In Boise Housing Market, Tight Inventory Is Causing Big Price Gains

Key highlights from this report:

  • The Boise, Idaho housing market is experiencing an inventory shortage in 2019.
  • Among the nation’s largest metros, it’s one of the “tightest” real estate markets.
  • This has led to huge home-price gains across the Boise metro area.
  • The whole state of Idaho has seen major price growth over the past year.

Boise Real Estate Market Is Hot Right Now

Earlier this week, RE/MAX published its “National Housing Report for May 2019.” Using Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data, the company analyzed real estate conditions in 54 metropolitan areas across the country.

Their report highlighted some of the key trends relating to the U.S. housing market as a whole. It also singled out some cities and metro areas that are outperforming the nation in terms of price growth and other factors.

The Boise, Idaho housing market was mentioned twice in this report. It had the lowest level of inventory as of May 2019. It also had the second-highest home price gain over the past year, among the 54 metro areas analyzed.

Housing Inventory Is Tight

Inventory is tight in many housing markets across the U.S. right now. But in some metro areas, supply levels are hovering at chronically low levels. Boise is one of those real estate markets with very low inventory, as of summer 2019.

According to the RE/MAX report mentioned above:

“The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Boise, ID at 1.2 [months], Omaha, NE at 1.3, and Manchester, NH and San Francisco, CA, both at 1.4.”

According to housing analysts, a 6-month supply indicates a real estate market that is fairly balanced between buyers and sellers. When inventory drops well below that threshold, it typically leads to seller’s market conditions. Excess inventory, on the other hand, tends to favor buyers. So the Boise housing market is still favoring sellers, as of summer 2019.

Home buyers planning to buy a home in the area should prepare themselves for competition. Properties are selling fast in the Boise real estate market, as buyers scramble for limited inventory.

Given the supply shortage in the area, it’s no surprise to see that properties are selling quickly. Homes listed for sale in the Boise area are currently selling about twice as fast as the national average.

In May 2019, properties for sale in this market stayed on the market for a median of nine days before going under contract. That’s within the city of Boise. The broader metro area had a median of 15 “days on market” in May.

Both of those figures are well below the national average (40 days) for the same time period.

The key takeaway here is that Boise has a fast-moving real estate market in 2019, when compared to most other metro areas across the country. Buyers beware.

Boise Home Prices Up by Double Digits

The lopsided supply-and-demand situation is also putting upward pressure on home prices in the area. In fact, Boise has experienced some of the biggest price growth of any metro area in the country.

According to the RE/MAX report, median home values in just three of the 54 metro areas increased by double-digit percentages in May (compared to a year earlier). They were: Milwaukee, WI at +14.2%, Boise, ID at +13.6%, and Albuquerque, NM at +10.2%.

A couple of years ago, we were seeing double-digit price gains in many cities across the country. Today, they’re more of a rarity. So the housing markets mentioned above, including Boise, are currently outperforming the nation in terms of annual price growth.

Related: Idaho markets could lead the nation

A Strong Forecast Stretching Into 2020

Forecasts for the Boise real estate market suggest that the city (and the surrounding area) will continue to see above-average home value increases going into 2020.

In June, for example, Zillow’s research team predicted that the median home value for the Boise metro area would rise by nearly 10% over the next year. That particular forecast extends into summer 2020. In contrast, they predicted a gain of just 2.8% for the nation as a whole for the same period.

If prices in Boise do continue to rise at their current pace (or even close to it), affordability issues might arise in the future. This is a patten we’ve seen in other “hot” housing markets over the past few years. Seattle is a good example. In such cities, home values rose to the point that a person with a median income for the area couldn’t afford to buy a median-priced house.

It remains to be seen whether or not that will happen within the Boise real estate market. But it’s a valid concern, and worth watching.

Disclaimer: This article contains housing forecasts for Boise, Idaho and the nation as a whole. Those projections were provided by third-party sources not associated with the Home Buying Institute. Real estate predictions are essentially an educated guess, and should be treated as such.