Since the early 2000s, Sublette County has experienced substantial changes within its housing market. Confronted with an influx of people, and fueled by the oil, gas, and amenity-led development, the county experienced a sharp spike in demand and a dearth of supply. This is especially true for affordable housing, of which there is a chronic shortage within the county.
Although median incomes within Sublette have steadily risen since 2002, they have not kept pace with average home prices. When adjusted for inflation, median household income has only increased by 17.5% since 1997, while the average home price has increased by 88.17%.
Global Financial Downturn's Effect on Local Housing
However, 2008 saw demand precipitously drop in the wake of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and global financial downturn. Sales are significantly down, while inventory is up within the county.
Mortgages are more difficult to obtain due to tightening lending and credit standards which require larger down payments and impeccable credit histories. While home prices will most likely abate, it remains to be seen for how much and for how long.
The diminished demand for Housing in Sublette County is not solely the consequence of poorly performing financial markets. While the population will continue to grow steadily throughout
the development phase of oil and gas development, the largest spike in population (and thus the most acute housing shortages) occurred at the outset of the boom (please see the Collins and Associates Housing Needs Assessment
). Thus the county has been able to eliminate some of the demand over the past seven years.
However, demand has not completely subsided (especially for affordable housing). Falling home prices, along with the addition of more affordable housing units may stimulate home buying
within the county and bring supply and demand into greater balance.