Boise Metro Housing Market Monitor

May 2021 Update
SW Idaho Homes & Real Estate-
Ada County- Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star
Canyon County- Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton


Here is what you need to know about buying or selling homes and real estate in the Boise Idaho metro area. My charts have 14 years of data showing history, current conditions and major trends in the local housing markets to help you judge the timing of buying and selling property. Save this to your favorites and check in monthly. Also see my quarterly newsletter.


April Home Buyer Bidding Wars Still Strong

Housing demand in SW Idaho remains too strong for the extremely low inventory. Most listings get multiple offers and the average sale price was 2.9% HIGHER than asking on homes closed in April in Ada County, that is down from 3.5% in March. In Canyon County, the average sale price was 3.4% over asking in April, also down from 4.1% in March. This is the 9th month in a row that the average residential buyer paid over asking in the Boise Metro.

With record low mortgage rates, strong local economy, population growth and only a week supply of homes, prices must rise. However, I am starting to see signs that the increases will slow down later this year. We have seen 3% per month increases for the last 6 months and this cannot be sustained.

Future buyers should not wait for a downturn. You can lock in for 30 years an interest rate near lifetime lows and it could take years for market conditions to change enough to cause a downturn in home prices. You could miss out on double-digit increases in the meantime.


Housing Inventory Shortage in Boise Metro

This chart of available homes for sale in Ada & Canyon counties shows how extreme conditions are in the Boise Metro and SW Idaho housing markets.

The number of available listings have been trending lower each year as population grows and homes sell faster. On existing homes sold in April, half the homes sold (listing to offer acceptance) in the first 3 or 4 days in the Boise Metro.

These are all active (available) 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.

In the past year, available listings in both Ada & Canyon counties have plummeted to levels not seen for many, many years. However, the trend line has finally turned upward as new listings gained on sales slightly in March and April. Compared to prior pre-covid years, this upturn in supply is typical for this time of year.

Remarkably, the actual available housing inventory is much lower than it appears here, because many of the available homes are to-be-built or under construction. See my pie charts below for breakdowns of available inventory.


Q1 Median Home Prices- Ada/Canyon County, Idaho

Home prices sky-rocketed in the Boise area during the first quarter. Normally first quarter prices rise some, depending on the weather, but this is amazing.

For the first quarter, the Ada county median existing home price of $459,500 was up a very strong 11.26% from the previous quarter. That is nearly four percent a month in the off season!

After that amazing quarter in Ada County, the median existing home price is now up 32.3% year over year. 

AdaCanMedPriceQ419.gif

The Canyon County median existing home price of $340,000 for Q1 is up 11.48% from the previous quarter. That is huge for a first quarter! Year over year, the Q1 median for Canyon County is up 34.9%. The housing shortage in both counties has only started to soften, so expect home prices to continue upward.


I use only existing homes to gauge housing prices, as new construction is much more volatile and seasonal. I also ignore meaningless monthly readings. Quarterlies are a much more reliable sample size and indicative of long-term trends in home prices. These stats have limited relevance to an individual property. Ask me for a free market analysis and estimate of proceeds.

Boise ID Metro- Home Sales

Home sales follow the typical four-season trend in Idaho, with the peaks and valleys consistently moving upward each year in these charts of homes sold per month, reflecting the growing population and housing stock in the Treasure Valley.

These charts show all residential single-family property sold each month, including townhomes, condos and manufactured. The red line shows New Construction in Ada County. The cheapest stick-built new home sold in Ada last month was a townhouse for $307,980.

Ada County had a very strong 2020 for home sales, despite covid. Sales have been constrained by low inventory, but remain much stronger than last year at this time. Another very busy year ahead!


New construction in Ada County slowed post-pandemic, but did start climbing with warmer weather. Not enough to even dent the housing shortage yet.

Canyon County home sales have also been trending steadily upward with population growth and had a very strong year, post-covid. 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 Covid blip was a little more extreme here than Ada.

New Construction closings have increased recently in Canyon County. Building is great for the economy and easing the housing shortage. The cheapest new home sold in Canyon last month was $364,990 for a stick-built home.


Supply & Demand Drives Home Prices

Pending homes (next month's sales) are the best forward-looking indicator of buyer demand. Dividing actives by pendings, we get a supply of homes 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. To know where home prices are going in any local market, look at housing supply levels- also called the absorption rate.


Inventory

1-2 months

3-4 months

5-6 months

7-8 months

9-10 months

Price Variance

double-digit appreciation

single-digit appreciation

stable

singe-digit depreciation

double-digit depreciation

Here's the local picture of supply & demand with Ada & Canyon counties combined. NAR's table holds true- with a 1-week supply, prices are up double-digits annually in both Ada & Canyon counties. This is why I expect strong home price appreciation to continue in the Treasure Valley in 2021. A very good reason to invest in Boise real estate with confidence.

If no more homes were listed, at the current pace of sales, we would run out in just one week. Strong sales, combined with fewer sellers is causing extreme upward pressure on home prices.


Ada County, Idaho

Including the cities of Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star and Kuna, here is an overview of the Ada County housing markets looking at trends in supply, demand and inventory of homes for sale.

The make-up of homes for sale tells us much about current market trends for both existing and newly-constructed homes. One thing is obvious- we are not building enough homes.

Regular sellers of existing homes tend to follow seasonal trends with most listings mid year in favorable weather and between school years. Today is anything but normal.

New construction in Ada County no longer accounts for the majority of listings and sales. Only a few are listed to-be-built. The rest are under construction or complete- we call it new never occupied. Below is the same data in a line chart showing the historical trends in the market.

Available existing home listings took a nose-dive last year, but have finally started to gain on sales again. Regular sellers of existing homes have been trending lower each year as demand continues to build and not enough homes are listed for sale in Ada County to meet that demand.

In the new construction segments- building has slowed down in Ada County. I see no danger of builders out-pacing demand with 165 available new homes (111 finished) for sale in Ada County. This represents only a 2-week supply at the current pace of sales as indicated by the 322 closed in April. That is just a fraction of what a normal supply level would be.

Foreclosures and short sales are very rare in SW Idaho 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. Do not be fooled by websites showing pre-foreclosures in the Boise area- a default notice only means payments are late and gives owners 120 days to cure the default. Very, very few homes will actually get foreclosed in SW Idaho now.


Boise, Idaho

The crown jewel city of the Treasure Valley in SW Idaho, Boise is the largest housing market and typically leads the way in local real estate trends. Boise is booming and home prices & rents are rising quickly.

For April, Boise had 394 existing home sales (Med $460,000 Avg $531,772 Average days on market 6, median 3 days!)

Over the last 14 years, this charts shows the count of active and pending home listings on the first day of each month. This includes all types of new and existing single-family homes: condo, townhouse, manufactured, stick-built with and without acreage.

Boise still is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and housing inventory has never been tighter, and why this chart is so inverted from a normal market. 

These pie charts show the breakdown by seller of all active homes for sale on the first day of each month. Boise had 196 total homes for sale on April 1st. That is up 23 homes from March and less than a third the number of available listings a year ago! New construction segments now make up a much smaller part of the pie.


Meridian, Idaho

Located in the center of the Boise metro area, Meridian is destined to grow simply by location. Recently named the best place to raise a family in the nation, Meridian is about half the size of Boise, but very similar in home prices.

For April, Meridian had 175 existing homes sold (Med $489,000 Avg $516,156 Average days on market 4, median 3 days!)

Listings have dried up here since covid. Meridian has 38 more homes available this month. About a third of available inventory is new-never-occupied. Low inventory will continue to drive home prices higher.

Meridian had 146 total homes listed for sale on April 1st and new construction makes up less of the pie now. Looks like a good time to buy a new home in Meridian with 45 homes complete, but waiting lists for buyers wanting to buy new.


Eagle, Idaho

With beautiful golf courses and growing greenbelt along the picturesque Boise River, Eagle is the higher-priced community in the Treasure Valley where you will find the largest, most expensive homes.

For April, Eagle had 70 existing homes sold (Med $867,500 Avg $984,153 Avg days on market 13, median 4 days!)

Eagle listings had plummeted, while buyer activity was strong. This month, Eagle had 17 more homes available, only the second increase since last spring. Now up to .33-month overall supply of homes for sale in Eagle, still a very tight market where prices should rise.

With 71 total homes for sale on April 1st, now only __ percent of the available homes are new construction, including 9 homes completed and 2 under construction.


Star, Idaho

A rising star in the Treasure Valley with river valley/rolling hills topography. Many people are relocating to Idaho and choosing this still-quaint little town for lower prices (compared to Eagle), relatively short commute (30 mins to airport/Boise) and a great name.

For April, Star had 31 existing homes sold (Med $525,000 Avg $621,130 Avg days on market 4, median 4!)

What is going on in Star? I have to keep double-checking my numbers when I see this chart- an extremely wide disparity in the trend lines has finally started to shrink. Now with the tightest supply of homes for sale in the valley, I see home prices rising fastest here in the near future.

Star had only 21 total homes for sale on May 1st. That's up 8 from last month. At least some good news for buyers.


Kuna, Idaho

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 and freeway access, Kuna has a cute little down town and many starter level homes. Many people are choosing Kuna over longer commute and higher property taxes in Canyon county. Plus growth in the commercial sectors is finally catching up to residential around Kuna.

For April, Kuna had 61 existing home sales (Med $405,000 Avg $428,289 Avg days on market 7, median 4 days!)

Kuna's demand for homes is trending upward. However, inventory is extremely low (only 0.33-month supply) and this will hold down sales too. Prices are most likely to rise here.

Kuna had 74 total homes for sale on May 1st and the majority are new construction. Many homes finished- great time to buy new in Kuna. Buyers can expect stiff competition for existing homes here with few available.


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.

Sales are up over last year as the county grows. Housing supply is very low, but builders had lost some momentum even with strong demand. Now __% of the available homes in Canyon County are new construction.

Canyon county new construction was booming until Covid, then weakened for the balance of 2020. Thankfully, homes under construction are again trending upward in Canyon County.  Almost no foreclosed and short sales here. Existing-home sellers are finally trending upward again- good news for buyers- more selection.

As of May 1st, there are 173 total new homes on the market in Canyon County. That is up 53 homes from the previous month, but still much less than we had a year ago.


Nampa, Idaho

With a revitalized downtown, 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, due to strong demand and low supply.

For April, Nampa had 218 existing home sales (Med $371,500 Avg $398,759 Avg days on market 6, median 3 days!)

One of the strongest markets in the valley in 2020, Nampa's pending homes greatly outnumber those actively for sale. Supply did grow over last month. Still with less than a 1-week supply of homes on the market, I expect Nampa home prices to keep climbing fast this year.

Nampa had 160 total homes for sale on May 1st. The new construction segments of the pie are shrinking as more existing homes are being listed.


Caldwell, Idaho

Caldwell, home of the world famous rodeo and one of the most affordable cities in the Boise metro area. Centrally located and the Canyon County seat, this is a growing city.

For April, Caldwell had 61 existing home sales (Med $360,000 Avg $380,557 Avg days on market 6, median 4 days!)

Contract signings surged in Caldwell last month, but so did listings. The supply of homes in Caldwell has climbed to a 0.42-month supply, now the highest in the valley. Home prices should keep climbing in Caldwell, especially in the second quarter.

Caldwell had 118 total homes for sale on May 1st. New construction now makes up over half of the available homes this month.


Middleton, Idaho

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 make the home prices seem higher.

For April, Middleton had 24 existing homes sold (Med $397,850 Avg $431,537 Avg days on market 7, median 4!)

As of May 1st, Middleton has a mere 0.38-month supply as available listings would run out in less than 2 weeks at the current pace of sales. Expect home prices to continue upward in Middleton.

Middleton had 43 total homes for sale on May 1st with new batch of 16 to-be-builts listed.


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, property. I serve Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star, Kuna, Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton, Ada County, Canyon County, Treasure Valley and Southwest Idaho.

Dan Rowe ABR CRS GRI
Dan Rowe ABR CRS GRI
Broker
911 Balsam Boise ID 83706