Mountain News: Jackson’s real estate boom is over 

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – The state of the real estate market in Jackson Hole has been in dispute in recent weeks. A study by a California-based firm found that the median home price in Teton County had dropped 9 per cent in the last year. But David Viehman, a local appraiser and real estate agent who has studied the market for number of years, says the Californians crunched the numbers in ways that don’t necessarily make sense.

As Viehman crunches the numbers, prices for single-family homes have actually increased in the last year by 2 per cent. However, he discounts condos, townhouses and fractional ownerships — which may have been included in the tabulation of a 9 per cent decline.

What clearly is happening, he says, is that locals continue to escalate their prices as if a boom were still occurring. As a consequence, lots of properties are on the market.

“Locals can’t get over the fact that their property is not worth more than it was last year,” Viehman told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “They won’t come off their price.”

What has happened, several sources tell the newspaper, is that the real estate market is correcting itself after several years of extreme heating. As well, while there are still mortgages available for “strong” borrowers, no national companies are loaning for more than $700,000. Also, while vacationers to Jackson Hole might have been inclined to buy vacation real estate at other times, the national economic uncertainty at this time is keeping them in a less committed state.

 

Parking prices going up

VAIL, Colo. – Parking rates this winter will go up in Vail’s two large public parking garages. A full day of parking previously was $20. This year it will be $25. The hike is being levied by Vail officials because they want to shift more use to mass transit. Also, they hope to reduce the amount of overflow when the parking garages are filled, which last year resulted in cars being parked along the adjacent frontage road 48 times. While some of the cars are from Denver, a substantial portion of the cars are from locals in Vail and the Eagle Valley.

 

Bus fares on the rise

TELLURIDE, Colo. – Commuter buses are getting more crowded across ski country, and they’re also getting more expensive. Newspapers in Jackson Hole, Aspen and Telluride have all carried news in recent weeks of contemplated or approved increases in passenger fares to compensate for increased fuel costs. The bus linking Telluride and one of its bedroom communities, Norwood, will see a 100 per cent increase in fare price. That leaves it at just $2 a ride, reports The Telluride Watch. Still, that’s a good deal, as the drive is about a half-hour long.

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