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 13 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.
Home Buyers Paid Over Asking in December
Housing demand in SW Idaho remains unusually strong for the middle of winter. Inventory is also extremely low. Most listings get multiple offers and the average sale price was 1.5% HIGHER than asking on homes closed in December in Ada County and 2.3% over in Canyon. 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.
After spiking in the spring, available listings in both Ada & Canyon counties have plummeted to levels not seen before. 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, which has also been steadily climbing. The cheapest new home sold in Ada last month was again a townhouse for $249,900.
Ada County had a very strong 2020 for home sales, despite covid. Sales have cooled with winter, 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. Demand remains much stronger than a year ago. 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 were slowing in Canyon County, but have turned up a bit. This is great for the economy and easing the housing shortage. The cheapest new home sold in Canyon last month was $212,000 for a townhouse.
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 just over 1 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. This year is anything but normal.
New construction in Ada County now accounts for two thirds the 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 this 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 304 available new homes (193 finished) for sale in Ada County. This represents less than a 1-month supply at the current pace of sales as indicated by the 348 sold in December. That is 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 December, Boise had 361 existing home sales (Med $399,500 Avg $451,889 Average days on market 11, median 4 days!)
Over the last 13 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 161 total homes for sale on Jan 1st. That is only a quarter the number of listings a year ago! New construction segments now make up a larger 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 December, Meridian had 148 existing homes sold (Med $417,500 Avg $469,714 Average days on market 5, 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 109 total homes listed for sale on Jan 1st and now most of the available homes are new construction. Looks like a good time to buy a new home in Meridian with 81 homes waiting for buyers. Only 23 existing homes!
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 December, Eagle had 52 existing homes sold (Med $717,500 Avg $889,526 Avg days on market 18, 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 37 total homes for sale on Jan 1st, and now 57 percent of the available homes are new construction, including 12 homes completed and 3 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 December, Star had 16 existing homes sold (Med $565,000 Avg $625,327 Avg days on market 6, median 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 fallen off. 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 15 total homes for sale on Jan 1st and 11 of them are new construction. Only 4 existing homes available in Star. Wow.
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 December, Kuna had 36 existing home sales (Med $350,500 Avg $374,196 Avg days on market 3, median 3 days!)
Kuna's demand for homes is trending upward. However, inventory is extremely low (only 0.41-month supply) and this will hold down sales too. Prices are most likely to rise here.
Kuna had 103 total homes for sale on Jan 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 only 5 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 only 41% of the available homes in Canyon County are new construction.
Canyon county new construction was booming, but homes under construction have fallen back. Almost no foreclosed and short sales here.
As of Jan 1st, there are only 108 total new homes on the market, up from last month.
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 December, Nampa had 170 existing home sales (Med $310,000 Avg $338,624 Avg days on market 8, median 3 days!)
One of the strongest markets in the valley this year, Nampa's pending homes greatly outnumber those actively for sale. Supply did grow last month, which is expected in winter. Now with under a 2-week supply of homes on the market, I expect Nampa home prices to keep climbing fast.
Nampa had only 111 total homes for sale on Jan 1st. Now almost two thirds 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 December, Caldwell had 93 existing home sales (Med $306,000 Avg $330,652 Avg days on market 7, median 3 days!)
Contract signings surged in Caldwell this summer, but have weakened some. The supply of homes in Caldwell is still a very slim 0.3-month supply. Home prices should keep climbing in Caldwell right through winter.
Caldwell had only 57 total homes for sale on Jan 1st. New construction now makes up 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 December, Middleton had 29 existing homes sold (Med $375,000 Avg $438,958 Avg days on market 31)
As of Jan 1st, Middleton still has a mere 0.21-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 Jan 1st with very little 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.