By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily
It’s a seller’s market.
That’s what Wyoming real estate agents are saying after an influx of out-of-state buyers has all but decimated the available properties in the last year.
For example, in Cody, there are 193 active licensed realtors – but only 20 available residential properties in the city limits.
Jake Ivanoff, president of the Northwest Wyoming Board of Realtors, said rather than a buyer’s market, in which the supply is greater than the demand, it’s now a seller’s market.
“A year ago, up to even eight months ago, I was still hesitant to call it, you know, a seller’s market, but now it is 100% no question,” Ivanoff said. “It was probably like, November, that we started realizing, oh, man, we’re almost out of inventory.”
Ivanoff’s company, 307 Real Estate, has offices in Cody, Buffalo and Sheridan. He said the influx of buyers from other parts of the country means there are fewer properties available — especially in Park County.
“I think it’s mainly people trying to get out of the cities,” Ivanoff said. “And we’re seeing a lot of younger people moving to town here, because they’re working remote. We have couples from Florida we’re working with now, California, Minnesota — just really all over the board.”
The market isn’t quite as tight in the northeast part of the state. According to the Northeast Wyoming Board of Realtors, there are 230 active real estate agents, and 444 available properties (including those under contract).
But Ivanoff pointed out that across the state, some areas are more popular than others for those looking to relocate.
“The Bighorn Basin, Park County, and the Sheridan-Buffalo area, those are really good markets right now,” he points out. “Lander’s always been good — and, you know, Jackson, of course, is its own world.”
Ivanoff said now that so many properties have been snatched up, there’s been a shift in the market — which means that because their property is more sought-after, potential sellers can increase the prices on their homes.
According to the state Department of Administration and Information’s fourth quarter 2020 economic summary, the price single-family home in Wyoming price increased 8.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from one year ago.
Construction of new homes has increased as well. The economic report shows that single-family building permits issued for new privately-owned residential construction in the fourth quarter of 2020 increased by 21.5% over the previous year in Wyoming.
But according to Ivanoff, building is more expensive than it used to be.
“Prices to build are just crazy right now,” he observed. “I know there’s at least one piece of land that’s for sale out on the Greybull highway area out there, and I know there’s some new developments coming up. But with interest rates and stuff it all still kind of makes sense.”
However, the state Department of Administration and Information predicted that the red hot housing market will slow down this year because of lower affordability and higher mortgage rates, which may contribute to a cool-down in housing demand.
But for the 1,490 active real estate agents in the state of Wyoming, there’s still hope, Ivanoff said.
“I think we have five agents in Sheridan, and three in Buffalo,” he said, “and those guys are still finding stuff to sell. I think this is the first year we’re actually going to see a spring market.”