The Wyoming real estate market is currently supported by one of the country's most stable economies. The state has been less sensitive to unemployment with a looming recession on the horizon. As a result, demand for housing continues to increase in conjunction with home prices. That said, the Fed's decision to tighten suggests the market is switching from a seller's market to a more balance one. That's not to say the Wyoming real estate market isn't still a seller's market (it is), but rather that the balance of power is starting to shift. While still high, less competition will reign in appreciation and work in favor of buyers and investors.
The Top Wyoming Real Estate Markets
While the best real estate market in Wyoming is up for debate, here’s a list of the cities investors may want to pay special considerations to:
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (latest estimate by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics)
Population: 578,759 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)
Median Household Income: $64,049 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)
Percentage Of Vacant Homes: 14.66%
Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 27,309 (0.3%)
Wyoming Median Home Prices
Nearly a decade ago (July 2011), home prices in the Wyoming real estate market bottomed out during The Great Recession. At the time, the average price of a home in Wyoming was about $194,000. Unbeknownst to residents, however, the third quarter of 2011 marked improvements in the economy of many housing markets across the country, not excluding Wyoming. Though they weren’t aware of it then, prices would start to appreciate at a historic rate.
Thanks to nationwide improvements in the economy, growing optimism, and a lack of available inventory, prices in Wyoming have enjoyed about ten years of growth. As a result, today’s median home value is somewhere in the neighborhood of $262,517, or 35.3% higher than it was when the recession was at its worst.
An appreciation rate exceeding thirty-five percent is nothing to laugh at. In fact, years of price appreciation have really helped bolster the entire Wyoming economy. However, when placed in a greater context, real estate in Wyoming has failed to keep pace with national trends. To put things into perspective, the median home value in the United States was around $163,000 when Wyoming real estate hit rock bottom. Since then, the median home value in the United States has appreciated more than 65.0%. Today, the median home value in the U.S. is $269,039. While Wyoming homeowners do have something to be excited about, it is important to note that there is plenty of room for improvement.
Several market fundamentals, not the least of which include historically low interest rates and pent-up demand, suggest activity will remain strong, even in the face of rising prices. Therefore, it's safe to assume this year will see both prices and demand increase simultaneously.
Wyoming Foreclosure Trends & Statistics
With one out of every 27,309 homes in some stage of foreclosure (pre-foreclosure, bank-owned, or reserved for auction), Wyoming has a foreclosure rate of about 0.3%. When placed in a national context, the Wyoming housing market has a relatively low foreclosure rate. The foreclosure rate across the entire United States is about 0.7% (one in every 13,955 properties).
Despite lower rates, there are still pockets of distressed inventory with higher distributions of foreclosed properties across Wyoming. Here’s a list of the counties with the highest distributions of foreclosures in Wyoming:
Converse: (1 in every 3,312)
Johnson: (1 in every 4,598)
Campbell: (1 in every 10,017)
Laramie: (1 in every 10,606)
Fremont: (1 in every 17,950)
Unfortunately, drastic improvements made to foreclosure filing rates appear to be at risk. Foreclosures are already increasing on a national level, and it may only be a matter of time until they do in Wyoming. The financial crisis left behind in the wake of the Coronavirus will most likely force many homeowners into foreclosure. Forbearance programs won't last forever, and when they end, it's fair to assume the latter part of 2021 will see an influx of distressed homes on the market. While unfortunate, investors who position themselves well today may be able to simultaneously help distressed owners and land a deal at the same time.
Tax Lien Investing
Tax Lien or Deed: Tax Lien state
Interest Rate: 18%
Redemption Period: 4 years
Wyoming Real Estate Investing
While home values are reaching new highs just about everywhere in the United States, the Wyoming real estate investing community is granted access to a relatively affordable inventory of homes. Of course, homes are more expensive than they have been in a long time, but the local distressed property market appears ready and willing to supply investors with affordable deals. Distressed properties award savvy investors the opportunity to capitalize on attractive profit margins and motivated sellers simultaneously.
To be clear, attractive profit margins are harder to come by for Wyoming real estate investors. As a result, local entrepreneurs may want to try a new investment approach: long-term rental properties. While the Coronavirus has certainly taken its toll on the economy, new and emerging fundamentals appear to be leaning heavily in favor of landlords. In particular, there are two reasons investors should consider buying rental properties in today's market: interest rates and demand.
Interest rates are historically low, and the Fed has already announced it will keep them low for the foreseeable future. That means the cost of borrowing money is lower than in the past and can help offset today's higher home prices. Lower monthly obligations will make rental rates look a lot more appealing over the course of several years.
Inventory levels in Wyoming are low, which means even people who want to buy can't. Those unable to purchase will be relegated to the renter pool, which increases the demand for units. As competition rises, landlords will be able to charge a premium for their units. More importantly, they'll be able to pay down their mortgagees with other people's money while the risk of vacancy is lowered.
Wyoming Housing Market Predictions
The Wyoming housing market has enjoyed nearly a decade’s worth of good news. For nearly 10 years, real estate in Wyoming has been able to ride the wake of national trends, albeit to a tempered extent. Price increases, confidence in the market, and several other indicators are heading in the same direction as the rest of the country, but what does that mean moving forward? What can the Wyoming real estate investing community expect for the foreseeable future?
Secondary cities will become a commodity: While real estate in Wyoming is relatively cheap compared to the rest of the country, home prices are still up more than 35.0% in the last two years. As a result, people will start looking for cheaper alternatives. Millennials, in particular, may flock to secondary cities like Evanston, which boats affordable homes and a short drive to both Utah and Idaho. With a median home value well below the rest of the state, Evanston is sure to receive more attention and perhaps even start appreciating at a faster rate.
Inventory levels will continue to drive up prices: Inventory levels have yet to match the pace of demand, which will only stir up more competition. While great news for current owners, more competition will only increase acquisition costs for buyers. Nonetheless, help is on the way. More inventory should be added sooner rather than later, but expect prices to rise in the meantime.
Influx of suburban residents: Work-from-home trends have all but eliminated the need to live within proximity to an office. It is highly likely we will see many people trade expensive city living for cheaper, suburban alternatives. Secondary cities and suburban areas should see an uptick in demand, which could bode very well for investors ahead of the trend.
The Wyoming real estate market experienced the same setbacks as every other state when the Coronavirus reared its head in 2020. The local market was brought to a standstill, thanks to fear and uncertainty. However, Wyoming's unemployment rate didn't spike to the same level as many of its national counterparts. In fact, Wyoming remained relatively insulated from the employment fallout and should also recover sooner than many other states. If Wyoming can get back on track, there's a good chance its housing sector will experience a boom, which will bode well for just about everyone.
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