Boise Metro Housing Market Monitor
January 2020 Update
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.
SW Idaho Homes & Real Estate-
Ada County- Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star
Canyon County- Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton
December was very slow. Home sales and new listings slowed to a crawl in December. Homes aren't selling as fast, but supply remains VERY low throughout the Boise Metro- especially in Boise, which has under a month supply, followed by Meridian, Kuna & Nampa.
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 again possible this year. First time buyers and investors would be wise to act now, before the spring rush.
If you are holding investment properties in the Boise area and waiting for the right time to sell, I would hold for the expected strong appreciation over the busy season and re-assess in the 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.
Housing Inventory Update in Boise Metro
The long view 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 December, average days on the market (listing to offer acceptance) grew again to 30 days in Ada and 32 days in Canyon county. The median time on market also grew to 16 and 17 days, respectively, which means half the homes listed sold in just over 2 weeks- that's still fast for the off-season.
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 18 months. 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.
Q3 2019 Quarterly Median Home Prices- Ada/Canyon County
Home prices rose again with strong demand in the Boise area, but the rate of increase slowed in Q3, which matches the trend for the last few years.
For the third quarter, the Ada county median existing home price of $331,450 was up only 2% from the previous quarter. Sales are actually down 7% year to date, due to low supply.
Year over year in Ada County the median existing home price is up 9% compared to Q3 of 2018.
Canyon County's median existing home price of $243,000 for Q3 is up 3.45% from the previous quarter. Year over year, the Q3 median for Canyon County is up 11.1%. That's like 3-4 years of normal appreciation in one year!
Will home prices go higher? I find it helpful to compare our median home prices to other metros around the West and the national median. We have recently surpassed the national median. However, the Boise Metro median remains well below the more relevant West and indicates that our prices could go higher. For Q1 of 2019, Boise came in third again for fastest rising prices in metros on this list. The strongest appreciation is coming from in-migration as people relocate to more favorable and affordable areas.
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. 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. I've added a line to show new construction. New construction in Ada County was really strong this spring as existing home prices are gaining on new. Both counties are showing the most ever new home sales this year.
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.
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.
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 a January.
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, now almost two thirds of the available homes in Ada County are new construction. And only 8% 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 Jan 1st, the number of new homes finished and under construction has slowed slightly this winter. To-be-built listings did grow slightly. I see no danger of builders out-pacing demand with 890 new homes (only 427 built) 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 usually slow December.
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- a default notice gives owners 120 days to cure the default, but 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 323 existing home sales in December (Med $305,000 Avg $350,514 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 has been 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 129 fewer homes available this month in Boise proper, homes under contract again outnumber homes for sale and supply is under a month. I've never seen this in January- 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 479 (down 129!) total homes for sale on Jan 1st. This includes the fewest existing homes available in decades! New construction segments grew to 52 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 137 existing homes sold in December (Med $333,000 Avg $363,355 Average days on market 30)
Meridian has 117 fewer homes available this month. Even though sales were very slow in December, The supply of homes remains very tight (1.11 months) and I would not bet against brisk appreciation in home prices to continue this year.
Meridian had 458 total homes listed for sale on Jan 1st and now 67 percent of the pie is new construction. Major growth here with many homes under construction(120) or newly built (199) 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 60 existing homes sold in December (Med $494,450 Avg $557,691 Avg days on market 46)
Eagle housing activity plummeted this winter and starts the year with the fewest available homes in decades. With only a 1.28-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 157 total homes for sale on Jan 1st. Now 61 percent of the available homes are new construction, including 43 homes finished and waiting for buyers.
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 (30 mins to airport/Boise) and a great name.
Star had 20 existing home sales in December (Med $310,750 Avg $370,100 Avg days on market 33)
Star home listings fell hard this winter, but sales stayed fairly level. Now with just a 1.36- month supply of homes for sale to start the year, I see no reason to expect less than double-digit annual appreciation here in 2020, like the rest of the Treasure Valley.
Star had 98 total homes for sale on Jan 1st and now 60 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 39 existing home sales in December (Med $279,000 Avg $299,335 Avg days on market 30)
Kuna's home sales were really strong in 2019, but sales have slowed and new listings have gained on supply. Kuna still has very low supply (only 1.15-months)including new construction and home prices are likely to jump near the most here this year.
Kuna had 173 total homes for sale on Jan 1st and now 81 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.
Fewer Sales are up year over year. Still more homes are available today than last year at this time. Builders made up the difference- Now 61% 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 Jan 1st, there are 478 total new homes on the market, which is about a 4-month absorption rate, based on the 113 sold in Dec. That's not enough to relieve much pressure on low overall housing inventory. The cheapest new home sold was $206,759 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 184 existing home sales in December (Med $234,500 Avg $255,538 Avg days on market 31)
One of the strongest and tightest markets in the valley, Nampa's pending homes did outnumber those actively for sale for most of 2019. Now with only a 1.2-month supply of homes on the market, I expect Nampa's still affordable home prices to climb even higher in 2020.
Nampa had 462 (down 71) total homes for sale on Jan 1st with a decrease in existing homes listed and the new construction segments now make up 70 percent of the 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 77 existing home sales in December (Med $228,000 Avg $247,225 Avg days on market 28)
Contract signings really surged in Caldwell in 2019, but have plunged since and new listings are now gaining on demand. The supply of homes in Caldwell has grown to a 1.82-month supply. Home prices will keep climbing in Caldwell this year.
Caldwell had 206 total homes for sale on Jan 1st, with more existing homes listed. New construction now makes up 49 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 19 existing homes sold in December (Med $324,900 Avg $341,063 Avg days on market 46)
Middleton's new listings and contract signings both are way down after two very strong years. Supply has climbed to a 1.6-month supply. Look for home prices to continue upward in Middleton next spring.
Middleton had 74 total homes for sale on Jan 1st with new construction segments growing to 66 percent of the pie as a few more new homes were started and completed.
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.