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 showing 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.
Strong Sales in June, Lacking Inventory.
Housing demand quickly recovered in May and got really HOT in June with record low mortgage rates. Boise Metro home sales based on pending contracts jumped 17.5% in May and another 11% in June. However, the number of available homes in the metro plummeted 24% in June, creating a shortage of homes like I've never seen.
I think home prices must climb, given how amazingly low inventory levels are. With our local housing shortage, continued population growth, strong economy and now record breaking low mortgage rates, it's obvious.
After spiking in March & April, available listings are down again to begin May as the economy is bouncing back from the shutdown. 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 started the year with the fewest homes available in decades.
The SW Idaho housing shortage is even more extreme than this chart shows, because hundreds of these are to-be-built or under construction, so actual inventory is much lower than it appears. See my pie charts below.
Home prices jumped again in the Boise area during the first quarter.
For the first quarter, the Ada county median existing home price of $347,275 was up a brisk 5.2% from the previous quarter. Sales were up 7.5% year over year in Ada County for the quarter.
Year over year in Ada County the median existing home price is up 16% compared to Q1 of 2019. It was a great year to own a home and a terrible year to miss out, worth 4 or 5 regular years of appreciation.
The Canyon County median existing home price of $252,000 for Q1 is up 4.6% from the previous quarter. Year over year, the Q1 median for Canyon County is up 17.2%. Again, worth 5 years of normal appreciation in one year!
Can home prices go higher? I say 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.
Home sales follow the typical four-season 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. The red line shows New Construction in Ada County has also been steadily climbing, but not over-building, which was a key component of the previous crash. The cheapest new home sold in Ada last month was again a townhouse for $229,900.
Year over year sales in Ada County peaked slightly lower last year for the first time in 6 years, but this was probably due to low inventory. We started strong for 2020. The second quarter should be interesting.
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 were surging in Canyon County! Let's hope that will continue because it's great for the economy and the housing shortage. The cheapest new home sold in Canyon last month was $218,003.
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 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 changed directions due to the virus. Didn't last long- supply fell right back to the bottom already. In a typical year, supply doesn't start climbing until sales peak in June. This year, I think the peak will be as late as July or August, prolonging the upward pressure on home prices.
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 in favorable weather and between school years.
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. Below is the same data in a line chart showing the historical trends in the market.
Prior to the shutdown, we had the fewest existing homes sold in decades as low supply was constraining sales. 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 June 1st, the number of new homes under construction has dropped a little and a few more are finished waiting for buyers again this month. I see no danger of builders out-pacing demand with 790 new homes (only 418 finished) for sale in Ada County. This represents at most a 2.75-month supply at the current pace of sales as indicated by the 288 sold in May. That's half what a "normal" supply level would be, where prices are stable or slowly rising.
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.
Boise had 377 existing home sales in May (Med $329,900 Avg $380,506 Average days on market 13)
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 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, driving home prices up. A few would-be buyers dropped out of the market in April, but even more purchased in May, resulting in 67 fewer homes available this month in Boise proper. The Boise market still favors sellers with only a 3-week supply of homes including new construction.
These pie charts show the breakdown of all active homes for sale on the first day of each month. Boise had 625 total homes for sale on June 1st, falling again after climbing slightly during the shutdown. New construction segments again equal 39 percent of the pie this month. To-be-built listings continue to shrink as lots are hard to find.
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 144 existing homes sold in May (Med $337,000 Avg $352,788 Average days on market 13)
Meridian has 28 fewer homes available this month. The supply of homes shrank from 1.2 months to .87 months, which is very low and would support climbing home prices.
Meridian had 477 total homes listed for sale on June 1st and now 59 percent of the pie is new construction. Major growth here with a few more homes under construction (91) or newly built (175) 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 49 existing homes sold in June (Med $581,000 Avg $599,124 Avg days on market 22)
Eagle housing activity plummeted over the winter and had the fewest available homes in decades right before the virus shut-down. Eagle added just 1 more home available this month as contract signings are climbing again. Now with a 1.06-month overall supply of homes for sale in Eagle, still very tight market where prices should rise.
Eagle had a few more existing homes listed for sale in May. With 203 total homes for sale on June 1st, now 42 percent of the available homes are new construction, including 34 homes completed and 38 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 May (Med $372,000 Avg $388,228 Avg days on market 37)
What is going on in Star? A mini-boom to start the year. Sales have exploded, but listings have fallen off. Now with just a 0.6-month supply of homes for sale, I see home prices rising fast here.
Star had 108 total homes for sale on June 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 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 May (Med $300,000 Avg $319,661 Avg days on market 10)
Kuna's demand for homes is again trending upward. However, inventory is extremely low (only 0.66-month supply) and this will hold down sales too. Supply levels in Kuna are nearly the lowest in the county, which means prices are most likely to rise here.
Kuna had 132 total homes for sale on June 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 June 1st, there are 325 total new homes on the market, which equals a 2.4-month absorption rate, based on the 137 sold in May. The cheapest new home sold was $236,990 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 178 existing home sales in June (Med $259,950 Avg $286,432 Avg days on market 13)
One of the strongest and tightest markets in the valley, Nampa's pending homes greatly outnumber those actively for sale. Now with just over a 2-week supply of homes on the market, I expect Nampa home prices to climb fast this summer.
Nampa had 316 total homes for sale on June 1st, down by 57 as contract signings resurged. Now 58 percent of the available homes are new construction. This month, we have about the same number of completed new homes waiting for buyers and 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 73 existing home sales in May (Med $254,000 Avg $270,874 Avg days on market 19)
Contract signings surged in Caldwell this spring, but stalled with the shutdown and are again climbing. The supply of homes in Caldwell is still a very slim 0.67-month supply. Home prices should keep climbing in Caldwell this year.
Caldwell had 171 total homes for sale on June 1st. New construction now makes up 57 percent of the pie this month with fewer 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 only 15 existing homes sold in May (Med $324,000 Avg $348,970 Avg days on market 6!)
As of June 1st, Middleton now has a 0.8-month supply as demand resurged in May, while listings dropped off. Expect home prices to continue upward in Middleton.
Middleton had 79 total homes for sale on June 1st with new construction segments gaining to 49 percent of the pie, as 20% fewer existing homes were listed in May.
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.