October sales: Good mix of high-end, entry-level properties

The floor desk at Jackson Hole Sotheby's main office, where I am today until about 5 pm, has been busy in recent months. After a strong October that included 24 sales and 28 pending contracts, fourth quarter real estate sales in Teton County, Wyoming, are on pace to compare favorably to the same period in 2009.

October real estate sales in Jackson Hole were strong, totaling approximately $29.4 million on 24 completed transactions. However, the month fell short of October 2009, the strongest month of that year, when there were 29 transactions for approximately $37.2 million, according to Teton County Multiple Listing Service.

As has been the trend this year, the high end of the market (sales above $1.75 million are my definition of high end, though many of my peers might still consider this the middle of the market) remained very active in October. The six highest sales totaled approximately $15 million, or just over 50 percent, of the monthly sales volume.

But even with an average sales price of approximately $1.22 million, a closer look at the individual sales shows significant action at the lower end of the market (below $450,000) and below $1 million.

Why? Primarily, values have dropped to the point where buyers who require loans can actually get them, despite today’s increased lending guidelines. Additionally, investors and cash buyers are returning to this market.

Consider the following highlights from sales in October.

  • Four sales of $300,000 or less, including condos in Teton Village and Aspens/Racquet Club; a nearly half-acre building site in East Jackson; and a 3-bed townhouse in Rafter J. Less than three years ago there were virtually no residential listings in Teton County below $300,000.
  • Short sale in Melody Ranch on a 4-bed home for less than $250 per square foot. Yes, less than $250 a foot!
  • A 3,000+ square foot home south of Wilson on more than 5 acres sold for less than $530,000.  This was a bank-owned property. It could be argued, and supported by comparable sales, that the land alone was worth this much.
  • A 4-bed Clusters townhouse in West Jackson sold for approximately $244 per square foot after 107 days on market at about 11 percent off original list price.
  • Arguably the finest home in Melody Ranch sold for more than $650,000 off original list. Sellers did get nearly $375 per foot on a 3,600+ square foot home, but the location and quality of this home is truly superior in this neighborhood. Was on and off the market since April 2008.
  • Twenty-eight properties went under contract in October, foretelling a strong November. Sales in November 2009 for Teton County included 23 transactions for $19.2 million.

Rules prohibit me from being more specific about individual sales in this forum so please contact me for a direct e-mail including MLS sheets for all listings mentioned in this e-mail.

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