Back in 2008, Wyoming was one of the last states to officially enter the recession. Then, thanks to its energy and mining industries, it was one of the first states to emerge from the recession in early 2010. Now that we’re three years removed from that, is the Cowboy State’s housing market still leading the way?
One of the biggest things Wyoming has working in its favor is its jobs market. By the end of 2012, Wyoming only had an unemployment rate of 4.9% -- considerably less than the national average. As a result, people are flocking to the Cowboy State looking for new opportunities. In fact, Wyoming gained more than 6,000 new residents between the second half of 2011 and the second half of 2012.
And, as you can imagine, all of those people need places to live! As a result, the homes for sale around Wyoming keep getting more and more expensive.
A classic example of the demand here is in Cheyenne. In February 2012, the average home price was $178,000. By the end of 2012, it was $192,000!
But the rising home values aren’t just limited to Wyoming’s largest city. In Casper, the average home price was $187,000 at the end of 2012. Six months before that, it was only $179,000. At the end of 2011, it was only $173,000. Making matters better in Casper? The unemployment rate here is only 4.3%!
And all of the hard-working residents in Casper are probably better off finding a house of their own to call home. That’s because the rental market here is skyrocketing. In fact, at the beginning of 2013, the average apartment for rent in Casper cost about $1,000 per month – meaning that buying is probably cheaper!
But even if you can afford one of these apartments to rent, you may not be able to find one. That’s because 99% of the apartments around Casper are full. While Casper’s rental market may have the highest demand, it’s not the only market in the state that looks like this. Because there are so many jobs in Wyoming – and because those jobs pay so much better than most of the jobs around the rest of the country – the Cowboy State’s housing market simply can’t keep up.
So, what do realtors around Wyoming think 2013 has in store for this housing market?
As long as the jobs market here stays so healthy, there’s no reason to believe that Wyoming’s housing market will continue to do anything but improve!