Much of the nation enjoyed healthy real estate numbers last year and Idaho was no different. Look for this positive trend to continue for the Idaho State 2016 housing market. If you’ve been waiting to purchase a home now is the time before these historically low interest rates rise as well as the price in homes.
The 2 strongest counties for Idaho real estate investments are Ada and Canyon. These counties comprise a region called Treasure Valley. Coined in 1959 to express the vast amount of resources and opportunities afforded to it, Treasure Valley holds the highest home appreciation values in the state. Also known as the Lower Snake River Valley or the Boise River Valley, Treasure Valley has several markets that are in high demand and low supply.
There are historically low numbers of homes for sale in Treasure Valley and it’s not getting any better. From September of 2015 to January of this year homes for sale in Ada County dropped from a little over 3,000 to under 2,000. That’s 1,000 less homes for buyers to choose from in a 16-month time span. This includes single-family homes and new construction. A 5-6 month inventory is considered a balanced housing market. Combined, Ada and Canyon Counties have less than a one-month supply of homes based on homes under contract and total inventory. These are record lows for inventory for all Idaho real estate market. And because of low supply home prices have been rising substantially as well as new home construction.
In 2015 the median home price for existing homes in Ada County increased about 10%, or $21,000. For example, homes in the Eagle real estate market increased from under $300K to $327,700. The median home price slipped a little in the final quarter of 2015 but this is not unusual for the time of year. On the flip side new home construction increased 42% in dollar amount between the third and fourth quarter of last year. Total dollar volume for the year was $565 million for around 1,680 homes sold. New homes in the county had their median sale price rise 4.67% for the year. This equates to a median cost of $313,900. Canyon County saw similar increases, but the market is just not as expensive. New homes constructed in Canyon typically held a median price of $204,900 (which is over $100,000 less than Ada County).
Although much of the state’s other housing markets aren’t doing quite as well, Ada and Canyon counties reflect the positive trend for the real estate market in Idaho as a whole. With an already low supply home prices can only go up this year. One positive for Idaho is that rental costs and availability aren’t as crippling as in other state housing markets. Taking a look at Zillow Boise, one of Idaho’s most popular markets, has rental prices that are well below the national average. But those looking to purchase a home are in for another competitive buying season in 2016. Spring and summer are the hot seasons for buying. If you can hold out until the fall and winter this year you may be able to get a better deal. But if you’re looking to sell, now is as good a time as any to get your home on the market.
Influencing Factors for the 2016 Idaho Real Estate Market
- Median home values in the state are $172,500. Home values have increased 5% in the past year and housing market predictions have this value increasing another 5% in the next year.
- The Zillow Market Health Index for real estate in Idaho is currently 8.4 out of 10, or “Very Healthy.” The Market Health Index represents the current health of the housing market compared to other markets across the United States. The index is based on 10 metrics including: past and projected evolution of home values, foreclosure rates, negative equity, mortgage delinquency, etc.
- Rental availability and costs are well below the national average. Rental costs average $1,095 across the state of Idaho. The national average is $1,380.
- Homes in the Idaho market spend an average of 88 days on the market.
Best Places to Live in Idaho
The premiere real estate market in Idaho is Coeur d Alene. Coeur d Alene real estate is valued at around $464,000. The reason that this is such a coveted market is location, location, location. Positioned on the Idaho Panhandle the city borders the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene, and the western edge of Coeur d’Alene National Forest. The city has grown in popularity in the last 15 years, and has become more of a resort town due to the large increase in tourism. Coeur d’Alene hosts several arts and entertainment festivities throughout the year.
The fastest growing city in South-Central Idaho is Twin Falls. Twin Falls real estate has an average listing price of $226,344. In response to the growing population several retail outlets and businesses have opened providing a big boost to job growth. The Snake River Canyon shapes the northern limits of the city and has 3 waterfalls. One is the city’s namesake, Twin Falls, and another is Pillar Falls. The largest of the three is Shoshone Falls which is taller than Niagara Falls. The Perrine Bridge is one of only a few artificial structures where base-jumping is legal, giving Twin Falls two distinct landmarks to its credit. After Eagle and Twin Falls two of the most sought after housing markets are located in Meridian and Boise.
Where Twin Falls is the fastest growing city in South-Central Idaho, Meridian is the fastest growing city in the state. Meridian real estate is not as high in terms of value as Twin Falls but it is still well above the state average. The average home value in Meridian is $204,900. The city is well renowned in the state for its variety of parks and recreation activities.
The most popular market in Idaho is the capital city of Boise. And the best part is that homes in the city are still relatively affordable. Boise real estate comes close to matching Meridian’s housing costs with an average home value of $190,300. This is higher than the median home values for the state but still within reach for many hopeful homebuyers. Downtown Boise has become a major cultural hub in recent years due to heavy investments, and the metro area is the most sought after real estate. According to Trulia Boise has downtown 1-bedroom apartments renting for around $1,500. A look on Craigslist Boise shows a different price scale, but the closer to the downtown area, the higher the price.
Boise is popular for its appeal to all demographics. The downtown area accommodates a younger crowd, which is good for the Boise State University student body, the parks are a draw for those seeking a great outdoor recreation space, and the job opportunities are great for everyone. Boise is the headquarters for several major companies, and recently the technology investment and high-tech industries have become major contributors to the city’s economy.
The Nampa real estate market is hot right now for two reasons: great geographic location and affordability. But the best part? The home value median for Nampa is $136,100. Nampa shares its limits with Boise, and as such is privy to the benefits that the capital has to offer. But Nampa has plenty to offer on its own. Not only does Nampa have a great job market like Boise, but also it boasts perhaps the best park system in the state. From national parks to world-class golf courses Nampa is a metropolitan entertainment forum.
Idaho Falls real estate is on the lower end of Idaho’s home value scale with a median home price tag of $129,300. What’s shocking about this price is that Idaho Falls is often mentioned as one of the best places to live. Great jobs, outdoors recreation, and general well-being have residents raving about their hometown. Idaho Falls has also established itself as a regional cultural hotspot, and it is a major draw for visitors to nearby Yellowstone National Park.
Just below Idaho Falls in terms of price, and above Nampa geographically, is the diamond in the rough, Caldwell. Caldwell real estate market is currently valued to move, and it has been. Median home values are only $126,300. What’s surprising about Caldwell’s prices is its proximity to Boise. But the market is heating up here as people who have been priced out of the capital are heading west to Caldwell.