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Poll: Half say market nearing bottom, half disagree

By   /  February 3, 2010  /  No Comments

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Half-empty or half-full? Those interested in the Jackson Hole real estate market can’t seem to agree if prices have already bottomed out, will reach that point later this year, or will continue to fall into 2011.

In an informal, unscientific online poll, 22 percent of respondents (presumably mostly Jackson Hole Realtors) believe the real estate market has hit bottom in Teton County, with another 49 percent saying the bottom is nearing but will not come until later in 2010. The remaining respondents, 26 percent, went with “Keep dreaming, we won’t see the bottom of our market until 2011 or beyond.”

The poll was conducted by Jackson Hole Title & Escrow, one of the local companies I was referring to last week when mentioning Jackson Hole businesses that go out of their way to provide valuable information to real estate professionals.

Of course it’s important for anyone seriously interested in Jackson Hole real estate to understand which direction the market is moving and at what speed, as this can and does affect the timing of certain decisions. But I’m not sure how much value there is in these poll numbers. Some day, after enough dots have been connected on a graph, it will be clear when the bottom of the overall market occurred. Until then I find discussions based on specific properties and neighborhoods and day-to-day activity are of more interest to friends and clients.

What I did find very interesting, however, were the comments that many respondents included with their vote. Here are some of the anonymous quotes I found insightful:

  • Some realistic sellers have priced their properties at the bottom. The adjustment to be made now is for the unrealistic sellers to get realistic and price their properties appropriately.
  • Very few ever successfully pick the top or the bottom of the housing or the stock market. It will take awhile for the inventory to be absorbed to the point where the demand meets or excels the supply.
  • There is also a shadow inventory. These are sellers who don’t have to sell but want to sell and they are waiting to list their property until the market improves. I personally think it will be awhile before we hit bottom.
  • Some market segments have hit a bottom while others aren’t quite there yet.
  • Jackson is traditionally 12-18 months behind the national economy – until we start seeing an upswing nationally, we won’t see it here.
  • Still bank inventory and if that remains withheld then prices will not go lower.
  • It is impossible to speak in such general terms. Certain areas of the market will continue to hold their value, others will continue to drop significantly.
  • The value is in pre-existing new construction. Fix ups or tear downs will be tough to sell at any price until things stabilize.
  • high end properties have bottomed. Commercial real estate and low-end properties are still stressed, primarily due to credit issues.
  • Some sellers have priced at the bottom, but many many more are still in denial.
  • Not enough seller capitulation. Also the shadow market volume is growing.
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