Remember that spike in demand we saw right after the holidays? It’s now hitting buyers in their bank accounts. Both Ada and Canyon counties set another round of new sales price records in February. In fact, the median sales price actually jumped by $29,000 in Canyon County, reflecting the largest monthly increase ever recorded.
The median sales price in Ada County hit $452,750 in February, a 39% increase over last year’s median price of $324,950. In the past year, the number of available listings has also dropped from 1,347 to just 303 homes. For context, we’re talking about a county with more than a half-million residents, and growing.
In Canyon County, the new median sales price record hit $368,000. Not only does that represent a $29,000 jump in just one month, but it's also a staggering 62% increase over last February's median price of $227,000. At the same time, the county's active inventory has dropped from 648 houses last year, or about one-and-a-half months of housing supply, to 190 homes, or about 11 days supply. A balanced market, one that is considered equally fair to buyers and sellers, has about a six months' supply.
The news isn’t any better in the city of Boise. In the last year, home prices have jumped 43% to last month’s new record high of $450,500. Additionally, available inventory in the city has dropped from 376 homes – or about a one-month supply – to a mere 90 homes (about one week’s supply).
What many people may not realize is that it’s not just the Treasure Valley that’s on fire – most of the country is setting new records. In every metro area tracked by the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price for existing homes rose in the fourth quarter from the previous year. This marks the second quarter in a row that the 180 metro areas tracked by the association posted an annual price increase. What’s more, that milestone has never before happened in back-to-back quarters.
You don’t need a crystal ball to see that competition for homes is fierce right now. It’s so fierce, in fact, that locally we’re seeing signs of buyer fatigue.
Buyers at All Price Points Must Be Flexible – And Patient
Buyers have read stories about the Treasure Valley’s hot market. They’ve heard our cautionary tales. Even so, many are blown away when they see just how hot it is for themselves.
Bidding wars are more common than ever, and buyers are taking the term to heart. In popular, high-end neighborhoods like the North End, 1 in 10 properties are selling for $100,000 or more above asking price.
In order to make their offer the most attractive one on the table, some buyers are doing a combination of the following: offering over the asking price, waving their right to perform an inspection and/or not asking the seller to make repairs, and waiving appraisal contingencies.
Obviously inventory is tight. What’s interesting is that it’s affecting all price points. Attracting 10-15 offers for a home is no longer just an issue for people buying at the median price point. Even luxury market buyers in the million-dollar range are facing stiff competition and can expect to go head-to-head with other offers. We’re seeing million-dollar building lots snatched up, as well.
Many of these buyers are also coming to terms with purchasing a home sight unseen. Especially for our clients at higher price points, virtual tours have become the norm. When the most coveted properties on the market receive offers within hours of being listed, serious buyers simply cannot wait until the weekend to see it first and then make an offer.
In general, you should expect to make two or three offers before securing a property.
How Buyers Can Conquer Unpredictable Prices and Fierce Competition
Given this roiling, fast-moving market, it’s never been more important to have an experienced buyer’s agent navigating you through the homebuying process. Here are a few issues we’re seeing that your agent should be able to walk you through:
When homes sell for over $100,000 above the asking price, it can present a wide range of problems for buyers. For instance, appraisals have become a bigger issue. In this market, homes rarely appraise for the agreed upon sale price. This can create a big issue for buyers – and sellers – whose budgets are already stretched thin.
Idaho is also one of 10 states that doesn’t require real estate sales prices to be made public. Given this, and with prices rising so quickly, and with so many properties selling off-market, it is incredibly difficult for potential buyers to evaluate whether an asking price is reasonable.
Anecdotally, we’ve seen an influx of sellers list their homes for eyebrow scorching prices just to see if any buyers are willing to bite. For instance, we recently saw a handful of homes in Kuna from what had been an entry- to mid-level builder listed for nearly $1 million.
The sticker shock can be quite, well, shocking. But don’t let scenarios like this discourage you. If you’re a buyer, always get your agent’s take on whether an asking price is reasonable. Now more than ever, it’s vital that the buyer’s agent reviews and understands recent comparable sales before submitting an offer for their clients.
To land the best deal right now, it’s critical to partner with a seasoned, highly-skilled local agent who can source and secure off-market opportunities for you. Many new construction homes in particular are selling without ever being listed. Our team collaborates with builders and developers to find these opportunities for our buyers.
Sellers Should Also Seek Out the Experts When Listing Properties
Sellers may have the easier role in this market but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do their homework. The formula for getting the maximum price when selling your home has never really changed. The key is to expertly, selectively market your property to the most qualified buyers.
Unfortunately, many agents simply focus on getting a listing and hope that potential buyers find the property on their own. We Know Boise agents proactively leverage our best-in-class marketing, including the Treasure Valley’s most visited real estate website, so your listing attracts maximum exposure from day one. Give us a call to learn more about how we can maximize the sale of your home.
Boise Real Estate Market Summary for February 2021
- Median list price - $430,000 (up 20.80%)
- Median sold price - $450,500 (up 26.56%)
- Price per square foot - $266 (up 27.89%)
- Total home sales - 204 (down 56)
- Median days on market - 4 days (down 9 days)
- Available homes for sale - 0.23 month supply (down 0.53)
- 30-year mortgage rates - 2.81% (down 0.66)
Boise Metro Housing Markets by Area
Median sales price:
- Ada County - $452,750
- Eagle - $692,950
- Garden City - $343,375
- Kuna - $403,682
- Meridian - $439,950
- Star - $479,900
- Canyon County - $368,000
- Caldwell - $350,000
- Middleton - $413,000
- Nampa - $360,910
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 8th, 2021. 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.