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 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.
Homes are still selling. Real estate is considered an essential service and is not shut down under the stay-at-home orders. So far, only a few buyers have dropped out of the market, probably older folks and those that would have to travel.
Just as the spring rush was kicking into gear, the virus has thrown everything into uncertainty. Will home prices continue to climb in 2020? With our underlying local housing shortage, strong economy and low mortgage rates, I think home prices still could rise.
If you are holding investment properties in the Boise area and thinking of selling, it is not a bad time to sell- inventory is still very low and will probably rise. No reason to panic if you can wait out this temporary upset of the market.
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.
Here we mark the first effects of the virus- a few more available homes to begin April. Supply does not typically rise until sales peak in June most years. 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.
Q1 Update coming soon! 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.
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!
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.
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 $229,900.
Year over year sales in Ada County peaked lower (albeit only slightly) last year for the first time in 6 years, but this was probably due to low inventory. Starting strong for 2020.
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 closings really exploded in Canyon County in March! The cheapest new home sold in Canyon last month was $220,000.
These charts show all monthly single-family home sales reported in the local MLS, including condos, townhomes, manufactured homes and new construction.
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 was about as low as it could go in the Boise Metro, but has changed directions due to the virus. In a typical year, supply doesn't start climbing until sales peak in June.
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, new construction in Ada County has shrunk from two thirds of the available homes to a little more than half. And only a small part are to-be-built. The rest are under construction or complete- new never occupied. Here's the same data in a line chart showing the recent history.
Note the fewest existing homes available in decades- until Covid 19 showed up. 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 April 1st, the number of new homes finished and under construction has leveled off. I see no danger of builders out-pacing demand with 780 new homes (only 344 finished) for sale in Ada County. This represents at most a 2-month supply at the current pace of sales as indicated by the 397 sold in March.
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.
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 337 existing home sales in March (Med $335,000 Avg $382,573 Average days on market 17)
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. With 141 more homes available this month over last in Boise proper, the tide may soon be turning in buyer's favor. It is still a seller's market with less than a month supply.
These pie charts show the breakdown of all active homes for sale on the first day of each month. Boise had 549 total homes for sale on April 1st, climbing a dramatic 141 from the fewest existing homes available in decades! New construction segments dropped from 50 to 39 percent of the pie this month. To-be-built listings continue to lag behind.
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 153 existing homes sold in March (Med $350,000 Avg $371,732 Average days on market 20)
Meridian has 46 additional homes available this month. The supply of homes grew slightly to 1.03 months, which is still very low and would support climbing prices normally.
Meridian had 460 total homes listed for sale on April 1st and now 69 percent of the pie is new construction. Major growth here with many homes under construction(137) or newly built (164) 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 available.
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 58 existing homes sold in March (Med $567,500 Avg $711,039 Avg days on market 37)
Eagle housing activity plummeted over the winter and had the fewest available homes in decades in March. We added 26 more homes available this month, now with a 1.11-month overall supply of homes for sale in Eagle. Still very low supply.
Eagle has seen a big jump in existing homes listed for sale in March. With 175 total homes for sale on March 1st. Now only 42 percent of the available homes are new construction, including 34 homes completed and 35 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 it's lower prices (compared to Eagle), relatively short commute (30 mins to airport/Boise) and a great name.
Star had 23 existing homes sold in March (Med $369,900 Avg $420,834 Avg days on market 23)
Star home listings were going strong this spring and sales have exploded. Now with just a 0.79-month supply of homes for sale, I see home prices continuing to rise.
Star had 123 total homes for sale on April 1st and now 72 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 46 existing home sales in March (Med $297,500 Avg $309,559 Avg days on market 14)
Kuna's home sales have been trending upward and I expected another strong year. Supply levels in Kuna are the lowest in the county, which means prices are most likely to rise here.
Kuna had 116 total homes for sale on April 1st and now 73 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 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. There are more total homes available today than last year at this time because builders are making up the difference- Now 64% of the available homes in Canyon County are new construction.
Canyon county new construction was booming, but homes under construction fell off steeply in the first quarter, presumably because builders have been spooked. Almost no foreclosed and short sales here.
As of April 1st, there are 340 total new homes on the market, which equals a 1.6-month absorption rate, based on the 215 sold in March. The cheapest new home sold was $220,000 in Canyon County 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.
Nampa had 158 existing home sales in March (Med $250,000 Avg $269,240 Avg days on market 22)
One of the strongest and tightest markets in the valley, Nampa's pending homes greatly outnumber those actively for sale. Now with only a 0.6-month supply of homes on the market, I expect Nampa home prices to climb in 2020.
Nampa had 348 total homes for sale on April 1st. Now 69 percent of the available homes are new construction with many completed new homes waiting for buyers and nearly as many under construction.
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 103 existing home sales in March (Med $249,900 Avg $269,014 Avg days on market 28)
Contract signings surged in Caldwell this spring, but lost a litle steam this month. The supply of homes in Caldwell is now a very slim 0.76-month supply. Home prices should keep climbing in Caldwell this year.
Caldwell had 172 total homes for sale on April 1st. New construction now makes up 51 percent of the pie this month with more existing homes being listed 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 36 existing homes sold in March (Med $288,700 Avg $306,865 Avg days on market 36)
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 April with only a 1-month supply, expect home prices to continue upward in Middleton.
Middleton had 82 total homes for sale on April 1st with new construction segments making up 62 percent of the pie and including 22 new homes and 14 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.