Boise Metro Housing Market Monitor
January 2019 Update
Here's what you need to know about buying or selling homes in the Boise Idaho area. I provide a 10+ year history of trends and indicators 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.
(Now with Q4 Median Home Prices added)
SW Idaho Homes & Real Estate-
Ada County- Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star
Canyon County- Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton
Happy New Year! It should be another great wealth-building year with growing population and super-tight housing supply in SW Idaho causing double-digit appreciation to continue.
The spring rush is coming soon and the market did not soften much this winter. I've been out showing starter/rental homes and they are going fast. Most are sold in the first few days with multiple offers.
Best time to buy this year will be right now, before the big price jump that always comes in the second quarter. Mortgage rates are down too, so this is your opportunity. Call me to explore the possibilities.
Housing Inventory Update in Boise Metro
The long view 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 trend has been toward fewer available listings each year as population grows and homes sell fast. On existing homes sold in December, average days on the market were just 29 in Ada and 30 in Canyon- very low for the off season.
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.
Actual inventory is much lower than it appears because hundreds of these are to-be-built or under construction- see my pie charts below. This extremely low number of homes for sale is almost a guarantee that Boise area home prices will continue to rise faster than normal until listings make substantial gains on sales.
Q4 2018 Quarterly Median Home Prices- Ada/Canyon County
Market softened- I call that a buying opportunity.
For the fourth quarter, the Ada county median existing home price of $290,000 was down 4.6% from the previous quarter. Don't panic- prices usually soften in Q4. Sales were down 10% from the previous fourth quarter, due to even lower inventory- which has now dropped for 51 consecutive months according to Boise Regional Realtors.
Year over year in Ada County the median still ended the year up 16%. That's a very good year! Housing supply remains extremely low, so don't look for prices to turn downward anytime soon near Boise.
Canyon County's median existing home price of $209,000 for Q4 is down 1% from the previous quarter- a stronger performance and evidence of how hot the market is- especially in Nampa. Year over year, the Q4 median is still up 18.75% in Canyon County! That's like 6 years with normal appreciation- don't miss another! Buy or invest now before the spring rush.
Is this a bubble? I'm watching for any sign, but seeing none. Just compare below our median home prices in Q3 to other metros around the country and the national median. After the last two very strong years, we have surpassed the national median for the first time in my career. However, the Boise Metro median remains well below the West. Many higher-priced metros are still seeing double-digit appreciation, so I don't see a price bubble yet. Until the population growth slows, don't expect prices to slow down.
This low housing supply problem is widespread in the US and in many metros not experiencing the growth that Boise has. Boise and SW Idaho's fast-growing population and strong economy will prolong the shortage causing home prices to rise further in 2019. It's not too late to ride the wave. Call me today to buy a home or investment.
I use only existing homes to gauge housing prices, as new construction is much more volatile. I also ignore meaningless monthly prices. Quarterlies are a much more reliable sample size 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 follow the typical four-seasonal trend in Idaho, but the peaks and valleys are consistently moving upward in these charts of homes sold per month, clearly reflecting a growing population in the Treasure Valley.
Homes sales have been trending solidly upward since 2008 in Ada County with strong population growth in 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 have also been trending steadily upward with population growth. 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 in my chart 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 buyer 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 housing supply levels- also called the absorption rate.
Here's the local picture of supply & demand with Ada & Canyon counties combined. Once again, NAR's table proves out- 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 at least through 2019. A very good reason to invest in Boise real estate with confidence.
Can we build our way out of the shortage? Well, developing new subdivisions for homes to be built is a long process and 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.
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 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 still trending downward as demand continues to build and not enough homes are listed in Ada County. This year's even lower plateau in my chart makes me very optimistic for double-digit price increases in 2019.
In the new construction segments- Builders have made some gains this winter and we start the year with the most-ever new homes finished and even more under way in anticipation of continued strong demand. To-be-built listings have really faded- could be seasonal or could be development of new subs and lots falling behind demand. I see no danger of builders out-pacing demand, or even putting a dent in low supply, with 1025 new homes (only 408 built) for sale on Jan 1st in Ada County. This represents only a 1.5-month actual supply at the current pace of sales (in 2018 average was 273 new homes sold per month).
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 big websites that show all these pre-foreclosures in the Boise area- very few actually get sold at trustee sale auctions and almost none are going back to the banks. Right now, there are only a handful of foreclosed homes for sale in the Boise Metro and the deals are not that great.
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 had 282 existing home sales in Dec (Med $269,950 Avg $307,383 Average days on market 25)
Boise has been one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and housing inventory has never been tighter, driving home prices up. Home sales have now peaked for the year, but pendings did outnumber homes for sale for much of the year as the housing shortage intensified. This will continue soon as the weather warms up.
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 629 total homes for sale on Jan 1st. New construction segments now equal 45 percent of the pie. To-be-built listings have shrunk with fewer lots available.
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 price.
Meridian had 102 existing homes sold in Dec (Med $279,950 Avg $317,241 Average days on market 28)
As is usual for the seasons, actives & pendings both slowed over the winter in Meridian. Even still, the supply of homes at 1.75 months is extremely tight and I would not bet against brisk appreciation in 2019.
Meridian had 536 total homes listed for sale on Jan 1st and now 75 percent is new construction. Major growth here with many homes under construction or newly built and waiting for buyers in anticipation of the spring rush.
With beautiful golf courses and growing greenbelt along the picturesque Boise River, Eagle is the higher-priced community in the Treasure Valley. Despite this, Eagle's economy is going strong and construction is increasing as affordability is not an issue here and builders are confident in continued demand.
Eagle had 39 existing homes sold in Dec (Med $477,000 Avg $533,869 Avg days on market 49)
Even high-priced Eagle, where the number of buyers is naturally lower, had more homes under contract than available for a time in 2018 and should again this year. With only a 1.35-month overall supply of homes for sale in Eagle at year end, you can expect continued strong appreciation in home prices.
Eagle had 207 total homes for sale on Jan 1st and now 63 percent of the available homes are new construction. Eagle is growing fast!
Star Idaho is 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 (under 30 mins to airport/Boise)and a great name.
Star had 28 existing home sales in Dec (Med $384,950 Avg $481,825 Avg days on market 45)
Star experienced a bit of a lull in sales in the second half of 2018, but still only has a 1.37-month supply of homes for sale to start the year. No reason to expect less than double-digit appreciation here like the rest of the Treasure Valley.
Star had 103 total homes for sale on Jan 1st and more than 67 percent is new 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 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 28 existing home sales in Dec (Med $227,750 Avg $243,235 Avg days on market 26)
Kuna's housing markets have been gaining strength. With the strongest demand ever in 2018, pending sales have dropped off due to lack of inventory. Only 15 percent of all listings are existing homes. Overall, Kuna has a 1.4-month supply of homes for sale (including new construction) and home prices must rise here.
Kuna had 168 total homes for sale on Jan 1st and an amazing 85 percent is new construction. Buyers can expect bidding wars on existing homes here. I would feel lucky to have no competing offers on any home in the Boise area right now, but especially here.
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.
Regular sellers have levelled off much lower this year, now less than half the available homes.
Canyon County has a lot less new construction than Ada. This should keep the pressure on existing homes to appreciate more- also why I'm currently liking this area for investors looking to hold for appreciation. As this boom continues, Canyon should see more growth, being in a more affordable price range. Almost no foreclosed and short sales here.
New home sales are gaining in Canyon County, but not booming- only 75 sold in Dec. As of Jan 1st, only 136 were in progress and 128 finished and available new homes awaited buyers in the whole county. That's not enough to relieve any of the pressure on inventory. The cheapest new home sold was $198,900 in Canyon County last month.
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 128 existing home sales in Dec (Med $207,500 Avg $229,426 Avg days on market 27)
Showing strength late in the year, pending homes still outnumbered those actively for sale in Nampa, until November. While more supply may help buyers slightly, with only a 1.4-month supply of homes on the market I expect Nampa's still affordable home prices to climb even higher this year.
Nampa had 344 total homes for sale on Jan 1st and now new construction segments have grown to 57 percent of the pie.
Caldwell, home of the world famous rodeo, is one of the most 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 Dec (Med $198,000 Avg $209,623 Avg days on market 22)
The market did soften a bit over the winter, but the supply of homes has dropped back again to a 1.2-month supply- very tight. Home prices will keep climbing in Caldwell.
Caldwell had 184 total homes for sale on Jan 1st, and new construction makes up 57 percent of the pie this month with a bunch of new homes completed this winter. Builders appear confident that demand will continue to grow.
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 16 existing home sales in Dec (Med $257,500 Avg $308,487 Avg days on market 38)
Middleton's home sales have been booming, but slowed to a crawl over the winter. Middleton now has the tightest housing supply in the valley with less than a month supply. Look for home prices to continue upward in Middleton.
Middleton had 44 total homes for sale on Jan 1st with 45 percent of those in the new construction segments.
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.