Jackson Hole Real Estate Trends – Past 5 years
Real Estate Sales – Past 5 years
Well, 2020 was a year for the record books as statistics from this past year dwarfed all previous years. MLS sales had not exceeded 500 per year over the last 5 years and almost reached 650 in 2020 (a 37% increase over the previous 4 year average). Sales volume experienced even bigger gains in 2020. Looking back, we saw annual sales volume increasing from $634 million to $676 million from 2016 to 2017. The market took a jump in 2018, when sales volume increased more than $250 million from the previous year – a staggering 38% increase (with only a 13% increase in sales). The market stayed steady in 2019, with a similar level of sales and slightly less sales volume (about a 5% drop), a healthy sign after a very strong 2018. Enter 2020, where sales volume skyrocketed – up to $1.8 billion – more than DOUBLE the average annual sales volume of the previous 4 years. To put it in perspective: 2020 saw as much sales volume as 2018 & 2019 COMBINED!
As to be expected, the average sales price also experienced a record breaking increase, with the trend following that of sales volume: Average sales price hovered around $1.5 million in 2016 & 2017, jumped up to $1,892,000 in 2018 and cooled slightly in 2019 to just above $1.8 million. The average sales price in 2020 was $2.8 million, a $1,000,000 increase from 2019 and a 68% increase over the previous 4 year average. Wow! These record breaking increases were a result of unprecedented demand, as many out of town buyers flocked to Jackson Hole and competed with local buyers on property purchases. What resulted were many multiple offer situations, contributing to 170 properties selling at or above their listing prices in 2020 (more than 1 in every 4 sales). Compare that to the previous 4 years, where the highest percentage was 23% in 2018 (and only 17% last year). It’s interesting to track the various price points over the past 4 years. The $1-3 million segment follows the overall market growth, mirroring increases in overall sales and volume. In contrast, the luxury segment saw oversized growth in 2020. Back in 2017, there were just 42 sales in this high end segment. In 2018, sales in this segment jumped along with the overall market, recording 76 sales. After seeing a similar level of sales in 2019, this segment exploded in 2020 with 186 sales over $3 million, more than double the number of sales in the previous two years combined. On the other end of the spectrum, sales under $500,000 dropped off considerably in 2020, representing less than 5% of all sales.
Inventory Trends – Past 5 years
In a year of unprecedented demand, the Jackson Hole market saw a decline in inventory levels in 2020. Looking back over the past 5 years, new listings in 2016-2018 ranged between 613-632 per year. As a result of a busy 2018 in sales, sellers responded and new listings jumped in 2019, with nearly 700 new listings hitting the market. In 2020, inventory levels actually dropped, with barely enough new listings (685) to replace the 643 sales in 2020. It’s interesting to analyze the gap between sales and new listings over the past 5 years. In 2016 & 2017, new listings outpaced sales by 170 properties each year. In 2018, inventory tightened a bit, with 138 more listings than sales. In 2019, more listings hit the market, an increase in supply which held sales (and dollar volume) steady, as new listings outpaced sales by 203 properties. Compare those trends to 2020, where the gap between listings and sales was only 42, by far the lowest supply to demand (sales) we’ve seen yet.
Despite seeing fewer listings in 2020, the listing volume increased significantly from 2019, recording 17% more in volume (with 11 fewer listings). Looking back over the last 5 years, listing volume has increased each year, growing by roughly $250 million in the past 2 years in particular. The year 2020 saw a $325 million increase from 2019, pretty amazing considering there were actually fewer new listings in 2020! After increasing 12% in 2018, and holding steady in 2019 at just under $2.5 million, the average listing price jumped significantly in 2020 – up to more than $3.2 million, a 30% increase over 2019.
By all accounts, 2020 in the Jackson Hole real estate market was one for the record books. Annual sales were up 30% and overall sales volume in 2020 was more than double that of 2019. The average sales price was $1 million higher than in 2019. Fewer listings came onto the market, but did so at higher prices as listing volume increased 17% and the average listing price nearly reached $3.2 million.
The global pandemic had buyers from all over the country, many of whom could now work remotely, escaping to less populated areas with access to the outdoors. Many had dreams to one day move to Jackson Hole, a favorite vacation spot, and the pandemic encouraged them to act. We saw buyers urgently shopping for Jackson Hole real estate at all price points, adding tremendous demand to a market with, for the most part, a permanently limited supply of properties.
Now with the vaccine rollout and a hint of normalcy on the horizon, do people still need to escape? Is it a permanent lifestyle change or just a temporary exodus? Do these buyers miss the city enough to move back? Even if they do move back, will we see that inventory come back on the market? Or, will many elect to keep their newly purchased property as a vacation home? How much inventory (supply) do we need to see a real effect on pricing? Right now, the Jackson Hole market has the lowest level of inventory in recent history. Pre-pandemic, demand for Jackson Hole properties was strong. Even if we go back to previous levels, there will still be enough demand to eat up existing low inventory levels. Regardless of the demand changes, we would need to see supply increase significantly for pricing to be affected.
Looking back over the past 30 years, Jackson Hole real estate has seen, on average, 6-8% annual appreciation, with a 5-10% correction every 5 years or so. The Jackson Hole market has been growing at a strong pace for the past 5+ years, with 2020 being an explosive year. For example a newly built home in Town sold for $675,000 in 2014, sold again for $1,050,000 in 2018 and was just listed for $2,150,000 – and is under contract! Some will argue that these levels of appreciation simply cannot continue and at some point we will see a correction. In larger markets and pockets in the nation that may be true, but will we see a correction in Jackson Hole? Again, to see any affect on pricing we need to see a sharp drop in demand or a significant increase in supply. At this point, it’s hard to imagine either of those happening. We are still seeing buyers from across the country move their money from the stock market into real estate. Jackson Hole will continue to be a draw for many who value a sense of community, outdoor recreation and mountain living.
I think 2021 will be another strong year for Jackson Hole real estate. Record low inventory levels will make it challenging for all buyers, creating competition and multiple offers. We may see fewer sales because there are simply less options on the market, but pricing and values will remain strong.
Advice for Sellers in 2021:
Track your property’s value in today’s market. Be familiar with comparable sales, but also focus on current inventory levels, which may have more impact on market value. Properties that are priced with those two things in mind (vs. putting an unreasonable price tag on it) are receiving the most interest and selling quickly. (Talk to Katie about an aggressive yet accurate pricing strategy.)
Strategize for mass market exposure. There are many buyers out there with limited options to buy. As a seller, you will have the most success if you can reach them all at once. Finding one buyer will not be difficult, your goal should be to bring all the interested buyers to the table at the same time in order to achieve your desired terms of sale. (Talk to Katie about her unique strategies to obtain mass market exposure.)
Be prepared for multiple or quick offers. Think about what terms are most important to you: price? leaseback? quick closing? Focus on buyer’s enthusiasm and ability to preform.
Prepare your home for sale: De-clutter, clean up, work on deferred maintenance items, etc. Move in ready and remodeled properties are receiving the most attention. Discuss which (if any) updates will produce a higher return. (Have Katie join you for a tour of your home to discuss what you can do to increase your home’s value.)
Advice for Buyers in 2021:
Know and follow the market. What are the recent comps? How are current inventory levels? Are you learning about properties before they hit the market? (Talk to Katie to make sure she is on the look out for soon to be listed properties for you.)
Determine what you want and be ready to act quickly. Know that there are many buyers for the same property. Get all your ducks in a row now. How will you position yourself to be the best candidate in a multiple offer situation? (Talk to Katie about proven strategies to “win” in these competitive situations.)
If you need to sell your home to buy something else, prepare your home now so that you will be ready to list as soon as you find the right property. Be prepared for things to move quickly when that happens. Explore options that would allow you to purchase before selling (i.e. bridge financing, leasebacks, etc.) (Ask Katie to help you crunch numbers and brainstorm options.)