Math finally making sense for entry-level market

The Park Place subdivision in West Jackson, as well as the rest of the sub-$300,000 market, has seen significant activity in recent weeks.

The low end of the Jackson Hole market has been very active in recent weeks, with four closings at or below $300,000 since August 20. Not bad considering there have been just a dozen such sales since September 2009, according to Teton County Multiple Listing Service. There also are now five pending properties with list prices between $149,000 and $299,000.

Why the flurry? After nearly two years of steady price reductions to levels as much as 50 percent lower, the math is finally starting to make sense for buyers in this price range who can now pay about the same on a monthly mortgage as they do in rent.

Consider these variables: a 2-bed, 1-bath condo with approximately 750 square feet currently rents for approximately $1,200 in Teton County. Values for these units have dropped to about $210,000 (the most recent closed sale in this market segment). With interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at historically low rates of less than 4.5 percent, rents and mortgage payments are about the same.

Buyers will still have to come up with a down payment, qualify for a loan and most likely have to deal with the short sale process. These days, none of those things should be taken for granted. But for those willing to be both aggressive and patient, jumping from renting (or deed-restricted housing) to owning is once again starting to look good on paper. Please see my similar post on, as well as last month’s piece on how the high end of the market has been, until recently, driving the Jackson Hole real estate market in 2010.

Highlights from a look at properties listed or sold below $300,000 include:

  • Twenty-nine active listings for properties with list prices below $300,000. This includes five Ponderosa Village units with the least expensive a bank-owned 2-bed, 1-bath, 716-square-foot condo listed for $180,000.
  • Three active Park Place listings (Smith Lane) priced between $199,000 and $260,000 as well as two pending Park Place listings.
  • Five of the 12 closings in the last year have been in the Aspens/Racquet Club, which is in a short-term rental overlay. Two more sales were in Teton Village, which is also in the short-term rental overlay.
  • The lowest-priced pending property is a 464-square-foot studio in Teton Village listed for $149,000.
  • This weekend a 2-bed, 1-bath, 800-square-foot condo in Teton Village listed for $244,900 went under contract. This same unit sold in July 2006 for $435,000.

Please contact me to receive an email that includes the details on all active, pending and closed properties in this market segment.

One thought on “Math finally making sense for entry-level market”

  • Black Friday for Jackson Hole real estate – Teton Realty Today

    […] On the other hand, the job market remains unsteady, lending restrictions are slow to relax and prices, though much lower, remain out of reach for many household budgets. However, these challenges are becoming easier to surmount for a growing number of buyers and the sales figures from this year bear that out. […]

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