Escalating demand. Very limited supply.
That’s the continuing story of the Jackson Hole real estate market, according to a new report from Sotheby’s International Realty, which also found that the median home sale price in the first quarter of 2022 topped $4 million for the first time.
Brett McPeak has worked as a realtor in Teton County since the 1990s, and he said the record-breaking sales volume is piling up despite fewer total transactions. Prices are also still rising.
“Those prices are still staggering. They always have been. It’s just this ever sort of escalating increase. But the story today is there’s just so little for sale on the market,” McPeak said. “The average home price on the market as of April 1 was almost $6 million. That’s a pretty elite person that can afford a $6 million house.”
McPeak said much of his clientele are folks that spend 12 months out of the year living in Teton County. He also advises local government officials on their real estate purchases. Unfortunately, for folks making their income in Jackson Hole, he said options are few and far between.
“Somebody coming in from outside the community, relative to San Francisco or New York or Dallas or somewhere else, maybe it’s not as big a swing,” McPeak said. “You start visiting with people who have been here for 40, 30, 20 years, that’s a huge number.”
One two-bedroom townhouse in Jackson, built in 1978, was listed for nearly $1.2 million and wasn’t available for long. The average condo is only available for about 80 days, according to Sotheby’s. That’s 15 days faster than just a year ago.
“If you’re trying to move up in this market or get into this market, it’s incredibly stressful. Incredibly challenging,” McPeak said. “If you’re working a full-time job, you know, something comes on the market on a Tuesday morning, you need to be able to mobilize in a 12-hour period. Look at it. Make a decision. Because if you go, ‘Oh, we’ll get it this weekend,’ that choice will probably be taken away from you by the weekend.”
More than $200 million in total transactions occurred during the first three months of 2022, with the most popular sales concerning properties worth more than $5 million. But things might be slowing down soon. McPeak said basically everyone who wanted to sell their property in Jackson Hole during the pandemic already has.
“I think if you start to look at the macro numbers for the end of 2022, it’s not going to be another record year because we just don’t have anything for people to buy,” he said. “And that’s also true in Star Valley. It’s also true in Victor and Driggs.”
Escalating values have led property tax rates in Teton County to rise by an average of nearly 40% this year. McPeak encourages folks with local jobs and below-market-rate incomes to look into their housing options through government organizations and deed restrictions, despite the challenges associated with those systems.
“Okay, this may not be my forever dream home, but at least I have some control over where I’m sleeping at night, and it’s mine. And I’m not going to be bounced the next time the music stops in this horrible game of musical chairs,” McPeak said.
Meanwhile, the recent Regional Housing Needs Assessment commissioned by Teton County, Wyoming, and Teton County, Idaho, found that the region is short more than 5,000 homes for the local workforce. It also found that the area free market is unlikely to provide properties at the prices needed to keep teachers, tourism support staff and other workers who are critical to the local economy living in the region.
Editor’s Note 4/26: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that more than $1.9 billion in total transactions occurred in the first three months of 2022. That’s incorrect, and the actual number has been reflected in the article. Moreover, the piece originally referenced a townhome for sale and linked to its webpage. That property has now sold, and thus no links are available. That change has also been reflected.