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Boise’s Housing Trends: Summer 2018 and Beyond

Downtown Boise Idaho

Summer is the time the average American likes to buy, sell, and renovate their home. It’s a busy time for any real estate market and the Boise, Idaho market is no different. Let’s explore some trends and predictions that can help us understand what’s going on in today’s real estate climate and how we can best take advantage of the market during the rest of the year. Home is where the heart is, but your heart deserves a healthy return on investment on that home!

Ada County single family homes are selling for a median market price of $324,647, which is a whopping 27.7% INCREASE year over year from this time last year. If you bought a house in 2017, then congratulations on your investment. It looks like demand is high and buyers are motivated. According to the boirealtors.com website, “our home prices are being driven by…Historically low inventory of existing homes compared to demand, and more new homes selling at overall higher prices due to rising construction costs.” Low inventory, high demand, and high construction costs mean that this “seller’s market” is here to stay, at least for the rest of 2018.

1,166 homes have sold in Ada county already this year, which in and of itself is a 36.2% increase year over year compared to 2017, which was itself a record year for sales. Current inventory is hovering around 1,400 homes, which is a -26.2% change from last year. The average home is spending just 16 days on the market, which is a 29% decrease from this time last year. From boirealtors.com: “The first is 16 – that’s how many days, on average, an existing home sat on the market in June. That’s the fastest existing homes have sold since Boise Regional Realtors began tracking such data in 2004.” The shortest time on market since 2004, almost 20 years ago!

What’s hard to understand is how this situation came about. Idaho hasn’t always been a center for such substantial growth. Only recently, within the last 10 years, has Idaho been anything but a passing thought for people outside of our great state. We are seeing a mass exodus, from states like California, of people who want our low cost of living and strong economy. We welcome all who come here, but they have to be willing to pay the price of the current market.

What are the primary factors limiting existing housing supply? According to their website, the experts at Boise Regional Realtors say that it is due to: investors keeping single-family homes as rentals, more seniors choosing to age in place instead of selling, and homeowners being “locked in” to their houses due to limited inventory and rising prices compared to local wages. All of these factors spell good news for investors and construction companies, but is rough news to hear as a buyer.

Boise’s future is bright, but being a first time home buyer in this market could be rough. We suggest finding a home in your price range with as low an interest rate as possible. Buying now, even if you have to pay a little more than you bargained for, could secure your place in the future where home prices are going to be even higher and you can net yourself a hefty little return. Stay tuned! The future is bright.

Karen Boos