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.
Sales Remain Strong, Supply Shortest Ever
The spring rush was late this year in SW Idaho, due to a covid interruption. Housing demand remains unusually strong going into September, thanks to record low mortgage rates and population growth. As a result, the number of available homes in the metro fell again in August, shrinking the already extreme shortage of available homes.
I think home prices must keep climbing, given how amazingly low inventory levels are. With our strong economy, is it not a great time to bet on appreciation?
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.
After spiking in March & April, available listings have continued downward to levels not seen in decades as the economy bounced back. Both Ada and Canyon counties started the year with the fewest homes available in decades and we are lower than that now.
The SW Idaho housing shortage is even more extreme than this chart shows, because hundreds of these available homes are to-be-built or under construction, so actual inventory is much lower than it appears. See my pie charts below.
Home prices climbed again, despite the Covid shut-down, in the Boise area during the second quarter.
For the second quarter, the Ada county median existing home price of $349,900 was up just 0.7% from the previous quarter. A positive gain is surprising because sales were down almost 17% from a year ago in Ada County.
Year over year in Ada County the median existing home price is still up 7.66% compared to Q2 of 2019. I expect price growth to be very strong in the third quarter.
The Canyon County median existing home price of $267,000 for Q2 is up 5.95% from the previous quarter. That's $15000 in a quarter, or $5k a month! Amazing results during a pandemic. Year over year, the Q2 median for Canyon County is up 13.66%, great returns and still climbing.
Can home prices go higher? The housing shortage and low mortgage rates makes it a certainty for now. Also, compare our median home prices to other metros around the West. 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 $244,697.
We started strong for 2020, and after a covid blip, have surpassed last year with a huge surge.
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. The Covid blip was a little more extreme here than Ada, but bounced right back.
New Construction closings were surging in Canyon County and appear to have resumed a strong pace. This is great for the economy and easing the housing shortage. The cheapest new home sold in Canyon last month was $165,000 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 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 late 2020. A very good reason to invest in Boise real estate with confidence.
If no more homes were listed, we would run out in less than 2 weeks! In a typical year, supply starts climbing after sales peak in June/July. This year, the peak is very late, prolonging the 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.
Regular sellers of existing homes tend to follow seasonal trends with most listings mid year in favorable weather and between school years. This year, regular sellers have dwindled, causing the shortage to intensify.
New construction in Ada County now accounts for just over half the listings and sales. Only a few are listed 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 available in decades, now even fewer. 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- I see no danger of builders out-pacing demand with 393 available new homes (only 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 438 sold in August. That is a fraction of 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 481 existing home sales in Aug (Med $358,000 Avg $409,832 Average days on market 16)
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. This month, there were only 350 (down 43) homes available in Boise proper on Sept 1st. The Boise market still greatly favors sellers with less than a 2-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 350 total homes for sale on Sept 1st. New construction segments shrunk back to 43 percent of the pie this month, as the virus has caused some disruption for builders. To-be-built listings continue to shrink as lots must be 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 266 existing homes sold in Aug (Med $389,200 Avg $413,212 Average days on market 16)
Look at that gap in my chart! Far from normal. Meridian has 110 fewer homes available this month and the supply of homes fell from .43-months to .26, which is very low and will drive home prices higher.
Meridian had only 173 total homes listed for sale on Sept 1st and now 64 percent of the pie is new construction. Major growth here with fewer homes under construction (27) or newly built (81). 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 will find the largest homes.
Eagle had 94 existing homes sold in Aug (Med $625,500 Avg $737,439 Avg days on market 35)
Eagle listings have plummeted in the last few months, while buyer activity is strong. This month, Eagle had 27 fewer home available, as contract signings are much stronger than new listings. Now with a .34-month overall supply of homes for sale in Eagle, still very tight market where prices should rise.
With 75 total homes for sale on Sept 1st, and now 50 percent of the available homes are new construction, including 16 homes completed and 16 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 27 existing homes sold in Aug (Med $395,000 Avg $425,668 Avg days on market 20)
What is going on in Star? That is an extremely wide disparity in the trend lines- and inverse of normal too. Sales have exploded, but listings have fallen off. Now with just a 0.21-month supply of homes for sale- tied with Nampa for lowest in the metro, I see home prices rising fast here.
Star had only 42 total homes for sale on Sept 1st and now 67 percent of the available homes are new construction. There are only 4 new homes finished and 18 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 77 existing home sales in Aug (Med $335,000 Avg $362,713 Avg days on market 11)
Kuna's demand for homes is again trending upward. However, inventory is extremely low (only 0.41-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 only 85 (down 9) total homes for sale on Sept 1st and now 80 percent of available homes are new construction. That is up from the last few months, but 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 and builders did lose some momentum during the shut-down. Now 46% of the available homes in Canyon County are new construction because there are fewer existing homes listed.
Canyon county new construction was booming, but homes under construction have fallen back. Almost no foreclosed and short sales here.
As of Sept 1st, there are 135 total new homes on the market, which equals less than a 1-month absorption rate, based on the 256 sold in Aug. The cheapest new home sold was $165,000 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 224 existing home sales in Aug (Med $280,000 Avg $322,845 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 1-week supply of homes on the market, I expect Nampa home prices to keep climbing fast through the fall at least.
Nampa had only 135 total homes for sale on Sept 1st, down by 51 from the previous month as contract signings surged again. Now only 47 percent of the available homes are new 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 105 existing home sales in Aug (Med $267,000 Avg $293,995 Avg days on market 26)
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 0.39-month supply. Home prices should keep climbing in Caldwell late this year.
Caldwell had 105 total homes for sale on Sept 1st. New construction now makes up 58 percent of the pie this month with no to-be-builts and very few under construction.
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 55 existing homes sold in Aug (Med $350,000 Avg $378,183 Avg days on market 23)
As of Sept 1st, Middleton now has a 0.34-month supply as demand eased in August, while listings dried up some. Expect home prices to continue upward in Middleton.
Middleton had only 31 total homes for sale on Sept 1st with new construction segments plummeting to 23 percent of the pie.
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.