Casper area housing prices up 12.9%; Natrona sales tax collections reach $82.4M in 2020 - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Casper area housing prices up 12.9%; Natrona sales tax collections reach $82.4M in 2020

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Housing prices in Natrona County have continued to climb, according to a Feb. 2021 Casper Economic Indicators report from the State of Wyoming’s Economic Analysis Division.

“Natrona County’s median home sales price was $232,000 in December 2020, 12.9% higher than December 2019,” the report states.

While the report says that housing prices “appear to be one of the only economic variables that are not negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Casper area is seeing some other positive economic signs.

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“Natrona County’s collection of the 4% sales and use tax was $8.3 million in December 2020, $2.1 million more than November 2020 and $0.1 million more than December 2019,” the report states. “At the end of calendar year 2020 (January-December), total collections summed to $82.4 million, $1.1 million more (+1.4%) than the 5-year average sum from January to
December.”

While Natrona’s unemployment rate declined for the eighth straight month to 6.5% in Dec. 2020, the report notes that Natrona’s unemployment rate stood at 4.2% in Dec. 2019.

Natrona’s unemployment rate in Dec. 2020 was also higher than the statewide rate of 4.6%.

“The total number of nonfarm payroll jobs in December 2020 was 36,900, lower than the November 2020 number by 200 (-0.5%) and lower than the December 2019 number by 2,300 (-5.9%),” the report states.

The report also provides a measure called the Casper Economic Health Index, which is based on the economic factors described above. In Dec. 2020, the Casper Economic Health Index value stood at 101.1, higher than November’s value of 99.1 but down from the Dec. 2019 value of 102.2.

The Economic Analysis Division notes that Dec. 2020 marks the first time Casper’s economic health score has been above 100 since March 2020.

The full Feb. 2021 Casper Economic Indicators report is available online.