We’ve seen many new records set – and subsequently broken – in the Treasure Valley real estate market in 2020, and the last month is no exception
In October, we saw housing prices surge to new records once again as feverish buyers competed for a dwindling supply of homes. This caused the length of time houses spent on the market to drop to a median of 5 days, a new record in both Ada and Canyon counties.
Even in the hottest spring markets the Treasure Valley has experienced, homes have not sold this fast.
Let’s look at October’s numbers before taking a step back to reflect on how the month caps off what has been an extraordinary year in Treasure Valley real estate:
- In the past year, the number of homes for sale in Ada County dropped from 1,697 to 355, a 79% decline. At just 0.35 months, this is the lowest supply of housing we’ve seen ever.
- Even more dramatically, Canyon County housing supply dropped from 883 listed homes to just 163 – an 82% drop to 0.33 months of inventory.
- Unsurprisingly, tight stock and strong demand have led to new price records. In Canyon County, the median single-family home price hit a record $321,000 in October. That’s a 24% year-over-year price increase. The county’s largest city, Nampa, also hit a new record median sales price of $320,990.
- Ada County recorded a new record median price of $410,000, a 17% increase over last year. Meanwhile, Boise and Meridian each matched their previous month’s record median price while rising nearly 20% and 16% respectively.
- Eagle is the only major market in which we saw a decrease in median sales price in October, to $561,450, which is still 10% higher than last year’s median price.
Looking Back at 2020: The Pandemic Inflamed an Already Hot Housing Market
As we head full speed into the holidays, it’s helpful to look back at the year’s big trends and influences, as these might help indicate what next year’s housing market might look like.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., the Treasure Valley was gearing up for its 9th straight year of a strong seller’s market. Housing supply was at a record low and housing affordability in the valley was becoming a pressing local issue. Between 2014 and the last part of 2019, family incomes in the Boise metro area rose 18% while home prices increased by 75%. For national context, Boise was the fastest appreciating city in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and was widely anticipated to be the hottest national housing market of 2020.
By February, the number of homes for sale had hit a 20-year low in Ada County (a 1.14 months supply of inventory). Meanwhile, in neighboring Canyon County, a perfect storm of tight inventory and strong buyer appetite helped ensure that homes spent an average of 10 days on the market in March, when compared with 27 days in February.
The Treasure Valley continued to face unprecedented growth, exacerbated by a housing construction lag caused by the 2008 housing crisis that we’ve never been able to catch up with. Then, in mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic hit Idaho during the onset of the market’s busiest season, momentarily stifling new listings and slowing sales.
After a brief pause, the pandemic did nothing to curb the appetite of buyers. In fact, we began to see more Idahoans looking to expand as families had to grapple with working – and learning – from home. In addition, demand from relocating buyers jumped up 30% from 2019 by our estimates.
Meanwhile, we saw the number of homes for sale fall off a cliff. Between May and June, during what should be our busiest real estate season, we saw a 27% drop in active listings in Ada County and a 26% drop in Canyon County. The number of houses available to purchase failed to recover in the ensuing months, driving up competition – and prices – in all our local markets.
At the same time, the number of new resale listings declined by one-third between April and August when compared to the year prior, as traditional homeowners put their plans to sell on hold.
The silver-lining for buyers this year have been our record-low mortgage rates – they’re also one of the primary drivers of demand in our current housing market.
Where Does That Leave Us Heading Into 2021?
Overall, in Ada County, we’ve hit new record sales prices 8 out of the last 10 months. In August, the median sales price hit $400,000 for the first time ever. Home prices have increased by 17% in the last year alone. As mentioned earlier, our current inventory sits at 0.35 months supply, or 355 homes in a county that has nearly a half-million residents. In Boise, there were only 121 homes for sale in October. Our tight supply is especially surreal, given that in February we were marveling at how scarce 1.14 months of housing stock (or 1,357 homes) was.
Similarly, Canyon County has marked new record median sales prices in the last 8 out of 10 months, with home prices increasing 24% in the last year, after breaking $300,000 for the first time in July. In October, active inventory was down to 163 homes for sale in a county with nearly 230,000 residents.
In general, our predictions from the beginning of the year have held fast – we were indeed one of the year's hottest housing markets. If anything, the pandemic has only added urgency to the trends that have been building: hungry buyers, short supply and record-high prices. Given that these trends were in place before the pandemic began, there is no reason to believe that things will ease up moving into spring 2021.
Boise Real Estate Market Summary for October 2020
- Median list price - $390,000 (up 16.42%)
- Median sold price - $395,000 (up 19.73%)
- Price per square foot - $226 (up 20.41%)
- Total home sales - 499 (up 77)
- Median days on market - 5 days (down 11 days)
- Available homes for sale - 0.30 month supply (down 1.00)
- 30-year mortgage rates - 2.83% (down 0.86)
Boise Metro Housing Markets by Area
Median sales price:
- Ada County - $410,000
- Eagle - $561,450
- Garden City - $365,500
- Kuna - $353,950
- Meridian - $400,000
- Star - $453,400
- Canyon County - $321,000
- Caldwell - $292,000
- Middleton - $334,250
- Nampa - $320,990
Lisa carefully studies the local housing market to give her clients the edge when buying or selling a home in Idaho. We Know Boise is a full-service real estate team that combines our LOCAL expertise with traditional know-how to create exceptional results for each of our clients.
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Information in this We Know Boise market report was obtained from the Intermountain MLS (IMLS) on November 5th, 2020. Deemed reliable but not guaranteed. City data refers to single-family homes on less than one acre, while county data includes homesites of all sizes. Current inventory is calculated on a twelve-month rolling average. Combining existing homes for sale with new construction is the best way to gauge current home prices and Boise housing market trends. New house prices are much more volatile and can create unreliable comparisons, particularly on a month to month basis.