Jackson Hole Realtor Wipes Out


For some reason the second home market isn’t exactly booming right now. And we already know what the economy is doing to shopping in fancy resort areas.

Wyoming Business Report: The second largest residential real estate firm in the state, according to the Wyoming Business Report’s Book of Lists, shuttered its doors on Monday, citing a downturn in the industry and a lack of capital to continue.

Real Estate of Jackson Hole CEO and Chairman Chris Johnston announced that the firm would close its doors on Monday, according to a report in the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

Johnston said he had been considering restructuring but decided to just close. The firm had not filed for bankruptcy protection as of Monday, but the company assets were expected to be liquidated.

According to the current edition of the state’s economic summary, Wyoming’s real estate market slowed in late 2007 with increased inventories and lower transactions in many communities. By the third quarter of 2008, the overall price level in the State contracted 0.8 per cent from the second quarter.  This was the first home price decline since the second quarter of 1998, and the fastest quarterly price drop since the fourth quarter of 1990.

In Jackson, valley real-estate agents closed 29 deals in October and November, a sharp drop from the 73 completed during the same two months a year ago.

However these agents may not be able to close any deals in the near future even if they get them.

Planet Jackson Hole Online: CEO Christopher Johnston told employees that the company had exhausted all its resources, and he requested that agents turn in their state-issued “pocket” cards, rendering them unlicensed until they sign with a different real estate broker or set up other arrangements. By midday, many of the firm’s brokers had begun taking steps to secure employment with some of the valley’s other firms.

…Rob Cheek, a top commercial broker who has been a realtor in Jackson Hole nearly 30 years, began working for REJH when it bought his small real estate company in 2003.

“The market is really struggling – almost to the point that it has atrophied,” Cheek said Monday afternoon. “It’s been really difficult for everybody, but I feel sorry for the staff. They deserved more than that. We brokers will be fine.”

Cheek said market conditions are similar to those experienced during the recession of the mid-1980s.

On the plus side, Jackson Hole just got a new tram!

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Hat Tip: Luxist