Dan Rowe ABR CRS GRI
Dan Rowe Realty
911 Balsam Boise Id 83706
Here's what you need to know about buying or selling homes and real estate in the Boise Idaho area. My charts show 13 years of data & major trends in the Boise metro 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.
Sales Increase, Supply Sinks in January.
Boise area home prices will continue upward in 2020 with the usual big jump in Q2. With this local housing shortage, strong economy and low mortgage rates, home prices must rise and double-digit appreciation is likely again this year. Accordingly, first time buyers and investors looking to act this year should try to beat the spring rush.
If you are holding investment properties in the Boise area and waiting for the right time to sell, it is a GREAT time to sell. Or hold for the expected strong appreciation over the busy season and re-assess in the summer/fall. It is likely your equity has grown greatly and your overall return on investment has shrunk. Can you get a better return on your money? Should you keep it, sell, takes some gains, exchange or refinance? Ask me what your current value and return on equity is.
For more housing stats (after you look at mine) see the August 2019 Housing & Economic Report for Ada County loaded with market trends and demographic data provided by the Boise Regional Realtors.
These are 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. Both Ada and Canyon counties start the year with the fewest homes available in decadess. This extremely low number of homes for sale is almost a guarantee that Boise area home prices will continue to rise.
Hundreds of these are to-be-built or under construction, so actual inventory is much lower than it appears. See my pie charts below.
Home prices fell slightly in the Boise area for Q4, which is not unusual for the slow season. However, the drop was the smallest in the last 5 years, which I see as a sign of strength for the coming busy season.
For the fourth quarter, the Ada county median existing home price of $330,000 was down 0.44% from the previous quarter. Sales are actually down 5.5% from the previous year, due to low supply constraining sales.
Year over year in Ada County the median existing home price was up 13.8% compared to Q4 of 2018.
Canyon County's median existing home price of $241,000 for Q4 is down 0.83% from the previous quarter, also a very small drop compared to previous years. Year over year, the Q4 median for Canyon County is up 15.3%. That's like 5 years of normal appreciation in one year!
Will home prices go higher? Yes- compare our median home prices to other metros around the West and the national median. The Boise Metro median has surpassed the national median, but remains well below the more relevant West. Many western cities, where fewer people can afford to buy, are still seeing climbing home prices. For Q4 of 2019, the top 20 large US metros with tightest supply levels have a median list price of $480,830!
NAR blends home prices in Ada & Canyon counties to get our metro median.
I use only existing homes to gauge housing prices, as new construction is much more volatile. 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 on your property. I would be happy to estimate sale price and proceeds.
Home sales follow the typical four-seasonal trend in Idaho, but the peaks and valleys have consistently moved upward 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. I've added a line to show new construction. New construction in Ada County has been steadily climbing. The cheapest new home sold in Ada last month was $232,250.
Year over year sales in Ada County have peaked lower (albeit only slightly) this year for the first time in 6 years. This was presumably due to low inventory of existing homes, so I can't call this a slowdown.
Canyon County home sales have also been trending steadily upward with population growth and still going strong. 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.
New Construction has really ramped up in Canyon County! This may help to take some of the demand off existing homes in the future, but Canyon county supply levels are almost as low as Ada's right now. The cheapest new home sold in Canyon last month was $213,864.
These charts show all monthly single-family home sales reported in the local MLS, including condos, townhomes, manufactured homes and new construction.
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. If you want to know where home prices are going in any local market, look at housing supply levels- also called the absorption rate.
Here's the local picture of supply & demand with Ada & Canyon counties combined. NAR's table holds true- with supply near one month, 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 2020. A very good reason to invest in Boise real estate with confidence.
Housing supply is still bumping along near the low end of the scale. Supply typically rises in winter- it did slightly but this is the lowest reading yet for February.
Can we build our way out of the shortage? Yes, but developing new subs takes time and builders (and their lenders) are more careful not to over-extend today. A slow-down in demand is more likely to solve the supply shortage than over-building. Also, prices on new construction remain substantially higher than existing homes.
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 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. Regular sellers of existing homes tend to follow seasonal trends with most listings mid year during optimum selling and moving weather.
Remarkably, still two thirds of the available homes in Ada County are new construction. And only a small part are to-be-built. The rest are under construction or complete. Here's the same data in a line chart showing the recent history.
Note the fewest existing homes available in decades! Regular sellers of existing homes have been trending lower for 4 years as demand continues to build and not enough homes are listed in Ada County.
In the new construction segments- as of Feb 1st, the number of new homes finished and under construction has ebbed this winter. I see no danger of builders out-pacing demand with 890 new homes (only 427 finished) for sale in Ada County. This represents at most a 2.5-month supply at the current pace of sales as indicated by the 347 sold in a slow January.
Distressed homes? Almost none! 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. Don't be fooled by the websites that show all these pre-foreclosures in the Boise area- a default notice only means payments are late and gives owners 120 days to cure the default, but very few actually get foreclosed.
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.
Boise had 263 existing home sales in January (Med $324,900 Avg $367,461 Average days on market 36)
This charts shows the count of active and pending home listings on the first day of each month for the last 13 years. This includes all types of 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, driving home prices up. Home sales did soften as expected for the winter season, but so did listings- with 131 fewer homes available this month in Boise proper, homes under contract already outnumber homes for sale and supply is under a month. Should be a red-hot year for Boise real estate.
These pie charts show the breakdown of all active homes for sale on the first day of each month. Boise had only 435 total homes for sale on Feb 1st, including the fewest existing homes available in decades! New construction segments grew to 54 percent of the pie this month. To-be-built listings have really faded with fewer lots available to build on.
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.
Meridian had 133 existing homes sold in January (Med $325,000 Avg $353,012 Average days on market 33)
Meridian has 51 fewer homes available this month. Even though sales were very slow in Dec/Jan, The supply of homes remains very tight (0.88 months) and I would not bet against brisk appreciation in home prices to continue this year.
Meridian had 407 total homes listed for sale on Feb 1st and now 76 percent of the pie is new construction. Major growth here with many homes under construction(126) or newly built (158) and waiting for buyers in anticipation of continued strong demand. Looks like a good time to buy a new home in Meridian with so many choices.
With beautiful golf courses and growing greenbelt along the picturesque Boise River, Eagle is the higher-priced community in the Treasure Valley where you'll find the largest homes.
Eagle had 40 existing homes sold in January (Med $519,450 Avg $566,642 Avg days on market 66)
Eagle housing activity plummeted this winter and now has the fewest available homes in decades. With only a 1.07-month overall supply of homes for sale in Eagle, you can expect continued strong appreciation in home prices. Better buy before the spring rush for maximum bargaining power.
Eagle has seen a big decrease in existing homes listed for sale, but increasing new construction listings with 149 total homes for sale on Feb 1st. Now 58 percent of the available homes are new construction, including 29 homes completed and 45 under way.
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 it's lower prices (compared to Eagle), relatively short commute (30 mins to airport/Boise) and a great name.
Star had 40 existing homes sold in January (Med $319,900 Avg $365,380 Avg days on market 38)
Star home listings fell hard this winter, but sales stayed fairly level. Now with just a 0.85-month supply of homes for sale to start the year, I see no reason to expect less than double-digit annual appreciation this year, like the rest of the Treasure Valley.
Star had 87 total homes for sale on Feb 1st and now 77 percent of the available homes are new construction. There's now a bunch of new homes finished and more under way.
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 under 20 years old. 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.
Kuna had 31 existing home sales in January (Med $295,000 Avg $320,244 Avg days on market 26)
Kuna's home sales have been trending upward and I expect another strong year. Pendings already outnumber available and it's only February. Kuna has very low supply (only 0.9-months)including new construction and home prices are likely to jump here this year.
Kuna had 156 total homes for sale on Feb 1st and now 78 percent of available homes are new construction. That's down from almost 90 percent last year. Many homes being built or finished- great time to buy new in Kuna! Buyers can expect stiff competition for existing homes here and that means rising prices.
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 the second lowest in the valley, behind only Boise proper. There are more total homes available today than last year at this time because builders are making up the difference- Now 64% of the available homes in Canyon County are new construction.
Canyon county new construction is booming with 262 homes under construction and 174 finished and waiting for buyers. Almost no foreclosed and short sales here.
As of Feb 1st, there are 443 total new homes on the market, which is just over a 4-month absorption rate, based on the 106 sold in a very slow Jan. The cheapest new home sold was $213,864 in Canyon County last month.
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.
Nampa had 140 existing home sales in January (Med $236,000 Avg $269,950 Avg days on market 34)
One of the strongest and tightest markets in the valley, Nampa's pending homes again outnumber those actively for sale. Now with only a 0.84-month supply of homes on the market, I expect Nampa's still affordable home prices to climb even higher in 2020.
Nampa had 406 total homes for sale on Feb 1st with a decrease in existing homes listed and the new construction segments now make up 73 percent of the available homes pie.
Caldwell, home of the world famous rodeo and one of the most affordable cities in the Boise metro area. Centrally located and the county seat, this is a growing city.
Caldwell had 67 existing home sales in January (Med $222,750 Avg $246,314 Avg days on market 43)
Contract signings plunged in Caldwell in late 2019, but have already started surging again. The supply of homes in Caldwell is now just over a 1-month supply. Home prices will keep climbing in Caldwell this year.
Caldwell had 181 total homes for sale on Feb 1st. New construction now makes up 52 percent of the pie this month with a bunch of new homes completed or under construction now.
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.
Middleton had 20 existing homes sold in January (Med $370,000 Avg $358,282 Avg days on market 46)
Middleton's new listings and contract signings both were way down after two very strong years. Might be a good time to buy here. Starting the year with the highest supply level in the metro, only a 1.4-month supply. Look for home prices to continue upward in Middleton.
Middleton had 74 total homes for sale on Jan 1st with new construction segments falling to 57 percent of the pie with a bunch of new homes under construction now.
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.