, and by his estimate the market “is projected to exceed $3 billion by year’s end.”
Still a drag on sales, though not stopping the boom, is a lack of enough inventory to meet the strong and steady demand. Viehman counted only 157 listings at the end of September, down 26% from a year before and down unimaginably from the record 801 listings at the same point in 2010, the depth of the Great Recession.
Viehman said one sign of a drop-off, even if slight, is that the sight-unseen offers of late last year are dwindling. Another change is that there is a noticeable number of people moving to the area and renting while looking for something to buy, he said.
But the demand remains robust, said Donna Clinton, CEO and broker at Sotheby’s International Realty, another big player in the Jackson market. She agreed the craziest part of the COVID-19 rush seems to have abated, but only a bit.
“Multiple offers have slowed down,” Clinton said this week. “We’re not seeing as many right now as last year or even this summer.”
She said that “slightly downward” trend from a year ago still leaves what veteran agents call an “incredible” interest in buying Jackson Hole property.
The past couple of months, she said, are part of what’s usually seen as “our slow-down period” after a busy summer, but agents are “still closing lots of transactions in town.”
Compass said the strongest part of the market, as usual, was single-family houses. It counted 251 sales for the first nine months, 39% of all sales; that count was down 6% but was for just over $1 billion, up 6%. Compass reported the cheapest sale in the category was for $579,999, the highest going for $27 million, for an average of $4.1 million.
Compass counted 205 condo sales for $258.7 million, a number up 36% and a dollar volume up 21%. The richest condo to change hands went for $5.35 million, while the bargain went for $317,000.
Lack of houses and condos ready to buy also continued to push land sales: Compass reported land sales jumped 34% to 121 and the total prices rose 80% to $353 million.
Sales in the town of Jackson dominated the number of transactions, accounting for 241.
South Park totaled 84 sales and Teton Village saw 61.
“Multiple offers have slowed down. We’re not seeing as many right now as last year.” — Donna Clinton Sotheby’s International Realty