Real estate industry experts and the media have been predicting the bursting of the housing bubble for a while now, like modern day Nostradamus’. The U.S’s market will crash, home value medians will dive, sales will slump. The past few months have been filled with a lot of doom and gloom predictions of the nation’s market. But knowing what the national market is doing and the national home value median isn’t going to help you when you want to buy or sell in a specific area. (In case you’re curious, the national median home value was $221,900 in 2006). To get a good idea of where an area’s market is headed, whether home value goes up or down, you need to look at more than just that area’s current market. You’ve got to examine it’s economy, employment and growth opportunities and it’s attractions.
Wyoming, with it’s capital of Cheyenne, seems to be a state that flies under most peoples’ radar. Known as the Cowboy state, and relatively sparsely populated with only 515,004 residents in 2006, many assume Wyoming is a middle of nowhere state with nothing to do and nothing to offer, which is definitely not true. First off, with it’s sprawling plains and fertile land, Wyoming’s agriculture provides the rest of the country with cattle, beets, sheep, hay and wheat, while it’s industries provide mining, chemical products, lumber and wood, printing and publishing, machinery and of course, tourism. A strong economy is one good indication that an area’s real estate market should stay steady and home value rates will increase.
Wyoming is known also as “forever west” and evokes the very essence of the American Old West, a simpler time of cowboys and cattle runs. Wyoming has stuck to that simplicity and many of it’s tourist attractions are along the same line. The central region of the state is the corridor that many pioneers followed to the West, from sage-covered plains to tree-studded mountains. Historical trails and cultural spots abound. Wyoming is probably most famous as the home of Yellowstone National Park, as well as many other national parks and Indian Reservations, so there’s plenty to do, whether you like visiting historical and cultural spots or want to get outdoors for some wildlife-watching, fishing, hiking, boating, etc. Wyoming is also home to many fossil findings (see the Fossil Butte National Monument) as well as herds of wild horses and dude ranches. For those craving night life, the major cities like Cheyenne and Laramie has clubs, theaters, dining, breweries and anything else a city should have to offer.
Though many of Wyoming’s attractions are geared more toward the outdoors type, they still see plenty of tourists each year, yet another reason their real estate market and home value rates should stay relatively steady. Even their unemployment rate is down from recent years to 2.9%, though they say a historical low of 1.9% back in February of 1979. The average household income is similar to many mid-western states at about $46,000 in 2005. The median home value is relatively low as well, at about $152,011.
Wyoming’s real estate market, though not booming, does not seem to be affected by the supposed slump as many other states are. It is one of the largest coal suppliers in the world and because of the high need for mineral related products (like coal and gas) the eastern part of the state had suffered a severe work shortage and lack of housing. Due to this need, the job market exploded and construction began on new housing for the state. Because of this, much of Wyoming is still a seller’s market, unlike the rest of the country. With so many job opportunities and a strong economic future, Wyoming home value rates haven’t taken much of a hit as many other areas, and as long as those factors stay booming, it should have a steady market for a while to come.
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Ashley Lichty is a webmaster and the resident SEO of Web Xtreme, Inc. She has a background in real estate and marketing with an emphasis in writing.