The incoming President of the Wyoming Association of REALTORs recently wrote this article for the Casper Star. While Big Horn county statics were not considered in Karen’s research she clearly make the point that Wyoming is faring much better than most of the country. Here in Big Horn County we are still seeing a 3-5% appreciation rate in our property values. I’m often asked why our market is not depreciating like so many others. This market has been appreciating at a slow, steady, gradual and healthy rate. We have not dealt with the foreclosure issues and were not faced with predatory lenders who were purposely trying to get people into homes they could not afford. We are very thankful that Wyoming’s housing market is doing better than most of the rest of the country and that the Big Horn Basin is one of the healthiest in our state.
Sunday, October 19, 2008 2:05 AM MDT
The Wyoming Association of Realtors continually monitors the status of the housing market in our fair state. While energy plays a large role throughout the state, those communities are not seeing as much of an effect in their housing market.
Communities such as Jackson that are recreational or second-home markets are experiencing a downturn in their markets of up to 13 percent. As for the cumulative Wyoming housing market, there are approximately the same number of homes on the market year to date as in 2007.
However, across Wyoming we are seeing that the number of days on the market has increased. For example, in Cheyenne, a home spent an average of 81 days on the market in 2007. The average for 2008 is 110 days on the market.
The hurdle right now for most homebuyers in Wyoming is securing financing for their home purchase. While banks and mortgage brokers in Wyoming are still very strong and have access to funds for mortgages, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reorganization has caused tightening in regulations through the market.
Underwriters are scrutinizing properties much more closely on the secondary market. The secondary market consists of those companies that purchase the mortgages from banks and mortgage brokers. Because Wyoming is not considered a depressed market, these secondary financial companies remain strong across Wyoming.
Of the 23 counties in Wyoming, statistics were available for 15 counties, showing a decline in home sales from 2007 to 2008 of 8 percent. While one county experienced a 2 percent decline in home sales, that same county experienced an increase in home value by 8.7 percent for the same period. Overall, Wyoming is faring much better than the national average, which is down 15 percent.
All the information above was researched through the National Association of Realtors Public Affairs Department, the Wyoming Multiple Listing Service, the Teton County Board of Realtors, and the Laramie Multiple Listing Service, which represents 18 of the 23 counties in Wyoming.
Karen Valentine-Pond is president of the Wyoming Association of Realtors.