Sales slowed and inventory tightened during the first half of 2016, continuing the trend in Jackson Hole real estate.

Overall sales were down 16 percent and dollar volume fell 16 percent as the number of active listings fell 17 percent compared with the second quarter of 2015.

Inventory was the lowest since the market peak in 2007 and the third lowest in 25 years, according to statistics compiled by David Viehman of Re-Max Obsidian Real Estate for his Jackson Hole Report.

A hot part of the market just two and three years ago — houses and condos — was hard hit, with sales through midyear down 21 percent compared with the first quarter of 2015, Viehman said.

“The situation is continuing to tighten, in the under-a-million category especially,” he said. “That’s why we don’t have the sales we’ve had previously.”

Julie Faupel, an owner-associate broker at the Graham-Faupel-Mendenhall group at Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, the Christie’s affiliate in Jackson, agreed that demand has been catching up with available property.

“The story of the market is still strong demand and limited supply,” Faupel said.

“There’s some,” Viehman said of inventory, “but not what we’ve had in previous years.”

At Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty associate broker Ed Liebzeit also noted the slowing in the market, though he emphasized its continuing strength.

“Definitely the market was off compared to 2015,” Liebzeit said, “but that was a very good year.”

Viehman said the tightest inventory is in condos and townhouses. The single-family-house market showed a drastic fall after the bounceback there years ago, with only five homes priced under $750,000 on the market at the end of June. At the end of 2014, he said, 158 houses had sold in the under-$750,000 segment.

Figures compiled by Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates showed similar trends. Christie’s, using slightly different number-gathering methods, found that condo and townhome transactions fell 10 percent and dollar volume fell 18 percent from year to year. The 98 condo and townhouse sales that Christie’s tallied had an average price of $804,537, with a minimum of $264,000 and a max of $3.75 million.

Single-family-home sales fell 5 percent and dollar volume was down 10 percent, Christie’s numbers showed. The 101 single-family sales recorded had an average sales price of $1.8 million, with a low sale of $404,900 and a high of $10.25 million.

Liebzeit called the residential falloff “pretty significant … a definite softening of volume.”

Another big part of the Jackson Hole market, the luxury category, had a flat first half of the year. Christie’s reported only four transactions in the $5 million-and-over category. Viehman said the category had 68 listings on the market, up 11 percent from last year at this time.

Faupel, though, said that she expects a good second half and that the improvement is likely to affect the upper end of the market especially.

“The second half of the year typically brings the higher-end sales,” she said. “And while we haven’t seen as many of those sales this year, we’re in the heart of the season right now.”

The market is good to sell, Faupel said, if owners aren’t greedy.

“Sellers that are well priced, realistically priced, those properties are in a good position to sell this season,” she said.

“If owners haven’t sold yet and still want to sell, they’re better off having waited,” Viehman said, “Properties are moving if people price them right.”

“There are still some properties that are good opportunities for buyers,” Liebzeit said. “And I think there are opportunities for both sides.”

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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