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Teton Springs in Trouble?

 
News in the Teton Valley of Idaho. Teton Springs sued in U.S District Court.
 
Teton Springs, a planned all seasons resort, located in Victor, Idaho could be credited to jump starting the massive growth that the valley has seen in the past 5 years. The development encompasses a total of 780 acres and includes numerous real estate opportunities, 27 holes of golf (private), fly fishing lakes and streams, a hotel, golf club, fitness facility, swimming pool and endless other amenities. During the past 10 years the developers of Teton Springs have transformed a rolling barley field into the cornerstone of the valley. Since then developments have sprung up all over the valley which include River Rim Ranch, Huntsman Springs and Teton Reserve. Most of these other developments followed the Teton Springs blueprint that if you build it they will come.
 
As we some of us know, times have changed and real estate has slowed in the Teton Valley (see previous post). During the 2007 calendar year, Teton Valley showed continued strength but in the end the growth slowed and did not meet the numbers as 2006. What is very interesting to look at is that Teton Springs recorded numerous land closings that were in the Mountain Meadows area of the development. This was a very interesting development as I was wondering who was purchasing all these properties. In the meantime construction crews swarmed the area and construction took off like we have never seen before. If any of you have ever been to Teton Springs you will understand what I an explaining but if you have not had the chance to see the development this is what it looks like. The lot sizes are no larger than .10 acres and the homes average 2,500 square feet. There are close to 150 of these homes. I remember talking with my wife and saying, “Who is buying all these homes and who is building all these homes?”
 

Maybe a clue to who these buyers are came out in the news last week.  The headline in the Teton Valley News reads…”Teton Springs sued in U.S. District Court.” Over the past few months I have received numerous phone calls from worried buyers that were being told that they were going to have to close on their homes in the next few weeks or months. The buyers, all but one from Idaho, were sold a house/lot combination and were told that by closing they would see an increase in equity of somewhere between $200,000 to $400,000. This has not happened, a matter of fact their investment is worth less than $200,000 to $400,000 than the ibuyers are under contract for or have closed for and most of the plaintiffs are not in a financial situation to close. Even if they could close the case is questioning the developer (Nu Way Partners), the real estate brokerage (All Seasons Realty), the appraisal services (Rivers Edge Appraisal) and the lender (Eagle River Mortgage) on the way the transaction took place. You can read more about this situation at the Teton Valley News website: article written by Lisa Nyren.

With all of this said, Teton Springs is an excellent development.  The golf course is known around the Jackson area as one of the best.  The amenities are fantastic with beautiful ponds, streams, walking trails, cross country skiing and a state of the art fitness and pool facility.  My hope is that all the negative press from the above mentioned article and court case work themselves out and that the development prospers in the near future.  The Mountain Meadows area of the development has some adjustments to work out in inventory and price.  There are some fantastic values in both the Mountain Meadows area and the estate lot homes so if you have interest in the development please do not hesitate to call me to discuss further.

For more information on the Teton Valley of Idaho visit our Idaho Real Estate website – www.TetonValleyExperts.com or our Jackson Hole website www.JacksonHoleExperts.com.

The Teton Valley of Idaho – Market Update

Market Report
February 9, 2008
Teton Valley, Idaho

Including the communities of Driggs, Victor and Tetonia and the resort communities of Teton Springs, Grand Targhee, River Rim, The Ponds, Trail Creek Springs, Spring Hollow Ranch, Huntsman Springs, and many others.

Looking over at the Teton Valley of Idaho, I really had to search to find out where the sales have been coming from and what had sold in 2008.  The news over the past summer was that inventory had been growing and activity had dropped considerably. 

I agree that inventory had exploded and activity had slowed but I disagreed with many who were and are predicting a major collapse of the market.  Jackson Hole is not getting bigger but the desire to live there and the need for workers is going to help support the Teton Valley.  I also believe that there are communities being created right in front of our own eyes and with that a sense of community is being born. 

Last week, Grand Targhee Resort, won approval for a major expansion (see previous post) which is major news concerning the valley.  From an economic perspective it should be welcoming news yet for some, many in Alta, are upset with the changes that will be coming.  From my perspective, the Gillette family has been enhancing the Teton Valley ever since their ownership began and I hope and trust they will develop Targhee in a responsible way.

As for the year to date statistics through January 31, 2008

There have been 24 sales to date with a volume of $8,184,100.
Of the 24 sales 8 are lots, 2 are town homes, 5 are homes and 9 are condos.
7 of the transactions took place at Teton Springs.
5 of the transactions took place in Driggs, 2 in Tetonia and 17 in Victor.
There are currently 69 pending transactions.

Now the scary part – Looking back at 2007 Statistics for the same time period Jan. 1 through Jan. 31, 2007.  Last year to date there were already 113 transactions!  What has changed?  Last year of the 113 transactions a whooping 40 came from Mountain Meadows in Teton Springs.  There will be a future blog dedicated to Teton Springs but the statistics show that there were a lot of speculative buyers out there only 1 year ago.  Including Teton Springs of the 113 transactions last year 95 of the transactions were vacant land.  These are staggering numbers!  18 of the transactions were either single family homes, condos or townhomes.  Today’s (2008) residential numbers are just one shy of last year.

I will continue to watch over the Teton Valley of Idaho and if you would like more information or would like discussing investing in the valley please do not hesitate to email or call me toll free at 877-739-8056.