- Associated Press
Monday, August 3, 2020

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming’s average home price has risen nearly 10% since early last year, the fastest rate of increase in the state’s real estate valuations since 2007.

Some experts said the increase has left many lower-income families with few options for home ownership, The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported Sunday.

Wyoming Chief Economist Wenlin Liu said the housing supply has been limited for years, especially for families in lower-income categories.

Many residents have been forced to seek housing through rentals, which have become more costly in some Wyoming cities, Liu said.

“In a community like Cheyenne, the rent was going up and up and continuing to increase,” Liu said. “For some renters, if their renting term expires and they look for another rental home, it’s just increased again.”

Liu’s recent Wyoming housing report said single-family building permits for new, privately owned residential construction in the first quarter of 2020 were 3.5% lower than the previous year.

Laramie County Commissioner Gunnar Malm, who works in real estate, said the supply of rentals and other homes has decreased with high demand and low interest rates.

Malm noted development costs that impact home buyers.

“The price of the land is ever increasing with the increasing costs of infrastructure that are needed for those subdivisions, and then the price of labor and materials that go to build those homes,” Malm said.

Wyoming’s price increase may also be driven in part by buyers seeking property in western states while no longer being able to afford homes in locations such as Seattle, Denver and Salt Lake City, Liu said.

Wyoming trails only Montana and Idaho in the home price spike, he said.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.