2012 Year-End Update
Recovery is in the Air
Welcome to the 17th issue of the Star Valley Report. Published semi-annually, this data-driven report is the most accurate and trusted real estate news source in Lincoln County, Wyoming. First, we would like to thank all our loyal readers, customers and clients for their continued trust in this report. Our ability to track every single real estate transaction, and then turn the data into historical knowledge, has made us the most sought after real estate experts in Star Valley.
The big news is that 2012 saw the beginnings of recovery in Star Valley‘s real estate market. With Jackson prices going up, and supply of bank-owned properties slowing down, Star Valley’s residential market is regaining equilibrium between supply and demand. In 2013, bank-owned properties are continuing to come on at very low prices and are being purchased as soon as they hit the market. The distressed market is still dictating property values, but with multiple offers, many distressed homes are closing above asking price. Although they continue to restrain flexibility for fair market sellers, distressed homes are becoming harder to get due to competition and reduced inventory. This is beginning to drive more buyers toward fair market properties, helping to return stability and optimism to the market.
Overall, sales activity is trending upward, while distressed property inventory is down.
Land sales are slowly coming back into the market this year. Vacant land sellers continue to struggle to move an excess of inventory, but a low inventory of homes is leading many to consider the option to build.
HOW STRONG IS THE STAR VALLEY MARKET? Today’s buyers are savvy bargain shoppers. They are willing to pass up a great property if it is not priced competitively. Home pricing will play a critical role in a healthy recovery. As the balance of inventory shifts more toward fair market properties, sellers willingness to accept a realistic perspective on current home values will be an important factor.
OVERALL MARKET IN STAR VALLEY: The overall market here in the valley continues to slowly bounce back when looking at both the number of transactions and number of properties under contract at the close of 2012. The number of sales was up 43% and the average sale price was up 8% ($221,935 vs. $204,520 in 2011), whereas the median sale price fell 10% ($134,000 vs. $149,000 in 2011). On the positive side, property here in the valley is continuing to sell and hopefully pricing has hit bottom. Again, the biggest contributor to the decline in the median sale price has been the aggressive pricing of distressed properties, and buyers’ making “value” buys throughout the valley.
CURRENT OVERALL AVAILABLE INVENTORY: At the close of 2012, our current inventory was down (15%) when compared to the end of 2011 (582 listings, down from 682). When looking at our current inventory of 582 listings, and comparing it to what is currently under contract, Star Valley has a 16-month supply of real estate available for purchase. At our current pace of sales, with no new listings coming onto the market, it would take roughly one year and four months to sell the inventory on-hand. This is down by nine months from 2011. Although still in a Buyer’s market, if inventory continues to dwindle, cautionary predictions are that prices should start rising and values should improve.
REAL ESTATE CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT: At the close of 2012, there were 25 properties under contract (down 7% from 2011) with an average list price of $254,510 (down 6% from 2011) and a median list price of $178,500 (up 12%). Of the real estate currently under contract, 64% (16 properties) are distressed properties.
Single Family Homes: 2012 brought our highest total of homes sales since 2007, which was the best year for homes sales since the creation of the Star Valley Report. Home sales throughout the valley increased 20% in 2012 (214 sales compared to 178 in 2011) with the average sale price remaining about the same to $232,331 (compared to $228,209 in 2011), and the median sale price also remaining about the same $162,000 (compared to $163,000 in 2011). The numbers signal that the bottom is at hand. In 2012 40% of the homes sold (86 homes) were distressed sales (either bank-owned or short sales). The increase in sales is not only reflected in the number of distressed properties, but also in the competitive pricing. Properties that have been priced competitively have been moving at a steady pace. Those properties that are priced too high have remained stagnant. Currently there are 192 homes on the market, with 385 days being the average days on the market (DOM).
Northern Star Valley: The northern half of the valley experienced virtually a flat market in all areas excepting median values. There were 90 sales (up 3%), with a slight decrease in the average sale price and a larger decrease in median sale price. The average sale price fell 1% to $307,914 (compared to $312,391 in 2011) but the median sale price fell 25% to $177,900 (compared to $235,000 in 2011). The fall in the median price can be contributed to the high number of distressed sales in this area (51% in 2012). The good news is that of the 105 current active listings, only seven (6%) percent are distressed properties. The bad news, of those 105 homes, about 2/3 have been on the market 420 days, a strong indicator of those homes being over-priced.
Southern Star Valley experienced a 24% increase in the number of home sales (62 vs. 50 in 2011), with the average sale price rising 31% ($172,953 vs. $131,107 in 2011) and the median sale price rising 8% ($129,900 vs. $120,000 in 2011). Similar to Northern Star Valley, 48% of the sales were considered distressed at one point in 2012. The market values have been highly influenced by the number of distressed properties. However, the rate of distressed properties coming onto the market shows signs of decreasing.
Star Valley Ranch had a 39% increase in the number of home sales for 2012 (57 vs. 41 in 2011). The average sale price rose 11% ($180,160 vs. $162,303 in 2011) and the median sale price rose 7% ($157,500 vs. $150,000 in 2011). Of the 57 sales in 2012, 31% (18 sales) were considered distressed, down 15% (46% or 19 sales in 2011). Star Valley Ranch inventory is down, with only 36 homes currently on the market, however, as good as it sounds, the average days on the market for those homes is 367 days. Of the remaining homes, 2/3 of those available have been on the market over 250 days. Simply stated, many of the remaining homes are overpriced and are not selling.
OTHER VALLEY-WIDE STATS: Homes Under contract: 19 with an average list price of $264,413 (down 7%) and a median list price of $178,500 (up 7%).
Active Home Listings: 187 homes with an average list price of $371,081 (up 4%) and a median list price of $260,000 (up 2%).
Least Expensive Home Listing: $69,000, this buys you an older 900 sq. ft home on 1.4 acres in Grunig Meadows in Grover.
Most expensive listing: $2,700,000 – this buys you a 5800 square foot home on the banks of the Salt River in the exclusive Double L Ranch.
Residential Vacant Lots: After a decrease in the number of vacant land transactions (2010 vs. 2011), 2012 brought a much welcome 72% increase in the number of sales valley wide (79 vs. 98 in 2012), with the Southern end of the valley increasing sales by 550% (2 vs. 13 in 2012) . The average sale price rose 7% ($113,778 vs. $106,773 in 2011) while the median sale price increased 45% ($58,000 vs. $40,000 in 2011). The rise in the average price can be attributed to the increased sales in the Upper Valley.
There are several reasons for the pickup in vacant land sales in the past year:
• Buyer’s Confidence Returns: Buyers are no longer shying away from buying.
• Wyoming Tax Advantage: As taxes begin to increase across the country, investors are drawn to our tax-friendly state.
• Market Bottom: Signs are showing that we have reached the bottom of our market. Buyers are moving to purchase while prices are steady.
• Baby Boomers: Baby Boomers are retiring and are looking for a place to shelter their income.
SALES BY AREA: Northern Star Valley had 60 vacant lot sales (up 46%) with an average sale price of $130,474 (up 6%), and a median sale price of $72,000 (up 80%).
Southern Star Valley had 13 sales (up 550%) with an average sale price of $141,000 (up 60%), and a median sale price of $90,000 (up 6%).
Star Valley Ranch had 18 lot sales (down 8%) with an average sale price of $21,294 (up 13%) and a median sale price of $18,500 (up 3%).
OTHER VALLEY-WIDE STATS: Lots Under Contract: one five acre lot in Thayne.
Active Lot Listings: 292 (down 13%) with an average list price of $112,634 (down 10%) and a median list price of $76,000, down 4% when compared to the same period in 2011.
Least Expensive Lot Listing: $10,000 – a .30-acre lot in Star Valley Ranch
Most Expensive Lot Listing: $850,000 – 3.63 acres in Palisades landing (Alpine area).
Farm & Ranch (35+ acre properties): Farm and ranch properties have seen the highest percentage of increase. There were 21 sales for 2012, with only sixteen of those reported to our MLS. The increase of interest can be attributed to lower asking prices, and a higher interest in the purchase of large parcels of raw land. Investors seem to be willing to move their money from other areas of their portfolio and reinvesting it into the larger parcels of property. There also seems to be an increase of Buyers who want to fulfill their dream of owning farmland for agricultural purposes.
SALES BY AREA: Northern Star Valley had nine (9) farm and ranch sales.
Southern Star Valley had six (6) farm and ranch sales.
OTHER Farm & Ranch STATS: Under Contract: There are no ranches currently under contract.
Active Listings: Fourteen (14) with an average list price of $1,628,714 and a median list price of $1,090,000.
Least Expensive listing: $309,000 – a 22.63 acre parcel in the Smoot area.
Most expensive listing: $3,300,000 – this buys you a home on 124.58 acres in the Thayne area.
STAR VALLEY COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT
Star Valley’s culture is greatly enhanced by our new community centers. A beautiful structure equipped to host a variety of local events; The Afton Civic Center has been a valuable community resource in the upper valley since 2008.
Last year, the lower valley also introduced two new additions. When the construction of new schools in 2008 left two large vacant buildings, the towns of Thayne and Etna went right to work on extensive renovations to convert the old schools into much needed new community centers.
With these centers now complete, a wealth of resources and activities is available that will greatly enrich our entire community.
Both facilities offer rooms for lease for events and activities, as well as new offices for many local businesses. In addition, the Thayne Center houses the public library, police department, youth recreational programs, an adult recreational center, and the Star Valley Arts Council. The Etna Center also conducts community auctions and offers courses with a satellite branch of Western Wyoming Community College.
Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates welcomes these local community centers with an enthusiastic thumbs up! Check them out and enjoy the added culture, sports, and education they bring to Star Valley.
The Appraisal Corner:
Our Appraisal Department is comprised of three General Appraisers and one Residential Appraiser. The most common type of appraisal assignment we perform is the development of an opinion of market value. However, because of our specialized training and experience as appraisers, we can provide a wide range of additional appraisal services—from investment consultation, to advice on various businesses, as well as personal financial decisions.
We perform appraisals for our clients for many reasons. The following is a sample of the type of assignments we perform:
• To help prospective sellers determine acceptable selling prices, or prospective buyers decide on offering prices
• To establish a basis for the exchange or reorganization of real property or for merging the ownership of multiple properties
• To estimate the market value of a property in eminent domain proceedings
• To estimate the market value of a property in contract disputes or as part of a portfolio
• To estimate the market value of partnership interests
• To estimate damages created by environmental contamination
• To estimate the market value of a conservation easement
• To estimate assessed value
• To determine gift or inheritance taxes
• To estimate the value of the real property component of an estate and decision-making.
• To help establish rent schedules and lease provisions
• To determine the feasibility of a construction or renovation plan
• To aid in corporate mergers, issuance of stock or revision of book value
• To estimate liquidation value for forced-sale or auction proceedings
• To counsel a client on investment matters, including goals, alternatives, resources, constraints and timing
• To advise zoning boards, courts and planners, among others, regarding the probable effects of proposed actions
• To arbitrate between adversaries
• To give expert testimony during litigation
Many appraisals are performed for lending purposes. Property owners should be aware that current federal lending regulations require the lender to “initiate” the appraisal. The lender must have the first contact with the appraiser and oversee the appraisal process. According to these regulations, the lender must be the client and the lending institution must engage the appraiser. Any property owner who wants to use the appraisal for lending purposes should communicate this need to the lender and have the lender engage the appraiser. This avoids the possibility of the lender rejecting the appraisal or requiring a new appraisal because the bank did not initiate the appraisal. According to federal lending laws, any bank can use an appraisal prepared for another bank, as long as the initiating bank reviews the appraisal and finds it to be acceptable.
Our staff has over 41-years of combined real-estate appraisal experience and is able to handle any assignment, no matter what the complexities. Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates – Exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International real estate is the largest Real Estate Company in the region. Our team is comprised of 100+ agents, appraisers and support staff, as well as, a powerful database that leverages information for our clients, daily tracking of every single real estate transaction in Jackson Hole and Star Valley. Combine all this with the worldwide reach of Christie’s International Real Estate, the simple fact remains: We Know the Market Better than Anyone. If you are looking for a Realtor or Appraiser, whether you are buying or selling, you owe it to yourself to talk to us before you make what could be the most important decision of your life. At JHREA our clients’ and customers’ best interests are paramount! Your “locally owned and operated” Real Estate Company is located either at 235 S. Main Street, Thayne, WY or 181 US Hwy. 89 in Alpine, WY.
It is very clear that buyers and sellers demand to stay informed of market conditions. We offer several services that will keep your finger on the pulse of our local real estate market, from daily email updates, weekly distressed properties list, a free market analysis of your property, to quarterly price updates on your Jackson Hole or Star Valley property. Please contact us to learn more about the programs and services we can provide. Be sure to also check out our top-ranked website at www.starvalleyrealestate.com for the latest listings and news about our local real estate market.
Christie’s International Real Estate global network of affiliated brokers includes nearly 36,000 sales associates operating from 900 offices in more than 40 countries. The network’s combined annual sales topped $128 billion. The combined global networks of Christie’s, and Christie’s International Real Estate, both market leaders in the sale of luxury goods, create a world-class showcase for distinguished real estate. No other network offers this level of international visibility to proven buyers of high-value property.
The Star Valley Report is published semi-annually and posted on the world-wide web. While others attempt to report on our market with MLS statistics only (MLS historically tracks 65-70% of the market) we track every single transaction in northern Lincoln County. This data-driven report is the most accurate and trusted real estate news source in Lincoln County, Wyoming. If you would like to sign up for these semi-annual email updates, or need more detailed information about our market, feel free to either call or email us at (307) 413-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
*All statistics are supplied by sources that have been deemed reliable but are not guaranteed.
*All statistics quoted in this newsletter are based on sales in 2011 compared to sales in 2012.
*Median sale price is the cost of a property that has an equal number of sales above and below it on the price scale.
*Average sale price is the total combined dollar volume divided by the number of sales.
*The word “Overall” in this newsletter refers to all sales in northern Lincoln County combined (homes, lots, condos, commercial and ranch).
*The term “Market Value” is the value of a property in terms of what it can be sold for on the open market; current value.
*While other local Real Estate Brokerages attempt to report on the local Star Valley real estate market, Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, LLC is the only company to track every single transaction. Therefore, if you want the most accurate information to help guide you through your next real estate transaction, call us today. “We are the Experts”.
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