Boise Metro Housing Market Monitor

March 2020 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 area. My charts have 13 years of data and show 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.

The Spring Rush has already started.

Boise area home prices will continue climbing in 2020. With our local housing shortage, strong economy and low mortgage rates, home prices must rise and double-digit appreciation is likely. Most of that price jump will come in Q2, so first time buyers and investors looking to act this year should try to beat the spring rush. Did I mention mortgage rates are at all-time lows?

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. Most 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 and maybe refinance? Sell and take some gains and/or exchange? First, ask me what your current value and rate of return 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.


Housing Inventory Update For Boise Metro

This chart of available homes for sale in Ada & Canyon counties shows how extreme conditions are right now in the Boise Metro and SW Idaho housing markets. Available listings have been trending lower each year as population grows and homes sell fast. On existing homes sold in February, the average days on the market (listing to offer acceptance) dropped to 30 days in Ada and 28 days in Canyon county. The median time on market also plummeted to 10 days in both counties, which means half the homes sold in just 10 days.


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 decades. 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.


Quarterly Median Home Prices- Ada/Canyon County

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.

AdaCanMedPriceQ419.gif

The Canyon County 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!

NARMedians2019Q4.GIF

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.


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, 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 a townhouse for $225,000.

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 really boomed in Canyon County in 2019! 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 $217,990.

These charts show all monthly single-family home sales reported in the local MLS, including condos, townhomes, manufactured homes and new construction.


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. If you want 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 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 now truly about as low as it can go in the Boise Metro. If no more homes were listed, we would run out in less than 3 weeks!


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.


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 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 each year since 2015 as demand continues to build and not enough homes are listed for sale in Ada County.

In the new construction segments- as of March 1st, the number of new homes finished and under construction has .... I see no danger of builders out-pacing demand with 776 new homes (only 307 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 305 sold in February.

Distressed homes? Zero. 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.


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.

Boise had 240 existing home sales in February (Med $332,750 Avg $379,912 Average days on market 27)

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 17 fewer homes available this month over last in Boise proper, homes under contract outnumber homes for sale. 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 408 total homes for sale on March 1st, including the fewest existing homes available in decades! New construction segments stand at 50 percent of the pie this month. To-be-built listings continue to lag behind with fewer lots available to build on. This could cause a real bottleneck later this year.


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.

Meridian had 127 existing homes sold in February (Med $330,000 Avg $372,975 Average days on market 30)

Meridian has 7 additional homes available this month. Even though sales were very slow in Dec/Jan, The supply of homes remains very tight (0.83 months) and I would not bet against brisk appreciation in home prices to continue this year.

Meridian had 414 total homes listed for sale on March 1st and now over 78 percent of the pie is new construction. Major growth here with many homes under construction(168) or newly built (139) 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.


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'll find the largest homes.

Eagle had 38 existing homes sold in February (Med $522,575 Avg $606,415 Avg days on market 36)

Eagle housing activity plummeted this winter and now has the fewest available homes in decades. With only a 0.84-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 March 1st. Now 54 percent of the available homes are new construction, including 17 homes completed and 52 under way.


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 it's lower prices (compared to Eagle), relatively short commute (30 mins to airport/Boise) and a great name.

Star had 17 existing homes sold in February (Med $385,000 Avg $419,517 Avg days on market 51)

Star home listings fell hard this winter, but sales stayed fairly level. Now with just a 0.77-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 97 total homes for sale on March 1st and now 76 percent of the available homes are new construction. There's now a bunch of new homes finished and more under way.


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 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 41 existing home sales in February (Med $290,000 Avg $303,324 Avg days on market 30)

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 0.64-months)including new construction and home prices are likely to jump here this year.

Kuna had 120 total homes for sale on March 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, 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 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 66% of the available homes in Canyon County are new construction.

Canyon county new construction is booming with 206 homes under construction and 176 finished and waiting for buyers. Almost no foreclosed and short sales here.

As of March 1st, there are 404 total new homes on the market, which equals a 3.4-month absorption rate, based on the 137 sold in February. The cheapest new home sold was $217,990 in Canyon County last month.


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.

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 greatly outnumber those actively for sale. Now with only a 0.64-month supply of homes on the market, I expect Nampa home prices to climb even higher in 2020.

Nampa had 365 total homes for sale on March 1st with a decrease in existing homes listed and a surge in new construction, now 71 percent of the available homes are new construction with many completed new homes waiting for buyers and just as many under construction.


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.

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 are surging again. The supply of homes in Caldwell is now a very slim 0.64-month supply. Home prices must keep climbing in Caldwell this year.

Caldwell had 164 total homes for sale on March 1st. New construction now makes up 64 percent of the pie this month with many (65) new homes under construction now.


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.

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 in 2019 after two very strong years, but sales have gained strength this year. Starting March with only a 0.8-month supply, expect home prices to continue upward in Middleton.

Middleton had 61 total homes for sale on March 1st with new construction segments making up 62 percent of the pie and including 17 new homes and 15 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.

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