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Boise and Nampa, Idaho Housing Market Update May 2023

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Boise and Nampa, Idaho Housing Market Update

We’ve got a special guest in our studio in Nampa, Idaho — it’s Mareen. And why is she special? Well, many reasons, but one, she’s an expert on what’s going on in the real estate market here in the Treasure Valley. Let’s find out what she has on her mind in this Boise and Nampa, Idaho, housing market update.

MLS Housing Market Data

The most recent data just came out from the MLS, and we’ve got Mareen here, who crunched all the numbers.

Mareen Alstede: Yeah.

Dave Edwards: And so, what are you seeing on the housing market here in the Treasure Valley now?

Mareen Alstede: As always, it’s been interesting.

Dave Edwards: It always is.

Mareen Alstede: It always is. What we see on paper and feel on occasion might be different.

Dave Edwards: How so?

Exploring the Data

Mareen Alstede:

We can see on paper that the median home price went up in both Ada County and Canyon County.

Dave Edwards: Went up?

Mareen Alstede: Yes.

Dave Edwards: But doesn’t it always do that this time of year?

Mareen Alstede: I was just about to say that, yes. So we did have a spring market, not anything close to what was expected, but there is still a spring market.

Dave Edwards: Okay. So prices aren’t dropping?

House Pricing Watch

Mareen Alstede: Home prices are not dropping, no. It’s tricky to say. It’s very local. Ada County and Canyon County were always different. Even in particular areas, it’s very different. Eagle was one of the hottest real estate markets in 2021 and 2022. But right now, Eagle is the slowest market.

Dave Edwards: Really?

Mareen Alstede: Yep. But Nampa is busy, especially in particular areas. So it’s a very localized situation.

Dave Edwards: So those numbers are what they are, but what’s your interpretation of why that is? Because Nampa is traditionally more affordable. Nothing in Canyon County is historically cheaper than in Ada County.

Mareen Alstede: Yeah, affordability is a good point.

Dave Edwards: You’re talking about the localized information and data, but that’s more than geographic. It’s like the price category of different houses. Anyway, so you’re talking about price ranges.

Housing Price Ranges

Mareen Alstede: Yeah. So Canyon County, as we all know, is the more affordable location. We have about $80,000 to $120,000 difference for the same house in one county versus the other, so that has stayed the same. And Canyon County is still a very hot market. If you look at days on the market, that’s where we saw the most significant change. We started the year with days on the market over 70 days. For existing houses, it was 24 days this month for an existing home.

Dave Edwards: Wow. Traditionally, they teach us in real estate school, going back way back, that six months is a balanced market — not a seller’s market or a buyer’s market. And you’re talking about 24 days.

Mareen Alstede: A house would stay on the market for six months if nothing else came. It’s saying it would take us six months to sell the inventory that is currently on the market.

Dave Edwards: Now, we’re saying the average days on the market for an existing home is 24 days.

Mareen Alstede: It was 24 days.

Dave Edwards: That’s pretty quick.

Mareen Alstede: That is pretty quick.

Is the Housing Market a Seller's Market?

Dave Edwards: So the housing market is still quite a seller’s market.

Mareen Alstede: Yes and no.

Dave Edwards: Please explain.

Mareen Alstede: It is a seller’s market, in my opinion. If you have a good house and price it right, you can be in a multiple-offer situation. But you will also see that the concession is a significant point. You need to be open to some concessions. We have a lot of first-time home buyers who had no chance to enter the market while it was so hot. 

Dave Edwards: Now, interest rates are up.

Mareen Alstede: Yeah, and then they’re coming down again. As I said, it’s an interesting market. People are holding back at just a quarter of a point. Buyers will be back as soon as it drops just a little bit. And we know many buyers are still holding out.

Dave Edwards: So there’s quite a bit of demand out there.

Mareen Alstede: Yeah, yeah. It’s just held back. We know interest rates will eventually decrease, making this market even more interesting.

What Are Home Builders Doing?

Dave Edwards: So, I see that some of the large home builders in the area are offering incentives now.

Mareen Alstede: Absolutely. Incentives are still out there. Anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 can be used depending on your need, whether you’re building or upgrading the house. It could be for down payments or rate buydowns. Since interest rates increased to 7%, rate buydown is becoming very popular. It’s a great way to make a house affordable.

Dave Edwards: So we’re seeing that with new construction. But what about existing homes?

Mareen Alstede: We also see that people are asking for it on existing homes.

Dave Edwards: And sometimes sellers are helping?

Mareen Alstede: Yeah, it’s tricky to do, but it’s part of the negotiation to help somebody to get into a house.

Housing Market Predictions

Dave Edwards: In a nutshell, what does our market look like going forward? If someone’s thinking, “Well, maybe I should wait till rates come down before I sell,” because they’re going to be a buyer after they sell, what would you suggest someone think about?

Mareen Alstede: Our biggest problem is that our inventory is very low. As we all know, yes, demands have come down, and our sales numbers are far from what they used to be. But that’s the overall condition of what we deal with in this economy. 

Increasing Housing Inventory

Dave Edwards: I’m also wondering about inventory. Wouldn’t it be great if a builder out there could, in the next three months, build 600 homes? What would that look like?

Mareen Alstede: CBH is planning to do that, yes.

Dave Edwards: No way, shut the front door.

Mareen Alstede: Yeah. CBH was one of the builders who had, by the end of last year, over 550 homes on the market. Because of the demand, they stopped or hit the pause button for the buyers. They reacted and slowed down their building process quite a bit. So now it’s like, “Okay, this is also not a good market.” So they would like to ramp up their inventory again and return us to 600 homes.

Reduced Housing Demand Impact on Employment

Dave Edwards: And at that point, when they came back down, they were laying people off?

Mareen Alstede: They were laying people off. And we had a total inventory of 175.

Dave Edwards: Didn’t I hear that CBH Homes is hiring again?

Mareen Alstede: Yes, they’re hiring again. If you’re looking for an opportunity to work here, CBH is a good way to go. I heard it’s an excellent employer that cares for its employees.

Dave Edwards: We have some clients that work there, right?

Mareen Alstede: Yes.

Dave Edwards: And nothing but great things to say about it.

Mareen Alstede: Yeah, very true.

Is Treasure Valley Overpriced?

Dave Edwards: Wow. So any last thoughts on our market summary for May? Of course, we’ll do one next month as soon as the data comes in, but here’s a great question. Is the Treasure Valley still so overpriced when you compare it to Alabama or something like that, that people shouldn’t even consider moving here because there’s nothing left for them? 

Because as I was looking at it, the national average and the average here in Canyon County are almost the same value. Ada County is another 30% higher, but Canyon County is where the value is. So if you can choose between purple Texas or Idaho, consider living in Idaho.

Why Move to Idaho?

Mareen Alstede: I think it’s still Idaho. Idaho hasn’t changed, and you still have a fantastic quality of life.

Dave Edwards: Yeah. It is lovely here. I won’t lie about that.

Mareen Alstede: In the beginning, I was saying what we see on paper and what we feel are different. It depends on which situation the buyer or the seller is in. We once had a first-time home buyer, and it took us five tries to get into a house.

Wrapping Up

Dave Edwards: Well, that’s excellent information, Mareen. Thanks for sharing and putting all this together. 

Contact us if you have questions about buying or selling a house in Nampa, Idaho or anywhere in the Treasure Valley. Until next time, it’s Treasure Valley Dave; looking forward to helping you get home.