COVID-19 required stay-at-home orders did little to slow the Treasure Valley's real estate market in May as demand rose.
In Ada County, the median home price rose to $362,00, up 5.6% from the year prior. The time it takes for the typical home to sell remained unchanged at 11 days. In addition, the available supply of homes on the market declined to 1,353 – a drop of more than 200 new listings compared to last year. This means that available inventory is down to a 1.48 months supply in the county.
As is typical for this time of year, we had more available inventory in May than the previous two months. That said, there are now fewer homes for sale than any month of last year except December (a slow month for new listings despite soaring demand).
Home sales in Ada County have dropped significantly when compared to the previous year – from 1,185 to 858 sales. This can be partly attributed to the local spread of COVID-19, as some sellers held off listing their properties for sale this spring. However, even before the pandemic, inventory was at a 20-year low in Ada County. If fewer homes are on the market, fewer homes will sell.
Tight supply and fast turnover usually indicate higher prices, and Boise had both: in May, we dropped to just 1.18 month’s supply and homes typically sold in 7 days. However, home prices in Boise appreciated at the slowest rate since 2014 and finished the month at $340,000, up just 1.49%. This partly reflects the full effects of April's stay-at-home orders, but also turned out to be an outlier.
In Eagle, on the other hand, home prices surged more than 20% to a record $602,000 in May. With a longer days on market of 24, Eagle reflects more pre-COVID housing market conditions. Specifically, a greater mix of new construction houses 'in contract' well before March.
In many ways, last year was a tough year to top, even if we didn’t have a pandemic to contend with. If you’ll recall, May 2019 set record prices across the board in Ada County.
Canyon County home prices jumped 13.38% in May of this year to $275,750, setting a new record as buyers sought the areas comparatively more affordable housing options. Listed homes on the market dipped to 567 – a drop of 144 homes when compared to last year, pushing supply down to a mere 1.38 months of inventory.
All of this underscores healthy buyer demand, particularly for homes under $400,000. Overall, demand is as strong, if not more robust, than what we saw at this time last year.
Despite the impacts of the Coronavirus, houses are still selling quickly and for above asking price
I've received many inquiries asking if I plan on updating my housing market forecast. But other than the obvious references to COVID-19, there is little I would change.
Affordability and supply are still two of the most significant factors affecting the market. Most demand is still incredibly strong. The fundamentals that we have seen, and continue to see, are still very much at play, making a long, sustained decline in the local housing market unlikely in the near term.
The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to a new record low of 3.15% at the end of May. These record-low rates are creating the healthiest demand we have seen in the last few years. With rates dropping as much as they have, home buyers can afford more than they could six months ago, even when prices were lower.
In the last couple of years, we have seen a tug-of-war between affordability and availability. In other words, dwindling affordability was slowly putting a cap on even higher appreciation. But right now, availability is low, and buyers have few options. Even improved affordability is a moot point if there's nothing to buy.
While buyers continue their searches for an ideal home, inventory is still suffering because sellers shelved plans to list their homes earlier in the year.
That said, there are some opportunities for buyers who are realistic and willing to consider a home that is a few years older or not 100% turn key. Just don't expect a discount for new construction and competitively priced, turn-key ready homes. These properties are selling for asking price, if not more.
If you are a seller with a property that is more than ten years old, don't skimp on repairs, preparation, and deep cleaning. Those factors, combined with astute marketing, are making a noticeable difference in selling prices. For example, we listed a meticulously prepared home for sale in late May in Southeast Boise. Within 48 hours, we generated 9 purchase offers, most of them well above the asking price.
Boise Real Estate Market Summary for May 2020
- Median list price - $340,000 (up 1.49%)
- Median sold price - $340,000 ( up 1.49%)
- Price per square foot - $216 (up 11.92%)
- Total home sales - 373 (down 142)
- Median days on market - 7 days (up 1 day)
- Available homes for sale - 1.18 month supply (up 0.01)
- 30-year mortgage rates - 3.23% (down 0.84)
Boise Metro Housing Markets by Area
Median sales price:
- Ada County - $362,000
- Eagle - $602,500
- Garden City - $327,450
- Kuna - $307,000
- Meridian - $359,450
- Star - $424,599
- Canyon County - $275,750
- Caldwell - $259,800
- Middleton - $326,950
- Nampa - $283,000
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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Living in Boise
Information in this We Know Boise market report was obtained from the Intermountain MLS (IMLS) on June 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.