The Jackson, Wyoming area initially seems like contradiction. It has a mixture of ranches, hotels, expensive luxury homes, and wide-open areas. Why can’t they expand and build more, affordable housing? The Jackson WY real estate market is constrained by the fact that the government owns 97% of the land, and it is overwhelmingly off-limits to development. There are currently two ranches considered for development, but that will only make a dent in the demand for housing in the area. So, what are the most common types of properties in and around Jackson, Wyoming?
A third of real estate transactions in Jackson Hole, Wyoming are single family homes. Another ten percent are residential condos and townhomes. Roughly one percent of real estate transactions in Jackson involved manufactured / mobile homes, because there are so few in the area. These properties have been bought up over the years and turned into luxury single family homes or subdivisions, depending on the zoning.
While the area is very rural, only three percent of transactions are farms and ranches. In contrast, roughly forty percent of real estate transactions are raw land where someone hopes to build a home one day. The long regulatory process to get permission to build one home or a dozen contributes to the high price of new homes when they come onto the market.
The type of activity depends on the area. For example, more than half of all property purchases in Central Star Valley involve land, while roughly a third are single family homes. In South Star Valley, more than half of purchases are land only, while almost as many are single family homes. In Teton Village, more than half of all real estate transactions are fractional. This category includes partial ownership of vacation homes and timeshares. Teton County, Wyoming is unusual for having a large number of real estate sales classified as “fractional ownership”.
The Jackson Hole real estate market has an insane valuation. In 2019, it hit one billion dollars in sales volume for the second year in a row. Note that the COVID lockdowns may have led to a temporary slump in the real estate market in 2020, but demand for suburban single-family homes and rural properties skyrocketed. The average sale price for all residential units hovers around two million dollars. You could pay twenty million dollars for a luxury home on twenty acres. At the other end of the market, studio apartments with just 500 square feet cost $300,000. That is not much more than the median price for a single-family home in the rest of the country. The median home is a thousand square foot single family home on an acre or two-bedroom condo in South Teton Village. The desire to invest in real estate in the area has led to a decrease in rental units as they’re turned into one- and two-bedroom condos. This is why the workers who keep the resorts going may need to live in Pinedale or outside of town, while employers who provide housing pack people in. They can’t afford the two million dollar plus price tag of the median single family home in Jackson.