Fixed rate mortgages hit new low

According to a recent article by the Associated Press, Fixed-rate mortgage rates fell last week to the lowest levels in 60 years. The average interest rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage is now 4.12%, Freddie Mac said last week. It is the lowest rate on record since 1971, and the cheapest rates since 1951.  Furthermore, the average rate for 30-year fixed mortgages was below 5% for all but two weeks over the past five years. Similarily, the average interest rate on a 15 year fixed rate mortgage is 3.33%, also the lowest rate since the record keeping began in 1991.

HOWEVER…..These record low rates have done very little to re-energize the depressed housing market. Sales of new homes are on track to finish the year as the lowest on record in 50 years. The pace of re-sale homes aren’t doing much better – they are the worst in 14 years.

WHY…….Nation wide, an uncertain economy along with high unemployment have discouraged many Americans from taking advantage of these low rates. Additionally, many Americans have seen little wage increases and as a result of the economic climate, many are saddled by large personal debt. None the less, many can’t even qualify for loans at these low rates. Many banks are now insisting on higher credit scores and a 20% down payment for first-time homebuyers. According to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling,  just 1/2 of Americans say they will ever be able to saive enough money for any type of down payment, let alone a 20% down payment. Further, only 40% of US households have the necessary credit scores above 700 to receive a prime mortgage rate, according to an Associated Press analysis of Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) data.   Many repeat buyers do not have enough equity built up in their homes to meet loan requirements. Most alarming, accroding to the real estate research firm CoreLogic, about 1/3 of American homeowners have nearly zero equity or are underwater in their mortgage.

Low interest rates usually encourage many to buy real estate, many middle and lower class Americans can’t take advantage of these record low rates. If you are able to qualify for these prime rates, there are many opportunties available. Here in Jackson Hole, there are several opportunities to purchase bank owned homes or lender approved short sale properties.

Contact us, The Gillespie Real Estate Team at Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty  at for a list of bank owned opportunties in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Jackson Hole Real Estate Market Update: Statistics through June 2011

The first half of the year, the Jackson Hole real estate market experienced a slight improvement in sales dollar volume, but saw a significant increase in unit sales, suggesting that more transactions are happening in Teton County, but at lower sales prices.

Through June 2011, closed real estate transations in the Jackson Hole area were up 28% compared with the same period in 2010, while dollar volume sales rose improved only slightly. However, both unit sales and dollar volume were well above the lows of the real estate market in 2009 – unit sales up 96% and sales volume up 114%. Click here to view graph

June has proven to be the best month in 2011 for real estate sales dollar volume. In the month of June in Teton County, there were 29 transactions totaling $36.5 million. Compare this to the previous month of May (typically a slow month in real estate out here), where sales volumn totaled only $12 million.  Click here for a graph

Real Estate Sales by Area:

North of Town has seen the largest improvement in sales volume, with a 48% increase over the first half of 2010. North of the Town of Jackson includes neighborhoods such as Owl Creek, Solitude, Bar-B-Bar Meadows, Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis and Moulton Ranches. There were 23 sales totaling $46 million through June 2011.  South of Jackson Hole also experienced an increase in sales volume with sales totaling $21 million, a 28% increase over the first half of 2010. Teton Village experienced the largest increase in real estate transactions, with a whopping 81% increase over 2010. There were 38 sales in the first half of 2011, with many of the sales happening in the condo and condo-hotel market in Teton Village. Many investors took advantage of low prices on bank owned and foreclosed condos, in order to have a place located walking distance to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

For more information contact The Gillespie Real Estate Team at 307-739-8056 or

Housing and the Stimulus Package – Jackson Hole Status Report

February 17, 2009

Christy and Garth Gillespie, the “Jackson Hole Experts” have reviewed the Stimulis Bill and Treasury announcements made last week and being signed today and here are our thoughts.

We were in support for a $15,000 tax credit but that was defeated. We are very excited to report much of what the National Association of REALTORS campaigned for was introduced and kept into the bill and are equally excited to see the already established tax breaks stay in effect.

So here’s what is part of the package: 1) the loan limits will be raised to $727,000 in high cost areas, 2) the tax credit will be raised to $8,000, 3) the bill has over $50 billion in it for foreclosure mitigation, 4) Fannie has just agreed to lift the cap of 4 investment properties eligible for loans and raise it to 10.

In addition, the Government preserved what we have – mortgage interest deductability, real estate tax deductability, and the $250,000/$500,000 cap gains exclusion (an overall package worth more than $100 billion).

We also reviewed where the $727 billion dollar stimulus package was being spent – unfortunately NOT in Teton County, Wyoming or Idaho….

We will continue to update the benefits of the Stimulus Bill as more details are released. For more information on the Jackson Hole Real Estate market please feel free to contact us at 307-739-8056 or send us an email to