Boise home price increases lead the nation; mortgage costs plummet.
It's official. When compared to the top 100 U.S. metro areas, Boise was the fastest appreciating city in the nation in the fourth quarter of 2019. According to the same report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Idaho was also the fastest appreciating state in the county. What's more, both Boise and the state have held these titles for three consecutive quarters now.
It's no surprise that we're seeing housing records shattered throughout the Treasure Valley. In February, Canyon County home prices hit a new record, as did prices in Nampa, Eagle and Boise.
The median price of a house sold in Canyon County in February was $264,990, which is up 16.74 percent or close to $30,000 from the previous year. Inventory also fell to a new low in Canyon County during the month of February, compounding competitiveness among buyers. In Canyon County, there is currently 1.34 months of inventory available. This is the lowest that the housing supply has been in the past two years.
In Ada County, the total number of homes for sale declined to a new 20-year low of 1,090, pushing the supply to 1.14 months. While down slightly from last month's record, the cost of the median home rose 10.82 percent to $360,110.
Boise home shoppers are looking at about a month's worth of inventory (.76 to be exact) and homes spend a median of 13 days on the market. That's less than two weeks to find your dream home before it's snatched up by someone else.
In addition, the median housing price jumped to $355,950 in February – that's a $41,450 gain from the year prior. This keeps with our years-long trend of rising home prices: overall in Boise, home prices rose by 13.18 percent over the past year, and have appreciated by nearly 78 percent over the last five years.
Why is inventory so low? There are a number of factors at play. Idaho and the Treasure Valley, in particular, are facing unprecedented growth. In addition, home construction lagged during the 2008 recession and hasn't been able to catch up. On top of that, more investment companies and individual investors are purchasing what are typically low-priced properties and turning them into rentals – Competing directly with entry-level and first-time buyers.
While construction activity has ramped up in the Treasure Valley, it is nowhere close to meeting market demand.
Affordability jumps as mortgage rates fall to all-time lows
The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.29 percent last week – the lowest level on record ever.
The impact that rates this low have on local affordability can't be overstated. From an affordability standpoint, a 1 percent drop in mortgage rates is the equivalent of a 10% drop in home prices. After years of gains, it may be easy to take double-digit appreciation for granted, but if rates were up one percent in the last year instead of down 1%, we would not be looking at new home price records right now.
As homeowners rush to take advantage of lower rates, refinance applications rose a whopping 479% from a year ago. Choose your lender carefully - many are so far behind processing applications; you could miss out if rates quickly bounce back.
Boise Real Estate Market Summary for February 2020
- Median list price - $355,950 (up 11.25%)
- Median sold price - $355,950 (up 13.18%)
- Price per square foot - $205 (up 13.18%)
- Total home sales - 260 (down from 306)
- Median days on market - 13 days (down 4 days)
- Available homes for sale - 0.76 month supply (down from 0.90)
- 30-year mortgage rates - 3.47% (down from 4.37%)
Boise Metro Housing Markets by Area
Median sales price:
- Ada County - $360,110
- Eagle - $549,777
- Garden City - $285,000
- Kuna - $303,990
- Meridian - $357,000
- Star - $455,950
- Canyon County - $264,990
- Caldwell - $243,314
- Middleton - $299,000
- Nampa - $262,945
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 March 6th, 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.