February 21, 2024 Real Estate News

The Evolving future of the Jackson Hole Guest Home

Accessory residential units enhance housing stock and property values.

  by Staff Writers

As property values continue to rise across the Mountain West and available housing inventory declines, homeowners are exploring additional ways to maximize the potential of their real estate investments for personal—and community— benefit alike. One increasingly popular option among communities in the Jackson Hole region is the incorporation of accessory residential units (ARUs) within a property.

A two-bedroom, 1,391-square foot guest home on Big Boulder includes a two-car garage and provides versatility for traditional guest usage or as a caretaker’s home on the property’s 23 acres.

Property owners have the option to re-imagine the traditional guest home paradigm towards uses that favor housing diversity, sustainable community development, and additional income potential.

While ARUs undeniably enhance property values, their secondary impact lies in their ability to enrich the broader community by helping to augment housing opportunities throughout region. By providing unique housing inventory, ARUs are able to accommodate diverse living arrangements, and are ideally suited to multi-generational families, young professionals, retirees, and others.

“In-law suites” are among the more commonly accepted uses of ARUs within Teton County, Wyoming. Multi-generational housing is often permitted in areas of the county that would otherwise prohibit multi-family use—as in the leasing of a guest home. These apartment-style suites are typically attached to a primary residence and often provide a separate entrance. In-law suites offer opportunities for expanded living arrangements, allowing families to stay connected while maintaining independence—a benefit that can be especially valuable in elder care situations. 

In a region where conservation is a community priority and additional development opportunities are limited, ARUs can promote limited and sustainable community development by utilizing existing infrastructure and aiding in the minimization of overall environmental impact. By repurposing underutilized spaces within residential properties—especially in the town of Jackson—thoughtful ARU implementation can contribute to smart density, with the added benefits of walkable neighborhoods and reduced developmental sprawl.

In addition to their cultural and environmental benefits, ARUs play a vital role in addressing housing affordability challenges in Jackson Hole. The scarcity of available housing options has been a prominent theme in the area for decades. In areas of the county that allow long-term rentals, ARUs provide a practical solution by offering alternative housing options that are accessible to a broader range of income levels and individual needs. This opportunity for affordable and varied housing stock not only benefits owners and residents, but also contributes to the economic diversity and vitality of Jackson Hole’s broader community. The “caretaker’s home” concept that has long been established on larger properties now has more scalable opportunities for year-round housing that can be implemented more broadly within the region.

The economic value provided by  incorporating ARUs is obviously not limited to the community impact alone. Homeowners often enhance their property values and generate additional income through implementation of these less-traditional rental opportunities, which can help to offset mortgage expenses and property taxes.

An East Jackson property near May Park comprises three distinct housing units, a rarity among offerings in town—a 3-bedroom main home on a quiet street front, a separate 2-bedroom home accessed via the alley, and a studio apartment.

Despite these benefits, owners must navigate regulatory requirements and zoning ordinances that govern ARU construction and operation. Size, design, and occupancy are subject to varying degrees of regulation depending on the property’s location, specific land use regulations, and any additional neighborhood restrictions. Homeowners should consult with a real estate professional, planner, architect, and real estate attorney to successfully navigate the nuances of any particular property’s ability to utilize an ARU.

These varied and unique residential units play an increased role in enhancing a property’s versatility and value, promoting sustainable development,  and helping to address community housing challenges on a micro scale. Through thoughtful planning and implementation, ARUs can contribute a pathway to a more vibrant and sustainable future for residents of Jackson Hole.

Teton Valley Real Estate Market Report | Year End 2023

Teton Valley, Idaho — Year End 2023

On paper the Teton Valley, Idaho and Alta, Wyoming real estate market saw a little bit of a letdown by the end of 2023, with transactions falling 23.2 percent and overall dollar volume dropping 11.1 percent compared to 2022.

That perceived letdown, however, fails to take into account the meteoric rise the valley has seen in recent years. 

In 2019 (or pre-Covid), the Teton Valley market saw 586 transactions that generated $181.9M in sales volume. Last year, the 576 closings in the valley were on par with the activity of four years ago, but the complementing dollar volume grew to $438.4M (or a 141 percent increase compared to 2019).

New construction in developments like Tributary helped to push the average home price from $1.21M in 2022 to $1.34M in 2023, while several new condo and townhome projects kept activity brisk in this segment of the market despite higher mortgage interest rates.

It seems too, the secret is out on Teton Valley. A September article in the Wall Street Journal speculated that a growing list of amenities in Victor and Driggs– along with a looming expansion of Grand Targhee Resort –positioned the once sleepy valley to join the ranks of Park City and Jackson Hole as Rocky Mountain “hot spots.”

While activity has slowed since the height of the pandemic, limited inventory is also partially to blame for the decrease in sales. This time last year, Teton Valley had 330 listings actively on the market. Twelve months later, that number has fallen to 291. 

Best wishes in 2024 from all of us at Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty!

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Jackson Hole Real Estate Market Report | Year End 2023

Teton County, Wyoming — Year End 2023

While the total transactions in Teton County fell 3.3 percent in 2023 compared to last year, the complementing dollar managed to break the symbolic $1 Billion mark just in time for the new year. Home sales dominated the year-end stats, generating nearly $750M on just 137 transactions (for an average home sale price of $5.44M).

The 264 sales in Jackson Hole last year represented the fewest number of annual transactions since the beginning of the Global Financial Crisis in 2009 (when the market posted only 185 closings). In 2009, total real estate sales also only barely eclipsed $225M.

And in 2009, the valley also had snow.

A lackluster start to the ski season has kept town quieter than normal so far in 2024. The current real estate market could be described in the same way.

Limited real estate inventory and an uncertain economic climate abroad ended 2023 with a December that saw only 15 sales and $43.6M in dollar volume. Falling interest rates hold promise for would-be buyers, but patient sellers and limited “for sale” signs around the valley have kept individual property prices close to Covid highs from 2021.

With more than 80 percent of all sales last year involving a residential property and with only 71 homes currently for sale across the valley, the 2024 market climate seems poised to see another 12 months of limited sales with a concentration in the upper end of the residential market.

Best wishes in 2024 from all of us at Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty!

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December 27, 2023 Real Estate News

Make Teton Village Home for the Holidays and Beyond.

New listing activity ushers in the holiday season with rarely-available offerings.

  by Staff Writers

While December offered up a slow start to the snowpack and ski conditions throughout the Mountain West, an unofficial indicator of the winter seasons is showing increased activity—real estate listings at Teton Village. 

The Village, at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, is the epicenter of ski properties in the region. Unlike other resort properties throughout the West that have multiple base village access points or sprawl across a broader series of foothills, the resort district of Teton Village is relatively small and contained.

While a wide variety of properties throughout Teton County benefit from convenient access to the area’s ski resorts, true ski-in/ski-out properties are a relative rarity in Jackson Hole. These new-to-market listings provide the ultimate convenience and effortless access to the season’s sleeper powder days and storm skiing, alike.

The inventory of real estate available in Teton Village is broader than it has been in recent years, offering varied property styles and price points.

Continue reading “December 27, 2023 Real Estate News”

Star Valley Real Estate Market Report | Q3 2023

Star Valley, Wyoming & Idaho — Q3 2023

Faced with the highest mortgage interest rates in more than two decades and also with an increase in properties listed for sale, the 2023 Star Valley real estate market fell precipitously by the end of September compared to 2022. Year-over-year transactions are down 41.4 percent compared to the first nine months of 2022 (that is, 418 closings through Q3 2022 vs. 245 closings in 2023), and the complementing dollar volume is down more than 50 percent ($233M last year vs. $116M in 2023).

In October, 2022, 313 properties were listed for sale in Lincoln County. One year later, that number jumped 22.3 percent to 383 properties for sale. 

One bright note as summer wore down was September’s performance. Fifty-one closings represented the busiest month to date in 2023 for Lincoln County and generated $20.3M in overall dollar volume. 

Another highlight as summer came to close was Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty’s End-of-Summer party at Melvin Brewing. While it was a great excuse to raise a glass together before winter, it was also an opportunity to celebrate the first year of operations at our sales office in Alpine. The newest Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty office is located in the Northstar Building, next to Driftwood Pizza. Stop in for current offerings and the latest information on the Star Valley real estate market.

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Teton Valley Real Estate Market Report | Q3 2023

Teton Valley, Idaho—Q3 2023

With three months left in 2023, it seems doubtful the Teton Valley real estate market will reach the symbolic $500M mark for its year-end dollar volume. Through Q3, year-to-date transactions are down 32 percent and the complementing dollar volume from those sales is down 23.4 percent when compared to the same period in 2022.

While vacant land sales have been the driver for the Teton Valley market in recent years, home sales are carrying the day in 2023. The 137 home sales thus far in 2023 (out of a total 420 closings for all property types on the year to date) generated more than $180M in closed sales volume (or 58.6 percent of the $308M closed in the first nine months of 2023). And while higher mortgage interest rates have diminished the buyer pool in 2023, the upper end of Teton Valley market (that is, properties with a listing price of >$1M) is outperforming the overall market with only an 11.7 percent decline in year-to-date upper-end sales compared to 2022.

215 vacant land sales also generated nearly $80M in sales for the first nine months of 2023. Those sales represent 51.2 percent of all transactions in 2023. For the same period in 2022, vacant land transactions accounted for 59.9 percent of all closings.

Of the areas of Victor, Driggs, Alta and Tetonia, Driggs saw the largest decline in transactions for the last twelve months. Transactions are down 42.5 percent and dollar volume is down 37.8 percent compared to the same period in 2022. Alta has fared the best thus far in 2023, down 20 percent on sales compared to 2022, but up 26 percent on dollar volume.

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Jackson Hole Real Estate Market Report | Q3 2023

Teton County, Wyoming — Q3 2023

Despite facing the highest mortgage interest rates in more than two decades, the Jackson Hole real estate market managed to eke ahead of 2022 levels for the first nine months of 2023. While transactions in Teton County were nearly flat (203 closings through Q3 in 2022 compared to 204 closings this year), overall dollar volume increased 11.8 percent to more than $770M.

The most active segment of the market on the year to date was the $1.5M to $3M swath, where more than one-third of all closings occurred. The lion’s share of the dollar volume activity, however, posted in the upper end of the market (i.e., properties with a listing price of more than $5M); this high-end segment—which tallied only one-fifth of all transactions in Jackson Hole—accounted for more than 50 percent of 2023’s current dollar volume.

The strong performance of the market stands in contradiction for individual property values, where anecdotal evidence suggests values are down 5%-10%—and in some cases more—from 2022. 

During this softening of the Teton County market, Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty has outperformed its peers in the brokerage community by increasing its market share to 48.6% (based on overall sold dollar volume). To put that into perspective, the No. 2 brokerage in the region only enjoys 15.0% of the year-to-date dollar volume in Teton County. 

The brokerage’s success thus far in 2023 was particularly noteworthy in the >$5M price bracket, where Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty agents represented the buyer and/or seller in 48.8% of these higher-end transactions and where the complementing dollar volume market share grew to 60.4%.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell in this challenging market, let the valley’s most successful sales force help you with your real estate needs in 2023. 

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Star Valley Real Estate Market Report | Q2 2023

Star Valley, Wyoming & Idaho — Q2 2023

June, 2023 was an anemic month for the Star Valley real estate market that saw only 27 closings and $8.7M in complementing dollar volume (down 57.8 percent and 79.3 percent respectively compared to June, 2022). And as weak as last month’s sales numbers were, however, they are also on par with the general market performance for the first six months of 2023.

For the first six months of 2022 as the Covid real estate boom started to taper off, Lincoln County saw 277 transactions totaling $142.9M in sales volume. One year later and through Q2 2023, closings fell to 118 (or a 57.4 percent decline) with $52.3M in overall sales volume (or a 63.4 percent drop).

The decline in activity was also matched by a drop in average transaction price. Last year, the average closing price across all property types was $516,005. This year, that stat fell to $442,890 (or a 14.2 percent decline year over year).

Fewer buyers and an increase in inventory may be partially to blame as Star Valley shifts squarely into a “Buyer’s Market.” In July, 2022, 263 properties were actively listed for sale across Lincoln County. This year, 328 properties are on the market (representing a 24.7 percent increase).

While the busy summer season typically drives the Lincoln County real estate market, higher mortgage interest rates may prove to make the second half of 2023 a challenging time for Star Valley.

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Teton Valley Real Estate Market Report | Q2 2023

Teton Valley, Idaho—Q2 2023

Mid-way through 2023, it’s challenging to make sense of the Teton Valley real estate market now that the frenetic days of Covid are behind us.

One year ago, activity in Victor, Driggs, Tetonia, and Alta was still riding the wave of the urban exodus driven by the global pandemic. Twelve months later, disparate stats and anecdotal evidence yield a glimpse into the forces currently at work in the market.

An increase in inventory (coupled with fewer buyers) is often cited as the driving force for the Teton Valley market slowdown. Looking more closely at listings currently on the market, however, shows that inventory has actually decreased year-over-year from 394 properties on the market in July, 2022 compared to only 387 listings currently for sale in 2023.

Despite the limited choices for buyers in the summer of 2023, the pace of sales has fallen off from the activity of a year ago. For the first six months of 2022, Teton Valley saw 457 closings resulting in an overall dollar volume of nearly $280M. This year, those totals have slipped to 235 closings (down 48.6%) and a year-to-date dollar volume of $172.4M (down 38.2%).

Both average and median sale prices for homes, condos/townhomes and vacant land are all on par with the first six months of 2022 (suggesting that individual properties are currently holding their value from one year ago). But with fewer buyers on the prowl—and some of whom are impacted by higher mortgage interest rates—it seems the second half of 2023 is going to be murky at best for Teton Valley, Idaho and Alta, Wyoming.  

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