Two Idaho Housing Markets That Could Lead the Nation into 2020

According to a recent industry report, two housing markets in Idaho could lead the nation in terms of home-price growth, going into 2020. The Idaho Falls and Boise-Nampa metropolitan areas both received strong housing market forecasts covering the next 12 months.

Idaho Cities Among Top-Ten Housing Forecasts

In April, the research team from Veros Real Estate Solutions published a ranking of what they felt would be the strongest real estate markets in the country over the next year or so. Their forecast was based on expected home-price growth through March 2020.

Two Idaho housing markets were ranked among the top-three metros, in terms of predicted price growth. They were Idaho Falls and Boise.

Nationally, the company predicts a slowdown in home-price growth over the coming year. According to Eric Fox, VP of Statistical and Economic Modeling for Veros:

“We do not see a significant depreciation, but simply a slowing down of most markets. The overall housing market is still expected to remain healthy as the fundamentals remain solid including historically low interest rates and a strong economy with low unemployment rates.”

But some real estate markets are expected to outperform the national average, posting bigger home-price gains over the next year or so. And they include the Boise and Idaho Falls metro areas.

Veros (a property valuation and analytics company) creates quarterly “VeroFORECAST” reports that include hundreds of metropolitan areas across the U.S. Their latest forecast ranked Idaho Falls in the number-one spot, and put Boise at number three.

Projections by Metro Area

The table below shows the housing markets that are projected to see the biggest home-price gains over the next year or so. The percentages in the “forecast” column show the company’s expectation for price growth over the 12-month period from March 2019 to March 2020.

RankMetroForecast
1.Idaho Falls, ID10.2%
2.Odessa, TX8.8%
3.Boise City-Nampa, ID8.7%
4.Bellingham, WA7.8%
5.Olympia, WA7.6%
6.Midland, TX7.5%
7.Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ7.1%
8.Spokane, WA7.0%
9.Yakima, WA6.9%
10.Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA6.9%

Above-Average Home Price Gains Reported

Veros isn’t the only group offering strong forecasts for Idaho housing markets. The real estate information company Zillow has also predicted solid gains for the state’s major cities.

In April 2019, the company stated: “Idaho Falls home values have gone up 14.3% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 8.1% within the next year.”

The gains recorded over the past 12 months were roughly double the national average (7.2%) for that same period. Likewise, the company’s long-range forecast for Idaho Falls is higher than their outlook for the nation as a whole.

The numbers for Boise are even higher. In April, Zillow reported a whopping 18.1% increase in Boise home values over the previous 12 months. Looking forward, they predicted that prices in that housing market would rise by nearly 10% over the next year.

The line chart below, provided by Zillow, shows the company’s “Home Value Index” for Boise, Idaho over the past ten years.

Chart: Home values for Boise, ID. Source: Zillow.com.

You can see the drop in prices that occurred in the wake of the Great Recession, followed by a steady upward climb in the subsequent years. The company’s forecast for this housing market (shown in the green shaded area) predicts a continuation of this upward trend.

Related: Big price gains in Utah markets

Population Growth a Major Factor in Both Cities

Steady population growth has boosted both of these housing markets — and especially Boise. Both cities (and their surrounding metro areas) have outpaced the national average in terms of growth.

Population growth from 2010 to 2017, according to the Census Bureau:

  • Boise, ID: 8.7%
  • Idaho Falls, ID: 7%
  • United States: 5.5%

In 2017, Boise was ranked as being the fastest-growing of the 100 largest metro areas in the country. The area’s population grew by more than 3% in that one year alone.

At the state level, Idaho is also experiencing major growth. According to a December 2018 Census Bureau report: “Nevada and Idaho were the nation’s fastest-growing states between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018.”

Population growth increases demand for housing, on both the rental and purchase side. So it tends to give home prices a boost. This is partly why cities like Boise and Idaho Falls are getting strong housing market forecasts right now.

Disclaimer: This article includes home-price predictions stretching into 2020. Those projections were provided by third parties not associated with the Home Buying Institute. Housing forecasts are the equivalent of an educated guess.