Summer is coming! Well, it certainly feels like winter is on its way out at the least. People are starting to book summer travel and look for hotels – or better yet, for Airbnbs and vacation rentals to have as their home base while they’re away.
Wyoming, and Cody in particular, has seen a large increase in tourists staying in vacation rentals. In 2018, Airbnb reported a 132% increase in the number of stays in the state of Wyoming compared with 2017. While Jackson Hole and the surrounding areas combined for the highest number of visitors, Park County, Wyoming had the second highest visitor numbers with larger cities like Cheyenne, Casper and Rock Springs falling far behind.
While 2020 travel and visitor numbers may have been slightly off of previous years, we are already predicting the 2021 tourism season to hopefully be back towards pre-COVID level as people lean towards domestic travel rather than international trips.
So with that in mind, maybe you’re thinking that it’s time to invest in a rental property or two in Northwest Wyoming? We think that could be a great idea….and here’s why:
Most people can agree that 2020 was a unique year in many ways – including with respect to tourism and travel. That said, both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks saw record numbers of visitors last fall. Yellowstone National Park posted record visitor numbers in October 2020 with 360,034 visits, up about 110,000 visitors from October 2019. Grand Teton National Park broke visitor records last September when it saw a 17% increase when compared with September 2019.
Steady and record-breaking levels of tourism suggest that vacation rental use is far from decreasing. The CDC even supported staying in Airbnbs rather than hotels due to the greater possibility of having no contact with other people while traveling. Increased cleaning protocols and added in-between stay buffer periods have also contributed to Airbnb’s popularity during the global pandemic.
Yellowstone National Park in Spring 2020
Most sources put Wyoming as having some of the lowest property tax rates in the country. Investing in real estate becomes much more lucrative when property tax rates are far less than 1%. You will also likely be able to afford a higher-priced property in Wyoming because of the low property tax rates when compared with other states.
307 Listing close to Yellowstone National Park
Rental income is largely treated regular income when thinking about income taxes. As a state with no income taxes, this would also mean that rental income would not be subject to a state income tax (please, however, always consult with your tax professional!).
As one of only 9 states in the US without a state income tax, Wyoming is a great place to be self-employed and reap the benefits of low tax rates.
A busy Airbnb property in downtown Cody (sold by 307 Real Estate in 2020)
We hope that you have learned a little more about why investing in a vacation rental property could be a great idea and help you build an additional stream of income. With steady levels of tourism, low property taxes and no state income tax, owning a vacation rental in Wyoming (and especially in Northwest Wyoming) has the possibility of becoming a lucrative asset for you and your family.
As we said in our recent market update blog, mortgage rates continue to be low and now is a great time to buy. If you are interested in looking for a rental property, be sure to talk to your real estate professional as soon as possible, as listed properties are not staying on the market long! When your real estate agent knows what you are looking for, he or she can be on the look out for a potential rental property that fits your needs.