Boise Metro Housing Market Monitor
March 2018 Update
Here's what you need to know about buying or selling homes in the Boise Idaho area. I track here the last 10 years of trends and indicators in the Boise housing markets to help you make general decisions on the timing of buying and selling property. Save this to your favorites and check in monthly. Also see my quarterly newsletter.
SW Idaho Homes & Real Estate-
Ada County- Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star
Canyon County- Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton
Anyone else ready for spring? Here it comes and I've never seen so few homes for sale. Home prices are sure to rise this year as we are one of the nation's hottest housing markets with no sign of slowing and plenty of pent-up demand from population growth.
Yes, it is a great time to sell in the Treasure Valley. Anything priced right sells in a matter of days. Ask me what you could get for yours. I love to practice running comps on homes.
Can it also be a great time to buy? Well, I see home prices going higher and no local bubble. Interest rates are still near half the long term average, so money is cheap. If you are considering buying or investing this year, beating the spring rush could save you thousands. Boise area home prices have jumped 6-8% just during the last 4 second quarters!
Ask me what you can buy today.
Major Shortage of Homes For Sale in Boise Metro
This 10-year history of available homes for sale in Ada & Canyon counties really shows how extreme conditions are right now in the Boise Metro and SW Idaho housing markets. The post-recession trend has been toward fewer available listings each year as population grows and homes sell so fast- with average days on the market of just 41 and 39 days on existing homes sold in a very cold February.
These are active listings in Ada & Canyon County, Idaho on the first business day of each month, including all types of single-family homes, both existing & new construction (several hundred are to-be-built or under construction- see my pie charts below).
This chart begins a year after the June 2007 real estate peak, when sellers greatly outnumbered buyers and homes stayed on the market longer. The recovery began in 2011 and our market had stabilized by 2014. Since then, fewer and fewer homes have been on the market, as demand has outpaced listings.
This extremely low number of homes actively for sale, is nothing short of a guarantee that Boise area home prices will continue to rise quickly.
Q4 2017 Quarterly Median Home Prices- Ada/Canyon County
The Boise area housing markets were very strong last year! For the fourth quarter, the Ada county median existing home price of $250,000 was down 2.7% from the previous quarter. Don't be alarmed- the median existing home price in Ada County has dropped every 4th quarter since 2005. This is a result of our climate; fewer sales and fewer buyers in the winter. Despite the drop off, the Q4 median is up 10.2% year over year in Ada County!
I cannot resist pointing out to renters that owning the median priced home was worth $25,000 last year in Ada county Idaho. If you had bought at the bottom of the market in 2011 (7 years ago), the value is up 92% and would have added $120,000 to your net worth! Hurts doesn't it? You cannot afford to wait for interest rates to rise- call me today to buy a home.
Canyon County's median existing home price of $176,000 for Q4 is up 0.57% from the previous quarter. Median home prices in Canyon County do not drop every year in Q4, probably due to the lower, more affordable prices. Year over year, the Q4 median is up 15.79% in Canyon County! That is an eye opener.
I use only existing homes to gauge housing prices, as new construction is much more volatile. I also ignore meaningless monthly prices. Quarterlies are much more reliable and indicative of long-term trends in home prices. Be careful... these stats have limited relevance to an individual property, as some segments perform better or worse. Ask me for a free market analysis on your property. I would be happy to estimate sale price and proceeds.
Boise ID Metro- Home Sales
Home sales have followed the typical seasonal trend, but the peaks and valleys are consistently moving upward in these charts.
Homes sales have been in a very solid upward trend since 2008 in Ada County, including the cities of Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star & Kuna. Given the still low interest rates, strong local economy, low relative home prices and low cost of living we enjoy in SW Idaho, I don't see this trend changing yet.
Canyon County home sales also improved in 2017 and in a solid upward trend over the last few years. The largest cities of Nampa, Caldwell & Middleton have all seen strong home sales as new people move in and affordability pushes people farther out from Boise. That big dip was the snowpocalypse of 2017- the worst winter in 30 years.
These charts show all monthly single-family home sales reported in the local MLS, including condos, townhomes, manufactured homes, new construction, short sales and repossessed homes.
Supply & Demand Drives Home Prices
Pending homes (next month's sales) are the best forward-looking indicator of demand. Dividing actives by pendings, we get a supply in months that is very reliably predictive of future trends in home prices. According to NAR, a 5-6 month supply of homes for sale is a balanced housing market where prices are stable or slowly rising and neither buyers nor sellers have a distinct advantage. If you want to know where home prices are going in any local market, look at supply levels.
Here's the local picture of supply & demand with Ada & Canyon counties combined. Once again, NAR's table proves out- with supply tighter than ever at less than one month, prices are up 11% year over year in Ada County and even more in Canyon. This is why I expect home price appreciation to increase double-digits again in the Treasure Valley in 2018.
Can we build our way out of the shortage? Yes, but developing new subdivisions for homes to be built does not happen overnight. Also, prices on new construction remain substantially higher than existing; for February the average new home sold for $81,000 more than existing homes in Ada County and $47,000 more in Canyon County.
Ada County, Idaho
Including the cities of Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star and Kuna, here's an overview of the Ada County housing markets looking at trends in supply, demand and inventory levels of homes for sale.
The make-up of homes for sale changes constantly. Regular sellers of existing homes tend to follow seasonal trends with most listings mid year during optimum selling and moving weather. Here's the same data in a line chart showing the recent history.
Regular sellers of existing homes are unmistakably trending downward over the last 3 years as demand continues to build and not enough homes are listed in Ada County.
The new construction segment continues to strengthen, but not many homes getting finished unsold in and around Boise Idaho. Notice the large up-tick in homes under construction, as builders are working hard to meet demand. There are new subdivisions in the pipeline, but no danger of out-pacing demand soon. With 734 new homes for sale on March 1st in Ada County, this represents less that a 1-month supply at the current pace of sales, based on the 821 under contract.
Foreclosures and short sales are very rare in Ada County now. Home prices in the Boise area have risen consistently for years now, causing few owners to get into trouble while upside down and unable to sell. Don't be fooled by the big websites that show all these pre-foreclosures in the Boise area- very few actually go back to the bank or are even sold short.
The crown jewel of the Treasure Valley in SW Idaho, Boise is the largest housing market and typically leads the way in local real estate trends.
Boise had 280 existing home sales in Feb (Med $261,000 Avg $304,492 Range $40,000 - 1,550,000 Average days on market 37)
It seems our hidden gem has been discovered, now the fastest growing city in the nation. As you can see, inventory has never been tighter in Boise. Pending homes again outnumber homes for sale, making the supply only 7/10ths of a month.
This charts shows the count of active and pending home listings on the first day of each month for the last 10 years. This includes all types of single-family homes: condo, townhouse, manufactured, stick-built with and without acreage.
These pie charts show the breakdown of all active homes for sale on the first day of each month. Boise had 503 total homes for sale on March 1st and only 52% are existing homes and 35% aren't even built yet.
Located in the center of the Boise metro area, Meridian is destined to grow simply by location. Meridian is about half the size of Boise, but very similar in price.
Meridian had 92 existing homes sold in Feb (Med $270,500 Avg $290,443 Range $25,000 - $670,000 Average days on market 37)
Once again, homes under contract outnumber the active listings in Meridian. The supply/demand balance is tighter than ever. I would not bet against brisk appreciation in Meridian home values in 2018.
Meridian had 379 total homes listed for sale on March 1st and only 33% were existing homes and 55% aren't even built yet.
Just northwest of Boise between the Boise River and the foothills, Eagle is the higher-priced community in the Treasure Valley.
Eagle had 32 existing homes sold in Feb (Med $464,250 Avg $483,768 Range $191,000 - 1,250,000 Avg days on market 110)
The number of buyers in the higher price ranges is naturally lower, so the lines in my chart had not crossed for Eagle, until now. This is a major milestone and sign of a red-hot market here in 2018. With only a 1-month supply of homes for sale in Eagle (lowest ever), look for home prices to go higher in 2018.
Eagle had 204 total homes for sale on March 1st and 46% were existing homes with 41% not built yet.
Star Idaho is a rising star in the Treasure Valley with river valley/rolling hills topography. Many people (especially retirees) relocating to Idaho are choosing this still-quaint little town for it's lower prices (compared to Eagle), relatively short commute and a great name.
Star had 14 existing home sales in Feb (Med $249,840 Avg $333,019 Range $189,000 - $715,000 Avg days on market 33)
Star's housing market is tight as can be with active listings drying up and pendings trending higher each year. By all indications, Star home prices should continue to climb in 2018. Now is the time to buy, before the spring rush and the big Q2 jump in prices.
Star had 76 total homes for sale on March 1st, with a third of them under construction.
Kuna has the lowest home prices in Ada County, making it popular for first-time buyers and investors. Located just 10 miles south of Meridian, Kuna has a cute little down town and many starter level homes under 20 years old. Many people are choosing Kuna over longer commute and higher taxes in Canyon county.
Kuna had 37 existing home sales in Feb (Med $215,000 Avg $246,923 Range $137,750 - 699,000 Avg days on market 28)
Again the lines have crossed in Kuna as homes under contract outnumber actives for sale. With less than a 1-month supply of homes for sale, look for home prices in Kuna to continue climbing.
Kuna had 123 total homes for sale on March 1st, 2/3rds of them not built yet, and only 1/4th are existing homes.
Canyon County, Idaho
Canyon County covers a large rural area of small towns. I focus on the metro area- Nampa, Caldwell & Middleton. My numbers may not match others' stats for the whole county, but I take the same readings every month, which works for identifying general trends.
Canyon County usually has a similar percentage of regular sellers to Ada and also very few foreclosed and short sales. New construction is not as strong here- probably because of affordability as incomes are lower here.
New home sales are gaining in Canyon County, but not booming- only 65 sold in February. As of March 1st, only 37 completed and unsold new homes awaited buyers in the whole county.
Nampa is the largest city and main traffic hub (Caldwell is county seat) of Canyon County. Home prices have been jumping double-digits here too.
Nampa had 134 existing home sales in Feb (Med $181,950 Avg $202,595 Range $41,000 - 718,000 Avg days on market 34)
Pending homes again outnumber those actively for sale in Nampa. Now with the valley's tightest housing supply reading, this should push Nampa home prices even higher in 2018. Better buy soon!
Nampa had 282 total homes for sale on March 1st and about half of those are listed to-be-built or under construction, making the actual supply of homes much lower.
Caldwell is one of the more affordable areas in the Boise metro area. Centrally located and the county seat, this is a growing city.
Caldwell had 67 existing home sales in Feb (Med $169,000 Avg $183,050 Range $70,000 - 432,000 Avg days on market 34)
Again pendings outnumber actives, and the resulting supply of homes is less than a month. Home prices will keep climbing in Caldwell in 2018 with a big jump in Q2.
Caldwell had 160 total homes for sale on March 1st and only a third of them are existing homes.
Middleton is at the far northwestern edge of the Boise metro. Small town but growing with very affordable home prices and many homes with acreage.
Middleton had 23 existing home sales in Feb (Med $199,900 Avg $258,043 Range $92,100 - $499,900 Avg days on market 54)
Middleton home sales are booming right through winter with pendings outnumbering actives by 30%. Look for home prices to really jump this year in Middleton.
Middleton had 70 total homes for sale on March 1st and about half are not built yet.
All charts are based on MLS data, deemed reliable but not guaranteed, searching all single-family housing types in the Boise-Nampa Metro, new and existing, including stick-built, homes with acreage, condos, townhouses, manufactured homes on rented lots and with land.
Thanks for your interest. Why settle for just an agent? I am a broker, licensed in Idaho, and Realtor since 1991 specializing in residential real estate for sale including homes, condos, townhouses, manufactured, acreage, land, lots, horse property, luxury and executive homes. I serve Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star, Kuna, Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton, Ada County, Canyon County, Treasure Valley and Southwest Idaho.