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March 7, 2008 Teton Valley Idaho Update

 

Market Update
March 7th, 2008
 
Today I am going to introduce you to the Teton Valley of Idaho.  In the coming days I will give an overall view of the valley explaining the different areas but today I tought I would share some interesting facts, statisics and thoughts about the valley.  First off, the Teton Valley of Idaho, includes the communities of Driggs, Victor and Tetonia.
 
The numbers presented here look at the overall market in 2007 and a quick look at the trends that we are witnessing.  2007 was a disappointing year on both the sales volume side and also in the number of transactions. Sales volume and the number of transactions deceased for the first time since 2003. Other news that dragged on the market was the continued release of additional inventory throughout the valley flooding the market with homes, vacant lots and investment type offerings. The news was not all bad as there were signs of a developing community and some much needed infrastructure improvements. Overall the real estate climate in the Teton Valley continues to show a lot of strength and development but the pressures of outside forces like the economy nation wide, a sagging stock market, changing political environment and competition from other resorts finally took a toll on the market as we saw a decrease in some important statistics.
 
When reviewing the Teton Board of Realtors statistics. sales volume for 2007 was $263,786,400 which is a decline of 15.4% from 2006. Sales volume peaked in 2006 ($311,665,600) which was an 356% increase from 2003. So after 4 years of solid growth, sales volume declined. The only category in which sales volume grew was in vacant building sites which increased by 7%. Sales transactions decreased across the board with residential property transactions decreasing by 22.5% or 72 less sales. Overall the market saw a decrease of 9.4% or 90 transactions. The one positive (if you choose to see it that way) is that the average sales price increased almost 20% for residential units and 8% for vacant land. 
 
When looking at the trends the news does not get much better. Sotheby’s International Realty support personnel looked back until January 2006 and graphed sales volume and units sold. The graph is quite interesting to see but in this format I explain. From January 2006 to December 2006 there was tremendous activity and the graph moves in a noticeable and in some month’s aggressive manner upward. Then through February 2007 till June 2007 the market made another upward move with transactions (sold) in May nearing record activity. What happens next is quite telling. The line almost nose dives from 115 sales in May 2007 to a total of 28 sales in January 2008. January 2008 sales numbers are the lowest since the 4th quarter of 2004. When comparing Q4-07 to Q4-06 the units sold declined 58%.
 
Looking at available inventory in Teton Valley we can see that it is increasing rapidly due to decreased activity and the addition of new inventory on the market. The number of available listings (includes residential and vacant land) in January 2008 are 46% higher than January 2007 and 153% higher than January 2006. The rising inventory coupled with falling unit sales is contributing to the jump in months of inventory.
 
On happier notes: There is a lot of information that shows that the Teton Valley is developing in a quality manner and that there is going to be some sustainable growth. The Teton Valley High School completed an addition earlier this year but with growth in the valley some additional space will be considered later in 2008. The high school has been busy creating a new recreational field and is expected to be ready for the 2008 football season. The facility includes a new track and facilities, a football field, lockers and bleachers. There are a few exciting new restaurants in town which are getting rave reviews from locals. The restaurant at Teton Reserve is doing excellent prix fix dinners on weekends. The Headwaters Club at Teton Springs has been open all winter and it is a great place for a quiet evening of good food. Teton Thai has been busy preparing for their grand opening in Victor in April. Commercial activity has also been very strong. There are developments all along Victor’s main street heading west toward Idaho Falls. There is a new bank, First Bank of the Tetons, which will be open this spring on Main Street. The building is very attractive and is a great addition to the Teton Valley.
 
Overall I feel as if the Teton Valley of Idaho has probably not quite hit the bottom but it is very close. There are numerous quality investments, residential and vacant land parcels that are available and a continued desire for individuals to move to the mountains. Considering the values of Jackson Hole the Teton Valley offers many of the same outdoor opportunities yet offers a lot of opportunity along with value priced properties.
   
If you would like additional information on any of these developments or on the Teton Valley in general please email or call Garth at 877-739-8056 (toll free).