We may be in the midst of a once-a-century global pandemic, but you’d never guess it by looking at local housing data.
Despite statewide social distancing rules and nationwide uncertainty, both Ada and Canyon counties reported new record-high home prices for the month of April.
This is encouraging news for potential sellers who hit the “pause” button on listing their homes over the past few months. The housing market is still strong in the Treasure Valley – in some ways, perhaps even stronger than usual, thanks to our unique, local circumstances.
Urgency among homebuyers
There are a number of factors that play into the sales records we’re currently seeing. Over the past year, tight inventory in the Treasure Valley – around 1.5 months – has become the new normal. This favors sellers by creating competition and urgency among buyers, which in turn pushes home prices up.
While buyers might otherwise be more cautious during a pandemic, 30-year fixed mortgage rates right now are too low to resist. Rates have been trending near all-time lows since March, eventually hitting 3.23 percent in late April – the lowest ever recorded. This affordability has helped keep demand high.
That urgency among buyers is on remarkable display when we look at how fast homes are selling. The median number of days new listings stayed on the market hit two-year lows: 9 days in Canyon County, 10 days in Ada County, and a swift 5 days in Boise.
All of these factors contribute to the new sales records set in Ada and Canyon counties in April. The sales price in Ada County hit $372,000 – a 12.7 percent increase from the year prior. In Boise, prices were down slightly from February’s record high but still up 7.73 percent from last year.
Meanwhile, neighboring Canyon County recorded a median sales price of $273,117, marking a 9.9 percent increase from last year.
Sales down; supply holds steady
Year-over-year house sales declined in the Treasure Valley in April, which is to be expected as detailed in our special Boise housing market report.
Ada County experienced a 16 percent decline in sales while sales in Boise declined 19.31 percent. Canyon County sales also declined slightly from last month, but overall are up from 2019, reflecting buyers’ healthy appetite for the Treasure Valley’s most affordable housing options.
Despite a slow down in sales, the supply of homes for sale remained unchanged from last year's anemic 1.52 months supply.
The Treasure Valley logged a seasonal increase in the number of new listings in April versus March, showing sellers’ willingness to trust that the traditional spring buying season could weather the coronavirus pandemic.
Demand is highest for competitively priced, turn-key ready homes
Not all homes are selling equally; people aren’t hunting for fixer-uppers. The prime picks of the season are turn-key ready, spotlessly clean, and beautifully marketed – these are the homes that spend less than a week on the market, especially if they are below the median price for their neighborhood.
Homes that are marketed poorly, are marred by deferred maintenance, or are otherwise not as "fresh" are sitting longer on the market than they would have even a year ago.
For sellers, now is not the time to hire your cousin's, neighbor's, sister's friend from work to list your home for sale.
Having your property expertly marketed and promoted is crucial to securing a swift, successful sale. Polished video tours, professional photos, aggressive internet and social media marketing aren’t just nice to have, they’re essential tools to getting your home sold for top dollar.
Looking forward: pay more and get less
Record sales prices, low inventory – the data has illustrated just how ready buyers must be to close on a deal. If you’re planning on moving this year, it’s important to take this urgency to heart. Mortgage rates are likely to rise and new lender restrictions are expected to make it tougher to qualify, let alone access the best rates.
These new mortgage hurdles, continued job losses and economic uncertainty could depress affordability and demand going into the second half of 2020. Essentially, you could be paying more when you buy and get less when you sell. Buyers may not be able to buy – even if they want and can afford to.
Boise Real Estate Market Summary for April 2020
- Median list price - $351,000 (up 8.00%)
- Median sold price - $350,000 ( up 7.72%)
- Price per square foot - $208 (up 8.90%)
- Total home sales - 326 (down 78)
- Median days on market - 5 days (down 1 day)
- Available homes for sale - 1.22 month supply (up 0.21)
- 30-year mortgage rates - 3.31% (down 0.83)
Boise Metro Housing Markets by Area
Median sales price:
- Ada County - $372,000
- Eagle - $542,500
- Garden City - $315,500
- Kuna - $309,510
- Meridian - $372,000
- Star - $477,248
- Canyon County - $273,117
- Caldwell - $260,000
- Middleton - $284,750
- Nampa - $274,500
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 May 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.