Dan Rowe ABR CRS GRI
Dan Rowe Realty
911 Balsam Boise ID 83706
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.
Housing demand in SW Idaho remains too strong for the extremely low inventory. Most listings get multiple offers and the average sale price was 3.8% HIGHER than asking on homes closed in February in Ada County and 2.4% over in Canyon. This is the highest premium yet and the 7th month in a row that the average residential buyer paid over asking in the Boise Metro. With record low mortgage rates, strong local economy and population growth, it does not take a crystal ball to see home prices in Idaho will keep going up from here. Beat the spring rush if you can.
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. I do not expect this to change in 2021.
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.
Home prices soared higher in the Boise area during the fourth quarter. Normally fourth quarters are negative around here, so this is quite extraordinary and a sure sign of a strong year ahead.
For the fourth quarter, the Ada county median existing home price of $413,000 was up a brisk 5.9% from the previous quarter. That's two percent a month in the off season!
After that amazing quarter in Ada County, the median existing home price is now up 25.15% year over year. I honestly did not see that coming in a pandemic year.
The Canyon County median existing home price of $305,000 for Q4 is up 8% from the previous quarter. That is huge for winter! Year over year, the Q4 median for Canyon County is up 26.5%. The housing shortage in both counties finished the year tighter than ever, so expect prices to continue upward.
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 again $349,999.
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!
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, but short.
New Construction closings have weakened in Canyon County. Building is great for the economy and easing the housing shortage. The cheapest new home sold in Canyon last month was $348,990 for a stick-built home.
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.
Here's the local picture of supply & demand with Ada & Canyon counties combined. NAR's table holds true- with supply under 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 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 less than a week! Strong sales, combined with fewer sellers is causing extreme upward pressure on home prices.
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 now 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.
Existing home listings have really nose-dived in the last year. 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 157 available new homes (130 finished) for sale in Ada County. This represents less than a 1-month supply at the current pace of sales as indicated by the 284 closed in February. 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 actually get foreclosed in SW Idaho now.
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 February, Boise had 210 existing home sales (Med $430,000 Avg $477,909 Average days on market 8, 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 a mere 103 total homes for sale on March 1st. That is less than half the number of available listings a year ago! New construction segments now make up a smaller part of the pie.
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 February, Meridian had 104 existing homes sold (Med $457,500 Avg $506,341 Average days on market 7, median 3 days!)
Listings have dried up here since covid. Meridian has again fewer homes available this month. Most of the available inventory is new-never-occupied. This will continue to drive home prices higher.
Meridian had only 92 total homes listed for sale on March 1st and now most of the available homes are new construction. Looks like a good time to buy a new home in Meridian with 60 homes complete and waiting for buyers.
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 February, Eagle had 30 existing homes sold (Med $813,550 Avg $917,733 Avg days on market 5, median 3 days!)
Eagle listings have also plummeted, while buyer activity was strong. This month, Eagle had again many fewer homes available, as contract signings are much stronger than new listings. Now with less than a one week overall supply of homes for sale in Eagle, still very tight market where prices should rise.
With 31 total homes for sale on March 1st, and now only 35 percent of the available homes are new construction, including 7 homes completed and 2 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 lower prices (compared to Eagle), relatively short commute (30 mins to airport/Boise) and a great name.
For February, Star had 13 existing homes sold (Med $486,000 Avg $519,616 Avg days on market 3!)
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. Sales have exploded, but listings have dried up. Now with less than a tenth of a month supply of homes for sale- lowest in the metro, I see home prices rising fastest here in the near future.
Star had only 11 total homes for sale on March 1st.
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 February, Kuna had 30 existing home sales (Med $381,725 Avg $411,658 Avg days on market 13, median 3 days!)
Kuna's demand for homes is trending upward. However, inventory is extremely low (only 0.26-month supply) and this will hold down sales too. Prices are most likely to rise here.
Kuna had 64 total homes for sale on March 1st and the vast 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 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 are losing momentum even with strong demand. Now 47% 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.
As of March 1st, there are only 68 total new homes on the market in Canyon County, down from last month and barely a third of the inventory a year ago.
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 February, Nampa had 111 existing home sales (Med $325,000 Avg $333,965 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 got tighter last month again. Now with under a 1-week supply of homes on the market, I expect Nampa home prices to keep climbing fast this year.
Nampa had only 106 total homes for sale on March 1st. Now over half of the available homes are new construction with a bunch of to-be-builts just listed.
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 February, Caldwell had 53 existing home sales (Med $325,000 Avg $331,886 Avg days on market 6, median 3 days!)
Contract signings surged in Caldwell last month. The supply of homes in Caldwell is still a very slim 0.18-month supply, less than a week. Home prices should keep climbing in Caldwell, especially in the second quarter.
Caldwell had only 43 total homes for sale on March 1st. New construction now makes up almost half of the available homes this month.
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 February, Middleton had 17 existing homes sold (Med $401,500 Avg $534,097 Avg days on market 8, median 3!)
As of March 1st, Middleton has a mere 0.18-month supply as available listings would run out in less than a week at the current pace of sales. Expect home prices to continue upward in Middleton.
Middleton had only 14 total homes for sale on March 1st with most being new construction.
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.