Jackson Hole & Teton Valley See Record Sales
Regional demand surged in second half of 2020.
by Staff Writers
2020 offered no shortage of surprises throughout the course of a tumultuous year. The Jackson Hole real estate market essentially ground to a halt in the second quarter as the region settled into isolation orders, and the world grappled with both the early stages of the pandemic and attempted to anticipate its effects.
The third quarter of 2020 saw the rapid rebound of a months-dormant market that continued to amplify through year’s end. Demand was driven largely by a new sense of urgency among buyers seeking to transition from the nation’s populous urban centers to areas of the country benefitting from lower density, open spaces, and recreation-based lifestyles in what were otherwise previously considered to be seasonal markets.
The hastened cultural acceptance of remote work and education served as an additional catalyst towards historically vacation-oriented markets, and provided opportunities for prospective buyers to flood the nation’s resort communities in advance of what may have otherwise necessitated awaiting retirement.
According to the Sotheby’s International Realty 2021 Luxury Outlook report, which examines high-end residential markets across the globe, “…buyers are turning seasonal markets into year-round destinations, driving million-dollar home sales in secondary and tertiary cities, and setting price records….” The report continues, “…wealthy buyers are settling in for the long term in ski-resort towns and scenic retreats,” and predicts that the surge “will remain a driving force for the next year, if not longer.”
Persistent inventory constraints continue to limit the Jackson Hole market despite its otherwise-robust year of activity, as listings that had previously sat idle saw renewed interest, and desirable new listings gave way to a rise in multiple-offer situations.
In the town of Jackson, transactions declined by seven percent—the only primary geographic area in the region to tally a decline—attributed largely to the lack of inventory. Continued demand allowed Jackson proper to still post a forty-seven percent increase in sales volume for the year, despite the decrease in transactions.
Also seeing a decline in activity for the year were properties listed below $850,000. This segment of the market saw a thirteen percent decline in sales volume and a nearly twenty-four percent decline in units as appreciating property values and low inventory restricted entry to the region.
The Jackson Hole market saw an increase of more than one hundred percent in total sales volume transacted within the Teton Board of Realtors MLS—increasing from $927,754,910 in 2019 to $1,887,951,360 by the end of 2020. Fourth quarter sales alone accounted for $722 million of this total sales volume.
Property sales within the luxury segment of the market, $5 million and more, accounted for a substantial amount of volume—with $873,481,048 worth of sales recorded by the MLS. This segment’s 2020 sales nearly equated to the entirety of sales volume posted by Teton County, Wyoming the year prior and was further bolstered by a substantial number of off-market sales not reported within the data set. Estimates by leading brokerages indicate that could account for as much as an additional $500 million in unreported annual volume.
In Teton Valley, Idaho, sales volume grew by more than ninety-three percent year-over-year, with a corresponding increase in units sold of nearly eighty-nine percent. Within this market, sales volume for 2020 totaled $351,735,472. The accompanying reduction in available inventory and increased demand helped to drive average sales prices within the single-family category up thirty-one percent.
The west side of the Tetons, with more available privately-held land than its neighboring valley, saw profound increases in the sale of building sites. Transactions within this sector saw more units sold in the fourth quarter of 2020 than in all of 2019.
Buyers in Eastern Idaho were heavily focused within the greater-Victor area, which made up nearly half of all Teton Valley area transactions. Sales volume in this part of the valley during 2020 nearly equalled the entire Teton Valley market’s totals for 2019.
While transactions in Teton Valley were heavily-weighted to properties below $500,000 (approximately eighty percent of all sales), the luxury segment (properties $1M or more) saw a volume increase of 189% from the year prior.
For the complete picture of regional real estate trends from the last year and beyond, Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty offers clients the Jackson Hole Real Estate Market Report, or the Teton Valley Real Estate Market Report.