Overall numbers show that the Jackson Hole real estate market is near the level of 2007, the eve of the Great Recession that hit beginning in early 2008.
But the key word is “overall.”
Not every sector and not every neighborhood has been treated equally by the recovery that has been the predominant feature of the market over the past three years, said Jackson real estate agent David Viehman.
The winning location is Teton Village, Viehman shows in his recent Jackson Hole Report, and the winning sector is residential. He reached his conclusions by studying “paired sales.”
“We pulled up the sales of 2006 and ’07 and then of 2014-15 to look for matches,” Viehman said. “We get a pretty good feeling by breaking those out by area and asking if the sales of today are matching of ’07.”
To some extent, Viehman said, comparing paired sales allows people to “figure out what a hot tub is worth” if the property has had one added in the intervening years, or what “a 1,000-square-foot garage adds” to value.
But if you find unchanged property or adjust for improvements, he said, “you get a pretty good feeling if the sales of today are matching those of ’07.”
The breakout of resales by type and location shows better detail than simply noting that overall figures indicate that the market has bounced back. Sales so far in 2015 are up 21 percent over 2014, and overall average and median sales prices are up 32 percent and 22 percent.
Dollar volume in the second quarter of this year was up 58 percent over the same period in 2014, and sales in the $1 million-and-up category rose 83 percent.
But when Viehman looked at 108 paired sales he found that 60 — that’s 55 percent — were worth an average of 15 percent less in the past year than they were in 2006-07.
One bright spot in the first six months of 2015, Viehman said, was Teton Village, which accounted for 16 percent of all sales in the Hole and, with sales of $129 million, accounted for 27 percent of total dollar volume.
The village was the only area with “a widespread increase in value” since 2007, Viehman said, though Jackson and South Park also were strong and nearing 2007 highs.
But the good news wasn’t universal. According to the study, 60 of the total 108 sales examined, or 55 percent, actually fell in value from 2007 to this year, losing an average of 15 percent of their value. An average 15 percent rise in value was seen in 46 properties, or 42 percent.
Viehman put the overall median price of all examined sales in 2007 at $950,000, compared with the current median of $875,000. That’s a fall of 8 percent.
Single-family homes were strong. Of the 38 sales examined, 23 rose in value, or 61 percent.
Of the 44 condo sales, 63 percent, 28 units, were down in value since 2006. But while condo prices were still behind 2007 levels, they also saw some of the most dramatic rebound, Viehman said.
Some condos in town, he said, “lost 70 percent of their value, but now are off only 10 to 15 percent from their all-time high, so they’ve recovered much better than some of those others. They’ve recovered really well.”
He pointed to the Meadowbrook condos, now approaching asking prices of $400,000 but which were selling well under $200,000 during the worst of the recession.
The same was the case in Teton Village, “which recovered quicker than most but was an area that didn’t go down as much.”
Inventory is at its lowest since 2007, Viehman said, and there’s unlikely to be much change given tight building rules and relatively tight money, which discourages speculation building.
“There is no inventory out there, which is why people are willing to pay so much,” he said.
But he sees demand remaining strong, with much of it coming from baby boomer retirees looking for a nice place for their latter years. With the post-recession recovery, those people “are now feeling more comfortable” about investing in a place to live.
“For at least the next couple of years there will be little new inventory,” Viehman said, “but our demand is going to continue to be here, if not grow more.”
Viehman, a broker at Re/Max-Obsidian Real Estate in Jackson, has his complete Jackson Hole Report posted at JacksonHoleRealEstateReport.com.