Continued from Part 2.
Teton County, WY (Jackson Hole)
Only 3% of Teton County is private, with the remaining 97% not available for any type of private development. The population of Jackson Hole is 9000, with the total population of the county is 20,000. New improvements this year include a brand new tram at Jackson Hole resort. As in Park City, most of the area businesses are fully staffed, although those staffing levels are well down from previous years. For example, the Four Seasons expected to employ 275 seasonal workers, but instead are making due with just 125 seasonal workers, with the extra work being picked up by salaried employees. Anecdotally, in previous winters the want ads in the local paper filled six to seven pages – this winter they don’t even fill one page. Recent changes in the town include requiring professional services to obtain business licenses, which would include REALTORS® Sales and volume are down in Jackson as well, with the number of transactions off 50% and dollar volume off about 38%. From these numbers you can tell that the average price is still increasing in Jackson. The pended sales as of January 1 of this year were 90% fewer than January 1, 2008. There are no short sales or foreclosures in the Jackson area (Teton County, WY). However, over Teton Pass in Idaho (interestingly enough, Teton County, ID) there are large numbers of foreclosures and short sales. This area experienced explosive growth in the past few years, with over 5,000 new lots platted in the last few years. Prices in these developments are now off as much as 70%.
Sun Valley, ID
Sun Valley is somewhat different than the other resorts in RMRA in that real estate sales in Sun Valley have been down for the last several years and not just 2008. Some recent changes in the area include the Ketchum City Council finally approving some variance to the height limitation which would allow a new high end condo hotel development, currently slated for the Warm Springs side of the resort. However, the changes to the code took such a long time (multiple years) that funding for such a project is now questionable. Sun Valley Corporation (Earl Holding and Sinclair Oil) are finishing up plans for a 30 lot subdivision, the first new development in Sun Valley in many years. There are 90 no-money involved reservations for this project, with many of those in place for years. Sun Valley Company is also trying to annex the base area of River Run in to the town of Ketchum to facilitate a condo-hotel and commercial development in that area. It is currently in the county. Lastly, the county is looking seriously at moving the airport, currently in Hailey, to a location about 50 minutes from Sun Valley. This is extremely controversial, because if it were to occur the Hailey airport would probably be shut down. The up side would be a new airport would allow larger commercial planes to land there (almost a necessity as Sky West, the primary commercial carrier to Sun Valley, will be selling off all of the planes that now land in Hailey and replace them with regional jets, which would not be allowed to land there). Expansion of the Hailey airport is not an option. On the real estate side, 352 units sold through the Sawtooth BOR (Sun Valley and surrounding area) in 2008. That number has dropped every year since 2005, and the Board lost 104 realtors last year. On the plus side, inventories are declining because unmotivated sellers are finally realizing that they are not going to sell at the prices that they are trying to get.
Whistler, BC (Whistler and Blackcomb)
The area is getting ready to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, and all venues are in place and complete. New this year is the Peak to Peak gondola, a gondola that spans the chasm separating the two mountains. The gondola carries 28 people at a time, and takes 11 minutes to go from one mountain to the other. At its highest point it is 1427 feet above Fitzsimmons Creek, and several of the cars have glass floors, for which riders will wait to take. 2007 was a banner year for sales in Whistler, so 2008 paled in comparison. As with our market, buyers are looking for super deals, and the recent strengthening of the dollar versus the Canadian dollar makes prices look better. Activity over the holidays was good, but no sales.
Submitted by Mark Seltenrich
Park City Real Estate Search
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah
2200 Park Avenue, Park City, Utah 84060
Linda: 435-640-4816 | Jason: 435-602-9294