Boise Metro Housing Market Monitor
March 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.
SW Idaho Homes & Real Estate-
Ada County- Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star
Canyon County- Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton
Happy March- almost spring! ...
The spring rush has already started, as homes under contract rose in 6 of 8 cities in the metro area in the last month. Supply is down again, so expect big price jumps from now until at least mid year. Mortgage rates are lowest in a year, so this is your opportunity to buy or invest. Call me to explore the possibilities.
If you are holding investment properties with big equity, you might consider selling and taking some gains this year. A few of my charts are showing changes in the trends and I am seeing more stories about the national market slowing down. Boise is an exception, due to the population growth, but prices have to slow down eventually. Not that I see prices turning downward. I just can't imagine a better market to sell in than during the peak of buyer activity every May-June-July in the Boise area. Ask me what your current value and rate of return is.
For more housing stats (after you look at mine) see the 2018 Residential Real Estate Market Report from the Boise Regional Realtors.
Also, the Jan 2019 Housing & Economic Report for Ada County loaded with market trends and demographic data.
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 February, average days on the market fell from January to just 34 in Ada and 30 in Canyon.
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.
Please note- hundreds of these are to-be-built or under construction, so actual inventory is much lower. 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.
*I see a big change in the trend line as the low-point for this winter was higher for the first time in 5 years. Could be a sign of changes to come. I'll let you know later this year if the local housing shortage has bottomed-out.
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 of normal appreciation- don't miss another! Buy or invest now before the spring rush.
Is this a bubble? 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 from in-migration. Until the population growth around Boise slows, don't expect home prices to slow down much.
On a national level, housing supply has started to grow, but not yet in Idaho. Boise and SW Idaho's fast-growing population and strong economy continue to drive the shortage and push home prices upward. 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 readings. 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 have consistently moved upward in these charts of homes sold per month, clearly reflecting a growing population in the Treasure Valley.
These charts show all residential single-family property sold. I've added a line to show new construction. I see that new construction, as a percentage of all sales, is lower now than it was at the previous market peak in 2007.
Year over year sales were lower this winter for the first time in 6 years. This is probably due to low inventory. 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.
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 was the snowpocalypse of 2017.
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. NAR's table is realistic- 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.
Another sign of a possible change in the trends- year over year supply is higher for the first time in 4 years in this chart. Higher, but still very near the low end of the scale.
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 and the cost of building continues to increase.
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 tells us much about current market trends. 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 have been trending lower for 4 years as demand continues to build and not enough homes are listed in Ada County. Maybe a sign of change in the trend- this winter's low point on existing homes was higher than the previous year for the first time in 4 years.
In the new construction segments- we have the most-ever new homes finished and available and almost as many under construction in anticipation of continued strong demand. To-be-built listings have really faded. I see no danger of builders out-pacing demand, or even putting a dent in low supply, with 899 new homes (only 359 built) for sale on Mar 1st in Ada County. This represents barely a 1-month supply at the current pace of sales.
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.
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 292 existing home sales in Feb (Med $285,000 Avg $325,283 Average days on market 32)
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.
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 softened over the winter, but the supply remains barely over a month to start March. Pendings have outnumbered homes for sale (means less than a month's supply) for much of 2018 as the housing shortage intensified. We are close to that point already this year.
These pie charts show the breakdown of all active homes for sale on the first day of each month. Boise had 600 (down 1 from Feb) total homes for sale on Mar 1st. New construction segments shrunk to 45 percent of the pie this month. To-be-built listings have shrunk 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 96 existing homes sold in Feb (Med $284,000 Avg $297,594 Average days on market 36)
As is usual for the seasons, actives & pendings both slowed over the winter in Meridian. Even still, the supply of homes at 1.12 months is extremely tight and I would not bet against brisk appreciation in 2019.
Meridian had 481 total homes listed for sale on Mar 1st and now 70 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 33 existing homes sold in Feb (Med $413,500 Avg $488,243 Avg days on market 48)
Eagle is the only city in the valley that had an increase in supply this month with a small surge in existing home listings. Still, with only a 1.57-month overall supply of homes for sale in Eagle, you can expect continued strong appreciation in home prices.
Eagle had a small surge in existing home listings in Feb with 236 total homes for sale on Mar 1st and now 57 percent of the available homes are new construction.
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 14 existing home sales in Feb (Med $340,900 Avg $417,485 Avg days on market 41)
Star experienced a bit of a lull in sales in the second half of 2018, but now has less than a month supply of homes for sale to start March. No reason to expect less than double-digit appreciation here like the rest of the Treasure Valley.
Star had 90 total homes for sale on Mar 1st and more than 63 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 24 existing home sales in Feb (Med $241,000 Avg $269,058 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 21 percent of all listings are existing homes. Overall, Kuna has less than a 1-month supply of homes for sale (including new construction) and home prices must rise here.
Kuna had 136 total homes for sale on Mar 1st and an amazing 79 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 peaked lower last year, and now have turned upward early.
Canyon county new construction has made some gains recently. I see the most ever completed and under construction. Builders are getting ahead of this year's demand here too, but I see no danger of over-building. 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. Almost no foreclosed and short sales here.
New home sales are gaining in Canyon County, but not booming- only 80 sold in Feb. As of Mar 1st, only 188 were in progress and 139 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 $182,900 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 127 existing home sales in Feb (Med $217,500 Avg $235,437 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 1.29-month supply of homes on the market I expect Nampa's still affordable home prices to climb even higher this year.
Nampa had 392 total homes for sale on Mar 1st and now new construction segments fell during Feb to 58 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 85 existing home sales in Feb (Med $204,000 Avg $216,926 Avg days on market 25)
The market did soften a bit over the winter, but the supply of homes has dropped again to less than a 1-month supply- very tight. Home prices will keep climbing in Caldwell.
Caldwell had 185 total homes for sale on Mar 1st, and new construction makes up 54 percent of the pie this month with a bunch of new homes completed or started this winter.
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 22 existing home sales in Feb (Med $252,385 Avg $324,235 Avg days on market 46)
Middleton's home sales have been booming, but slowed to a crawl over the winter. Given the low supply, look for home prices to continue upward in Middleton.
Middleton had 64 total homes for sale on Mar 1st with 42 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.