The 2014 Wyoming housing market stands among the top in housing markets that were hit particularly hard by both the recession and its aftermath. Our economy took a comparatively long time to recover. Speaking to the members of his association this past May 2014, the President of the Wyoming Association of Realtors described “the warm breezes of a recovering housing market.” Randall Hall mentioned prices on the rise, lower inventories, and included positive changes in previously underwater markets such as Phoenix, AZ. We can easy infer that the 2014 Wyoming housing market is in a similar state with a slow uptick in housing stock, house sale prices, and new construction numbers.
Several demographics and legislative factors influence the 2014 Wyoming housing market. Many of them likely play a major role in dictating market conditions in 2014. 2014 also happens to be an election year. Here are some of the more relevant facts to consider, before delving into the granular specifics of the housing market:
- The population of Wyoming increased by rather large margins over the past fourteen years. In 2014, it stands over 562.8k people. This figure rose nearly 14 percent since the year 2000. This increase obviously places pressure on the housing market which increases the demand for new homes and lowers housing stock in post-recession times.
- The cost of living in Wyoming remains higher than the U.S. average. Living in Wyoming is 4.4 percent more expensive than elsewhere in the U.S. on average. In turn, housing costs remain predictably higher than many other parts of the country.
- The economy of Wyoming is slowly recovering. While the overall unemployment rate remains substantially lower than the U.S. average (3.6 percent compared to 6.3 percent), the rate of job growth continues on a slow upward trend. The figures for employment are up 2.88 percent over the past year.
- Wyoming is, by and large, a conservative (or Republican) state. This fact remains particularly relevant for the 2014 housing market. Wyoming real estate experts predict that Congress will attempt to amend legislation that favors the market as it stands right now. Wyoming-based property market analysts predicts that Congress will attempt to ‘squeeze tax dollars’ from the Mortgage Interest Deduction legislation. They will do so through the deductible nature of property taxes, protection of tax policy that favors investment in the real estate market and home ownership.
The median home price in Wyoming stood at $201.4k in mid 2014. That figure grew 2.5 percent over the previous twelve months. On a similar note, the July 2014 Home Value Index reported by Zillow stood at $97,700. This too grew by 9 percent over the course of the past year; the website predicts a comparable increase of 2.3 percent over the coming year. Interestingly enough, several metro areas in Wyoming hold far higher list prices per square foot than the state median of $69. Most notably, Grand Rapid’s metro area held an average list price per square foot of $94 in July 2014. We can find a similar situation in the Grand Rapids rental market where the median price stands at $900. This rate is far lower than the state median of $725. The median price of currently listed homes in Wyoming is $99,000. That figure is only slightly lower than the median price of sold homes ($99,535). The difference in figures tips the scales slightly in the buyers’ favor. You can read up on the 2013 Wyoming housing market here.
Over the past few years, considerable tension existed in the Wyoming housing market. The median list price of homes recorded several major drops in the recent past: in February 2012, the market bottomed out at $68,000. In March 2011, the price stood at a comparably low $69,900. In February 2012, the median sale price dropped to $66,600. Although it has fluctuated since, the price trend remained generally positive since those lows. All in all, Zillow’s market health index shows that Wyoming is currently on a slightly downward slope. Zillow’s index decreased 3.8 points (out of a total maximum of 10) on a month-to-month basis. Out of all the homes up for sale on the market at present, 28.8 percent of them have negative equity (i.e. mortgage debt). This indicates a larger issue with negative equity in Wyoming than in the rest of the U.S. The countrywide average in this respect resided at 18.8 percent for data up to the end of March 2014. On the upside, only 4.3 percent of sellers are delinquent on mortgage payments. That surprising figure is far lower than the U.S. average of 7.2 percent.
In terms of median housing prices in individual cities in Wyoming, East Grand Rapids serves as Wyoming’s market leader with a median cost of $292,000. Byron Center follows with a median cost of $199,100 and then Gaines Township ($182,300). The greater metro area of Grand Rapids stands at the end of the queue with a median value of only $99,600. The median list price per square foot is $69 with a median sale price of $65; 38.9 percent of all listings on the market feature a price cut. 32.4 percent of homes were sold below listing as of July 2014. The rentals market in Wyoming also stands below the national average with a median cost of $1,052 at state level and $1,119 for the Grand Rapids metro area.
The two largest metropolitan areas in Wyoming, Casper and Cheyenne, also recently witnessed upward price trends. As of the writing of this article, the Zillow Home Value Index for Cheyenne is $175,200. This index is up 1.9 percent on a year-to-year basis. The same index for Casper stands at $178,600 which grew by a more impressive 7.5 percent over the past twelve months. Evansville is the leading area in Casper, in terms of housing worth growth. The median home value of Casper was $308,700 as of July 2014. The Cheyenne metro area slowly developed in terms of pricing increases, with a negative month-on-month and quarter-on-quarter evolution (1.2 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively).