May 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

May 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

This Spring homes slowly trickle onto the market as more and more arrive from out of state looking to invest in a home or relocate to the area.  Needless to say, home prices continue to increase throughout the Treasure Valley.  What can we expect for the real estate trends in Boise through Summer in regards to home prices and inventory?  Let’s look at last month’s market statistics and the trends to see what lies ahead.

Recent data is showing that over 20% of homes being purchased in the Treasure Valley are owned by someone other than the primary homeowner.  According to BoiseDev.com, “The combination of record-low interest rates, a nationwide housing shortage and a renewed interest in single-family homes outside of major metro areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic is fueling a new wave of investor capital in American real estate.” This along with those relocating to the area from out of state is what is driving the prices in the local real estate market.  With such high demand and no end in sight, we can expect prices to increase through Summer potentially up to 30% by the end of 2021 compared with last year.

Ada County Median Price $481,208 – April 2021 – 28.5% Increase Year Over Year

Canyon County Median Price $399,856 – April 2021 – 46.5% Increase Year Over Year

With the Boise Metro area continuing as one of the nation’s top competitive markets does that mean all locals are excluded from purchasing a home?  Well, that depends.  For first-time homebuyers, it has never been a better time to secure a mortgage at record low-interest rates. These rates allow buyers to afford more house than they could two years ago, however with out being able to cash out on equity from a home many first-time buyers struggle to put together attractive offers that compete against cash or large down payments, adding a sense of security to the Seller when choosing a buyer.  We are also seeing more local homeowners start to tap into the equity they have built over the past several years and downsize or move to more affordable areas within the Treasure Valley.  Rather than refinancing some homeowners are selling their homes and reinvesting in a different type of property or going out further from Boise to get more house for the same price.

There has also been a myth that the majority of homes being purchased by out-of-state buyers are with cash, and the stats show that is not the case.  In fact in Ada County in April only 22% of the homes sold were from cash offers, which means nearly 80% of the homes sold were secured with either a VA, FHA, or Conventional loan.  In Canyon County, it was the same with 18% of the homes sold all cash and over 80% via financing.

Another misconception is that ALL homes are selling over the asking price and the data is showing that simply is not true.  We are seeing multiple offers and homes selling substantially over the asking price typically when homes are competitively priced.  In Boise and Meridian homes at the median price point of around $450K and under tend to have multiple offers, as do “fixer-uppers” priced at fair market value.  We are seeing multiple offers and over asking offers on homes above $450K in Ada County, but these are typically homes in sought-after neighborhoods or areas or have large lots or newly remodeled homes.  Analyzing the data means we can expect a competitive market in hot neighborhoods and areas at the median price or below.

What About New Housing?

With the increase of demand for housing and more and more turning to new construction, we’ve seen some big changes in not only new construction pricing but also the process to secure a new home.  With the increase in the cost of materials to build new homes, builders are changing the way they market and sell their properties.  Recent data shows the national price of lumber and wood products increased by 28.8% since 2020, and by 30.5% since 2019. These costs are being passed along to homebuyers, and due to the uncertainty in the availability and price of materials, some builders are holding back available inventory until they are closer to delivery so they can price the property based on the actual build cost.

In the past you could secure a new home under construction with a build time of anywhere from 6-12months, now most builders are waiting to release their homes until closer to completion and asking for higher prices.  To secure a home now by a builder a purchaser may need to put down a hefty deposit and get on a waiting list that can take anywhere from 3-6 months. 

Once a property becomes available it’s another 12-18months for construction.  For those moving to the area and needing to get into a home, waiting nearly 2 years for a home is not an option. 

Another thing to look out for when purchase a new home is their price escalation clauses included in the purchase and sales agreement.   A price escalation clause is a provision included in a purchase agreement as a way for builders to recover some of all of the cost increases over the course of the home build and can be adjusted between the builder and purchaser while under contract.

With the changes mentioned above, we are seeing increases in price across new construction, however since some prospective sellers are also holding back existing homes from the market,  either because of  COVID-19, but also so they can find their next home before listing their current one this has made new homes less expensive on average, than existing homes for the past several months.  According to Boise Regional Realtors, “these unprecedented trends of new homes selling for less than existing homes, the willingness of buyers to pay over list price, and the record fast market times illustrate the incredible demand we’ve been experiencing, driven by low rates and insufficient supply.”

How to Successfully Purchase In These Market Conditions

Be Realistic.  In this market, it may be necessary to compromise on some of the ideal features you would like in a home.  Can you overlook the old carpet, outdated features, and budget in slowing remodeling the home yourself to your own taste?  Could you live with a two-car garage, over a three-car?  Compromising can save thousands and more importantly get you in a house in one of the greatest cities in the US now.

Broaden your search area.  Homes near the Greenbelt and downtown Boise go for a premium, as do newly built homes or homes with a large property.  Consider moving to neighborhoods that are less popular (now) with the knowledge that they may soon be a hot neighborhood to live in.  South Boise, West Boise has great neighborhoods and often with more affordable homes than more popular neighborhoods.  Check out homes in Nampa and Caldwell as these are great alternatives to get more house for less money,  just 20-30minutes from Boise.

Financing.  It is imperative that you have your financing in place BEFORE starting the home buying process.  A local lender, that understands this market and your options is the best place to start.  Have earnest money set aside as well as closing costs before you start the process, so you know how much you can afford and put your best offer forward.  If you are planning on using all cash to pay for a home have your proof of funds letter ready so this can be submitted with an offer, making your offer look reliable.

Put your best offer out there.  Remember, turn-key homes, or competitively priced homes in desirable areas attract multiple buyers.  To get your offer noticed, put together the best offer possible and remember most homes are selling at full-price or over asking price.  “Good Deals” aren’t really happening right now.  Put your best number and terms out there that you can comfortably live with.  The right home always comes around so be patient that it may take a few tries before finding the right home, but have faith it’s out there.

Selling a Home in a Sellers Market

Despite how easy it may look to sell a home in this market there are certain factors that homeowners should consider before selling their home.  The first factor is price.  Many homeowners rely on online real estate websites and the home that sold down the street to price their own home.  These are great places to start, but with Idaho being a non-disclosure state, Zillow’s Zestimates and other online websites are typically dramatically off on price.  And unless you know what your neighbor sold his house for and how it actually compares to your home in the eyes of an appraiser you might be using the wrong information to price your home either too high or too low.

Having worked with many homeowners the past couple of years I notice that the common thought among many of them is to price high and see what the market brings.  Unfortunately, that line of reasoning usually leads to homes sitting on the market, drastic price cuts, and disappointed sellers.  Fair Market Value is the ideal place to price a home in this market.  Too low and you will most likely get multiple offers, but they may not go as high as if you started at the right price range.  Start too high and you scare away many buyers that may have potentially paid your desired price but were cautious not to start the process knowing that most homes sell over the asking price.  How do you find what is the Fair Market Value for your home? Find a real estate agent with experience selling homes in your area and home type.

In Treasure Valley’s current housing market, we are seeing more than just price plays a role in the offer a homeowner chooses to accept.  The terms of the offer can often be more appealing than the price itself.   Over the past few months, more and more buyers are waiving their home inspection, or agreeing up front to purchase the home “as is”, meaning not asking for any repairs.  Additionally, some buyers using financing to purchase may agree up front to make up any difference in price should an appraisal come in lower than the agreed-upon price.  This along with other terms can make an offer more solid and secure in the eyes of the homeowner and may be worth more than just the final price.

Here is the median price breakdown for single-family existing & new homes in Ada and Canyon County for April 2021

Median Sold Price

Canyon County: $399,856
Nampa: $385,817
Middleton: $441,000

Caldwell:  $370,000

Median Sold Price

Boise $458,000
Meridian: $455,500
Eagle : $737,000
Star:  $485,000
Kuna: $417,000

For more details on the market and trends in the Boise Metro Area please contact Boise Area Real Estate Expert, Jennifer Louis at (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

April 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

April 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

 Home prices in the Boise area continue to soar even with an increase in homes for sale popping up this Spring.  The past few months have shown that the real estate market in the Boise Metro Area remains red hot, as home prices have gone up over $100K from last year and all signs point towards home prices continuing to increase through summer.  Here’s a brief overview of where real estate stands as of April 1st, 2021.

Ada County saw an increase in price of 28% over last year to  a record median price of $469,000 for all homes.    The city of Boise also saw home prices continue to rise with the median price at $460,000, a 30% increase from the year before.   Canyon County had the largest increase in home prices with a 40% increase from a year ago leaving the current median price at just over $380,000.

Multiple offers continue to be the norm in most areas around town which contribute to bidding wars and ultimately higher prices.  In the City of Boise during the month of March 395 homes were sold of which 48% sold over the asking price, 41% at the asking price, and only 11% under the asking price.  Homes priced correctly (Fair Market Value) tended to stay on the market for 3-4 days depending on the area.

Although March brought us more homes for sale on the market compared to the Winter months, we still have a dire inventory shortage.   Home inventory refers to a hypothetical scenario in which no new homes become available for sale.  If this happened, and buyers could only choose from the houses that are already on the market, “months of inventory” is how many months it would take to buy up every house on the market.  A balanced market is six months of inventory.  Boise Metro Area is down to less than two weeks of inventory, hence the main reason pricing continues to rise, supply and demand.

Will the Local Housing Market Crash?

An interesting article recently on CNBC said that one of the most popular questions on Google lately is, “When will the housing market crash?”  Experts chime in to say that unlike the housing bubble from ten years ago we are seeing a very different market here, one that may cool, but not crash.  There are a few reasons not to expect a housing crash here in the Boise Area:

Supply and Demand. The difference between today and the housing bubble we saw back in the mid-2000s is the drastic lack of inventory.  As mentioned earlier in this article we are down to less than two weeks of inventory in the area.  Neighboring states continue to flock to Idaho for various reasons along with many locals in need of a different home to accommodate changing circumstances driving the demand for housing.  It’s also important to mention one of the largest generations, Millennials are now at the age to buy their first-home adding more buyers to the every-growing pool.

Mortgage Rates.  The mortgage interest rates remain very low historically allowing buyers to be able to afford more homes than ever before.  Over the past couple months, we have seen a slight increase in rates, but still, a 3.5% interest rate allows many to afford to buy a home for the first time or afford more homes than they had in the past.

Reduced Risk of Foreclosure. Back in the mid-2000s many homeowners, unfortunately, were cashing out on their home’s equity or were locked into negative interest mortgage loans creating negative equity.  This means many homeowners back then owed more than their house was worth.  Today’s situation is just the opposite, as underwriting for a lender has become very strict, unlike the situation ten+ years ago.  Now most homeowners can truly afford the homes they are purchasing.

We can expect the housing market to cool as mortgage rates continue to increase and buyers hit an affordability wall, meaning we can expect that home prices will peak and flatten, but not crash.

Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market

Be Realistic.  In this market, it may be necessary to compromise on some of the ideal features you would like in a home.  Can you overlook the old carpet, outdated features, and budget in slowing remodeling the home yourself to your own taste?  Could you live with a two-car garage, over a three-car?  Compromising can save thousands and more importantly get you in a house in one of the greatest cities in the US now.

Broaden your search area.  Homes near the Greenbelt and downtown go for a premium, as do newly built homes or homes with a large property.  Consider moving to neighborhoods that are less popular (now) with the knowledge that they may soon be a hot neighborhood to live in.  Check out homes in Nampa and Caldwell as these are great alternatives to get more house for less money,  just 20-30minutes from Boise.

Financing.  It is imperative that you have your financing in place BEFORE starting the home buying process.  A local lender, that understands this market and your options is the best place to start.  Have earnest money set aside as well as closing costs before you start the process, so you know how much you can afford and put your best offer forward.  If you are planning on using all cash to pay for a home have your proof of funds letter ready so this can be submitted with an offer, making your offer look reliable.

Put your best offer out there.  Remember, turn-key homes, or competitively priced homes in desirable areas attract multiple buyers.  To get your offer noticed, put together the best offer possible and remember most homes are selling at full-price or over asking price.  “Good Deals” aren’t really happening right now.  Put your best number and terms out there that you can comfortably live with.  The right home always comes around so be patient that it may take a few tries before finding the right home, but have faith it’s out there.

Selling a Home in a Sellers Market

Despite how easy it may look to sell a home in this market there are certain factors that homeowners should consider before selling their home.  The first factor is price.  Having worked with many homeowners the past couple of years I notice that the common thought among many of them is to price high and see what the market brings.  Unfortunately, that line of reasoning usually leads to homes sitting on the market, drastic price cuts, and disappointed sellers.  Fair Market Value is the ideal place to price a home in this market.  Too low and you will most likely get multiple offers, but they may not go as high as if you started at the right price range.  Start too high and you scare away many buyers that may have potentially paid your desired price but were cautious not to start the process knowing that most homes sell over the asking price.  How do you find what is the Fair Market Value for your home? Find a real estate agent with experience selling homes in your area and home type.  

In Treasure Valley’s current housing market, we are seeing more than just price plays a role in the offer a homeowner chooses to accept.  The terms of the offer can often be more appealing than the price itself.   Over the past few months, more and more buyers are waiving their home inspection, or agreeing up front to purchase the home “as is”, meaning not asking for any repairs.  Additionally, some buyers using financing to purchase may agree up front to make up any difference in price should an appraisal come in lower than the agreed-upon price.  This along with other terms can make an offer more solid and secure in the eyes of the homeowner and may be worth more than just the final price.

Here is the median price breakdown for single-family existing & new homes in Ada and Canyon County for March 2021

Median Sold Price

Nampa: $372,000
Caldwell: $377,000
Middleton: $425,000

Median Sold Price

Boise $460,000
Meridian: $459,500
Eagle : $715,000
Star:  $490,000
Kuna: $417,000

For more details on the market and trends in the Boise Metro Area please contact Boise Area Real Estate Expert, Jennifer Louis at (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

What Your Front Door Says About You

What Your Front Door Says About You

We’ve all heard about a home with “curb appeal” and one of the best way to boost your home’s appeal and ultimately value is through the front door.  That’s because the front door is the focal point of most homes and the color is a powerful statement.  There is a psychology behind door colors and even some historical meaning.  So, before you grab your brush and paint find out the meaning of popular front door colors.

Traditional and Bold

Red is one of the most popular door colors across the United States. Historically, in Scotland and Ireland painting your door red could mean your mortgage is paid off. In China, a red door often signified a home with good luck, but back on this side of the Atlantic it typically symbolizes hospitality and gives off a positive, neighborly vibe. Still feeling friendly, but red isn’t your color? Well, blue is a great alternative. According to color psychologists, blue can signify an inviting home that’s trustworthy. A blue door can range from a bright sky blue to a dark navy, to a softer turquoise color. Another inviting positive and bold front door color is yellow. Yellow is linked to optimism and extraversion. Guests will expect sunny rooms and cheerful decor inside. Yellow tends to look best as an accent color on a door, rather than the entire home color and looks great against darker siding or brick.

Clean and Crisp

Boise Black and White Doors
Boise Black and White Doors
Black is becoming more popular and can make a home pop. Some may consider it a more traditional, or formal color, but it can give a home a modern look, and set against a colorful exterior can even give it a playful feel. Color psychologists say a black door gives the feeling of security and protection to those who come to visit or stay.  To play it safe and still give the front of your house a facelift consider the least neutral of the neutrals, white. This common door color can give the feeling of a fresh, organized, and clean home and looks great against brick or colored siding.

Fun and Playful

Feeling fun, adventurous and young? Orange, pink, or violet may be the right shade for you? Any of these colors can make a positive statement and make your home stand out on the street, but it’s important to make sure the rest of the home won’t clash or throw off these bold color choices.  A great place in The Treasure Valley to check out fun door colors is in many of the older neighborhoods. Take a stroll in Boise’s historic Northend or Nampa’s downtown historic area to see a range of colorful front doors or drive through Boise’s Bench with mid-century homes full of fun, colorful, and unique doors for every taste.  Here are a few of my favorites around town:
Considering selling your home and want to add curb appeal? Call Jennifer Louis for a free home value consultation to discover how to increase your home’s value in today’s market (208) 509-9122.

March 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

March 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

The past two months plus have been a whirlwind in Boise real estate.  With a growing number of buyers and a dwindling number of homes for sale, we’ve seen home prices shoot up to never-before-seen prices here in the Treasure Valley.

Jan-Feb Boise Metro Market TrendsIn Ada, the median price for a single-family home was $450,000 for home sales as of March 15th.  That’s up nearly 29% from the same time period a year ago.  The city of Boise is also setting new records with the median price at $448,500 as of March 15th.  The surprising fact is that of the 377 homes that sold in January and February of this year,  52% of those homes sold at over the asking price, several of which sold at over $100,000 over list price.  Nearly 25% of the recent sales sold cash and 80% of these homes sold in six days or less.

Are We In A Housing Bubble?

With pricing going up so quickly one of the most common questions is: “Are we in a housing bubble?” The warning signs are there, but it’s important to look at a few facts before assuming there is a  bubble and that it’s about to burst:

Supply and Demand. The difference between today and the housing bubble we saw back in the mid-2000s is the drastic lack of inventory.  A healthy market, in favor of neither the buyer or seller, should have six months of inventory.  In Ada County, we have about a 1.5 week supply or as of 3/15/21 290 home for sale.  Pretty dire indeed.

According to Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist what we’re seeing in home prices today is nothing like what we saw in the mid-2000s.  He said,   “During the housing bubble, rapid house price appreciation was not entirely supported by economic fundamentals, but in today’s housing market, nominal  house price appreciation has been driven by a historic shortage of supply relative to demand and rate-driven surge in house-buying power.  May find it hard to believe, but housing is actually undervalued in most markets and the gap between house-buying and sale prices indicates there’s room for further house price growth in the months to come.” 

Housing Demand. The current demand for housing is spurred on by many reasons such as the low mortgage interest rates, the pandemic forcing many to look for housing that is better suited to a work-from-home and learn-from-home environment, and don’t forget all those millennials who are now reaching the age to invest in their first home.

Reduced Risk of Foreclosure. Back in the mid-2000s many homeowners, unfortunately, were cashing out on their home’s equity or were locked into negative interest mortgage loans creating negative equity.  This means many homeowners back then owed more than their house was worth.  Today’s situation is just the opposite, according to  an article on keepingcurrentmatters.com  “Cash-out refinance volume over the last three years is less than a third of what it was compared to the three years before the crash. More than 38% of homeowners have paid off their mortgage “free and clear,” and another 18.7% have paid off over 50% of their mortgage.”  This means the current market is much more stable with little risk of foreclosure as we saw in previous bubbles.

So if we’re not in a bubble is this a good time to buy a home?  Armed with the fact that the housing market in the Boise Metro Area is very strong and continuing to go up, not to mention historically low-interest rates, now is a great time to purchase a home and start building equity, but that leaves the question:

As a buyer, how can you be prepared to buy in this market?

Be Realistic.  In this market, it may be necessary to compromise on some of the ideal features you would like in a home.  Can you overlook the old carpet, outdated features, and budget in slowing remodeling the home yourself to your own taste?  Could you live with a two-car garage, over a three-car?  Compromising can save thousands and more importantly get you in a house in one of the greatest cities in the US now.

Broaden your search area.  Homes near the Greenbelt and downtown go for a premium, as do newly built homes or homes with a large property.  Consider moving to neighborhoods that are less popular (now) with the knowledge that they may soon be a hot neighborhood to live in.  Check out homes in Nampa and Caldwell as these are great alternatives to get more houses for less money just 20-30minutes from Boise.

Financing.  It is imperative that you have your financing in place BEFORE starting the home buying process.  A local lender, that understands this market and your options is the best place to start.  Have earnest money set aside as well as closing costs before you start the process, so you know how much you can afford and put your best offer forward.  If you are planning on using all cash to pay for a home have your proof of funds letter ready so this can be submitted with an offer, making your offer look reliable.

Put your best offer out there.  Remember, turn-key homes, or competitively priced homes in desirable areas attract multiple buyers.  To get your offer noticed, put together the best offer possible and remember most homes are selling at full-price or over asking price.  “Good Deals” aren’t really happening right now.  Put your best number and terms out there that you can comfortably live with.  The right home always comes around so be patient that it may take a few tries before finding the right home, but have faith it’s out there.

What’s the best way to sell a home in the current market?

If you’ve been reading the news and just finished this article it may seem rather simple to sell a home in today’s market.  Although most homes are selling in a record short period of time, it’s still imperative to price your home correctly and market it appropriately.  Remember, Idaho is a non-disclosure state meaning the sales price of homes sold is not public record, so those Zestimates and other online resources are often off by thousands of dollars.  Have a real estate professional who has experience selling in your neighborhood help you find the right starting price and prepare your home for the market.  Starting out right when selling your home can make the entire process less stressful and in almost all cases more profitable than trying to sell on your own or hiring the wrong person to sell your home.

Here is the median price breakdown for single-family existing & new homes in Ada and Canyon County for February 2021

Canyon county Market Trends

Median Sold Price

Nampa: $360,000
Caldwell: $350,000
Middleton: $365,000

Market Trends Ada County

Median Sold Price

Boise $450,000
Meridian: $442,772
Eagle : $7706,000
Star:  $482,450
Kuna: $400,490

For more details on the market and trends in the Boise Metro Area please contact Boise Area Real Estate Expert, Jennifer Louis at (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

January 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

January 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

As buyers in the Boise Metro area snap up what little housing inventory exists many are hopeful that Spring will bring an increase in homes for sale, but will it? 

Traditionally, Spring is when the Boise Metro Area housing market really opens up.  As temperatures rise and days are longer many homeowners on the cusp of selling start the preparations of getting their home ready to sell, but this year may not bring as many homes to the market as some may hope.  Mainly due to the pandemic situation dragging on and the fear of moving in such uncertain times has made many put an indefinite hold on selling their home.  

Yet, as sellers put the brakes on selling their homes, the Boise Metro area is seeing a huge influx of buyers moving to the area looking to escape crowded higher-priced cities for Boise’s more affordable housing and outdoor draw.  So what can we expect as we approach Spring?  Pretty much the same as we’ve been seeing since Winter, low inventory, high demand and rapidly increasing pricing.  

Here’s a snapshot of the Boise Metro Market Trends in January this year compared to one year prior:

Home prices have risen in Ada County by over 20% and in Canyon County by 33% annually.  Here are some other interesting trends we saw in January:

In Ada County of the 355 existing, single-family homes that sold in January 56% of them sold over the asking price, and 24% of those homes sold with cash financing.  In Canyon County of the 185 existing, single-family homes that sold 56% sold over asking price and 23% sold with cash financing.

Boise’s market and trends could be considered good news or bad news depending on your role in this market.  

For sellers, it’s good, if they are ready to sell now while the market sizzles.  We’re seeing more homes for sale include terms in their listing such as “selling as-is”, “seller to make no repairs”, etc.  Many buyers are agreeing to buy the home while removing their inspection contingency and also removing their appraisal contingency to make their offers more appealing.  In the end, it seems price is the ultimate deciding factor.  In homes that are priced under Fair Market Value, we can see up to 25 offers on a home and offers up to 30% over asking price.  This is why it’s imperative that sellers price their home correctly to draw this kind of interest on a home and ultimately get the best offer.  

The above stats can be disheartening for buyers looking to purchase a home in the area, but the reality is that homes are out there, and with a good strategy, the right agent and patience, buyers do eventually get the right home.  My blog article lays out proven tips for buyers looking to buy into this market.  The trends are showing that while inventory remains low home prices will continue to rise making it a good time to invest in a home and start building equity.  Additionally, interest rates remain incredibly low making rising home prices more affordable in the long-term.  Since the majority of homes sold are still be financed via a lender it’s a great time for buyers to see if they qualify for the low-interest rate and start their home search.


Here is the median price breakdown for single-family existing & new homes in the Treasure Valley for January 2021:

Boise: $432,750
Meridian: $433,000
Eagle:  $746,442
Star: $460,000
Kuna: $430,000
Nampa: $343,000
Caldwell: $307,000

For more details on the market and trends in the Boise Metro Area please contact Boise Area Real Estate Expert, Jennifer Louis at (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com