The northern state of Idaho may be known in popular culture first and foremost for its beautiful network or dams and locks and for its famous waterfalls, but its economic profile is what makes it truly unique and interesting from a real estate point of view. The 14th largest state in the country and the 7th least densely populated one, Idaho has had a very interesting economic development. We will take a brief look at its main economic factors in order to explain how this shaped the environment for today’s Idaho housing market, and then we will highlight a few housing market predictions for this area. Last, but not least, we will take a more detailed look at how a few key areas of the Idaho real estate field are faring in 2015, so prospective home owners and potential investors can have a better feel of what to look for and expect.
Like many other state economies throughout the U.S., Idaho started out as being significant on the national market mainly through its agriculture, which remains a strong component of the current economic profile. Idaho is especially famous for its potatoes, and remains to this day the country’s largest producer of this particular crop. The agricultural sector is also significant for some of its other products: wheat and hay, beets, peas and beans, as well cattle and dairy products. But the great part about the Idaho economy is that while it didn’t lose its economic edge derived from agriculture, it expanded beyond it as well. Starting with the 70s, Idaho developed a few key industry sectors, especially manufacturing (with its capital, Boise, also being known as the capital of semiconductor manufacturing). Today, the industrial economy of the state keeps expanding, including the more profitable areas of high-tech products, science and technology, and IT. The science and technology industrial sector of the state has surpassed its agricultural sector, securing revenue and jobs and making the economy a strong and reliable one. This is good news for the housing market predictions for this area, since it gives the Idaho housing market a solid foundation.
Another good sign of the state’s economic health is the fact that since 2014, Idaho ranked as the second most small business friendly state, right after its neighbor, Utah. This result emerged from a study accounting input by 12,000 small business owners. The expanding business and industry sectors of the state predict good economic times: the unemployment rate of Idaho is now at 5% (only a bit lower than the national average of 6.3%), but the job growth for the next ten years is predicted to go from 2.23% (the current value) to 39.50%. If that’s not impressive, few things ever will be. The income per capita in Idaho is $22,581 now, while the income per capita for the entire country is $28,051. The cost of living is only a little lower than the national average (98.10, where 100 is considered to be the average for all the United States territories). Next, let us walk you through the highlights of the 2015 housing market, along with a few experts’ tips and housing market predictions for the Idaho real estate.
Influencing Factors for the 2015 Idaho Housing Market
- The median home value in Idaho, according to Zillow data, is $170,400. This means the value of Idaho homes has risen by 4.3% in the past year, and expert predictions indicate a further 4.3% rise in the next year. The values of the Idaho housing market are on the rise and potential investors should really keep their eyes on this particular market, it may just be the most profitable yet.
- Mortgage delinquency (when a mortgage owner misses a few mortgage payments and the home has to be forcedly sold) usually plays a strong part in the real estate of the past few years, as the local economies recover after the recession. The good news about the Idaho housing market is that mortgage delinquency is only at 2.2% here, much lower than the national average of 4.8%.
- The median rent price of homes in Idaho is, according to Zillow, $1,097, a bit lower than the national average of $1,386. There are also plenty of rent listings on numerous real estate hubs, from Trulia Idaho and Zillow to Craigslist Idaho The market is pretty vivid in terms of rentals, so those looking for a place to say or looking to rent out a home can expect to find a match fast.
- In January 2015, the Coldwell Banker CEO, Budge Huskey, said that in order for the Idaho housing market to truly recover, there must be more heat coming from the bottom up. Most of the rising sales have actually taken place at the top, in the sector of luxury homes and real estate, he said, so the reported growth figures may not accurately reflect what has been going on with the average home buyer and seller. For the market to truly grow in a reliable way, the average-level buyers, which have been playing ‘wait-and-see’ so far, should finally enter the market and make a move in order to sustain the positive trends reported.
Best Places to Live in Idaho
Any overview of the best places in the Idaho housing market should start with Boise, the state’s capital and largest city. According to the Zillow Boise ID report, the average home value here is currently $185,100, 6.2% higher than the same time last year and predicted to rise by a further 4.7% during the next year. There are only 1.3% delinquent mortgages here according to the same source, and the average rent price is $1,186 in Boise and $1,130 in the Boise Metro area, both a bit lower than the national average of $1,386. By contrast, Trulia Boise reports may look better for the Boise ID real estate, reporting an average listing price of $270,521 for homes listed at the beginning of November, but these figures shouldn’t be taken at face value. First of all, the actual sale price tends to be much lower than the listing price, and second of all, one week (the beginning of November) shouldn’t be representative for the overall housing market trends of an area.
The Idaho Falls real estate is a market with more humble prices, but an equally optimistic growth rate. The average home value price here, according to Zillow data, is $129,600, up by 4.9% during the past year and with a further rise of 6.3% coming in the next one. There are only 2.6% delinquent mortgages here, lower than the national average of 4.8%. The average rent here according to Zillow is $1000 for Idaho Falls and $1,030 for the Metro area, both a bit below the national average of $1,386.
As for the Coeur d Alene ID real estate, things are looking impressive in terms of value, but subject to some fluctuations. The average home value according to Zillow was $264,000 in February 2015, with a few minor ups and downs before that month and a few similar ups and downs thereafter. There are 2.3% delinquent mortgages in Coeur d’Alene, and the median rent price is $1,250 for the city and $1,268 for the Metro area. The rent prices seem to be on a rise as well, so investors looking for rich real estate markets shouldn’t overlook Coeur d’Alene.
Another area of interest is the Nampa ID real estate market. The average home value here as per Zillow’s data is currently $132,500, up by 6.1% during the past year and predicted to rise by a further 4.7% in the next year as well. Even if the values aren’t yet back to their pre-recession figures (the peak for Nampa was an average home value of $175,000 in August 2007), the overall picture definitely allows room for optimism. There are only 1.9% delinquent mortgages (a staggering low for this state already boasting a healthy real estate market, as far as mortgage data goes), and the average rent price is $966 for Nampa and $1,130 for the neighboring Boise Metro area.
The Idaho City real estate market is not very large by the number of transactions, but its values are rich enough to tempt local investors. In February 2015, Zillow experts calculated the median home value here to be $213,000, and Trulia reports indicate that the average listing price for homes which were for sale at the beginning of November 2015 was $171,566, representing a slight decrease (by 1.3%) compared to the previous week (end of October).
Last, but not least, we should take a look at the Twin Falls ID real estate market. The median home value in Twin Falls, as per Zillow experts’ calculations, was $184,000 in February 2015, and predicted to continue on an upwards trend, with minor fluctuations. There are only 2.4% delinquent mortgages here, whereas the national average is of 4.8%, a factor which also points to an overall healthy real estate market. The average rent price here, according to the same source, is $1,061 in Twin Falls and $1,020 in the Twin Falls Metro (both values being a bit below the national average of $1,386).