As we move into 2014, it’s helpful to look back at the real estate activity in 2013 and by comparing that to past years statistics, try to determine where the market is heading (isn’t that what we all want to know?!). I should first note that the below numbers are compiled from closed real estate sales in Teton County as reported to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). They include residential sales, land sales and commercial property sales.
TETON COUNTY: In 2013 there were 557 sale transactions totaling $656 million in sales volume in Teton County. This is almost 100 more transactions and $40 million more in volume than in 2012. These strong numbers come in spite of the fact that Dec 2013 was a very quiet month, recording only 33 transactions for $32 million in sales volume. Compare that to Dec 2012, which ended with a bang as 55 properties exchanged hands for a staggering $124 million. October 2013 proved to be the busiest month as 58 sales totaled almost $130 million. Looking at sales volume by month, for each year in the chart below, it’s clear that 2013 (orange colored line) had the 4th highest sales volume since 2002. For the early part of the year, volume was right in line with volumes seen in 2004 (yellow). Sales volume for 2013 was still behind the peak years of 2005-2007 (top three lines), but were well above the bottom year of 2009 (salmon).
TOWN OF JACKSON: Real Estate Sales in the Town of Jackson saw a significant bump in both transactions (213) and sales volume ($122 million) in 2013. This past year marked the highest sales volume levels in Town since 2008, when $128 million in sales occurred but with roughly half of the transactions (122). This comparison illustrates that the high sales volume in 2013 was achieved not through million dollar home sales, but through many lower end condo, townhome and entry level single family home sales. Interestingly, Town chalked up more than 4x the number of sales in Teton Village (48) and nearly 65% more in sales volume ($74 million).
REAL ESTATE FORECAST FOR 2014: As we enter 2014, I believe the main concern for the real estate market with be the available inventory (or lack of it!). Will there be anything to sell in 2014? For anyone that is currently shopping the market, it’s obvious that the inventory levels are very thin. For example, there is currently only one existing single family home for sale in Rafter J, NO single family homes under $500,000 in Town and NO homes in Melody Ranch under $1 million. Due to these low inventory levels, we may start to see Sellers taking a bolder position on pricing, knowing that they are the only option for buyers looking in a particular market/location. Will buyers be willing to over pay for a property they like, especially if it’s the only one they can find? While there may be a few of those buyers here and there, I think most buyers will not chase the prices up remembering the lessons learned from the last bubble burst (in 2008-2009), where the majority of properties in Teton County lost about 30-35% in value. If the later occurs, we may see sales activity (and values) plateau until more inventory (supply) enters the market.
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