December 2008 Market Update

Where does the Jackson Hole Real Estate Market stand during these turbulent economic times? As you can imagine, Jackson Hole is not immune to any crisis and from where Christy and I sit the Jackson Hole Real Estate Market is feeling the pain. Activity, not in the sense of actual statistical activity, but activity in the sense of phones ringing, buyer’s inquiring, copy machines printing and fax machines dialing is probably at an all time low in the real estate careers of Garth and Christy. Being at work 9-5 every weekday we can get a feeling of where the real estate market is going and yes November and December are usually the slowest months in Jackson Hole real estate but so far November was extremely slow and December has started slow out of the gate. The Gillespie Real Estate Team continues to work extremely hard during these slower times. We are busy communicating with customers, business planning and strategizing, creating advertising programs and completing other real estate activities but on a whole we have seen a noticeable lull in showing activity.

As for the statistics…they tell the same story. When comparing 2007 numbers to the current 2008 numbers we are experiencing a much slower market. In October we saw 25 closings in Teton County, Wyoming (according to the Teton County Multiple Listing Service) where in 2007 we saw 47 closings. Surprisingly, listing price volume was almost identical. This is due to less lower priced properties selling and a few very large transactions taking place. Days on market increased by almost 3 months. In November the news gets worse – 10 closings in 2008 verses 43 closings in 2007. Days on market for the closed transactions was not as dramatic as October but shows an increase of 40 days. Currently there are 21 pending transaction in the entire valley – 6 of which are in the Pine Glades development which is under construction.

Highlights in the market include some very strong upper tier sales. In October there were closings of listed properties of $19.5 million, $6.3 million, $5.8 million and $5.3 million. In November the upper tier market continues this trend with 2 closings where the listed properties were priced at $19.9 million and 8.5 million!

Active listing inventory numbers are staggering! We have seen an almost 75% increase in actively listed properties on the market over 2007 numbers. Getting a completely accurate number is difficult with the changing market but there are about 700 active listings on the market in Teton County, Wyoming.

So what does all this mean? Lowering prices, excellent choices, extremely good buying opportunities but also less liquidity, more competition and increased market time. If buyer’s purchased their property before 2006 they have seen a robust growth and appreciation but if someone just recently purchased property they are probably going to see a depreciating asset for the next few quarters. Jackson Hole is still the wonderful place it was before these difficult economic times offering unbelievable beauty, National Parks, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and a very favorable tax climate. The real estate market and for that fact the community will survive and the market will rebound. We rarely have seen buyer’s markets in Jackson Hole so it is also a time of opportunity. To get more in depth analysis or if you have any questions please fee free to call Garth Gillespie at 307-739-8056 or Christy Gillespie at 307-739-8146.