Home prices are beginning to reflect the market’s realities. However, they are not becoming more economical. Even though homes aren’t selling above list price as frequently as they used to, Ada County established a median price record in February.
According to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, the median price of a single-family house in Ada County in February was $549,900. The previous high was $546,000, which was reached in December. It’s also up 21.6 percent from a year ago, when the median price was $452,300 in February 2021.
In February, the median price of a home in Canyon County was $434,450, which was also a record. It’s up over $10,000 from January’s figure of $424,900. According to the Boise Regional Realtors, existing properties in Ada County sold for 99.6 percent of the asking price on average. This suggests that list prices are catching up to sales prices. According to the Realtors, buyers paid an average of 105.5 percent of the list price last year. In March 2021, the percentage of properties sold above list price reached 75.9%. Better Homes and Gardens 43 Degrees North Real Estate agent Kerri O’Hara of Boise said she doesn’t expect the market to slow down because supply is still far behind demand and values tend to rise in the spring. “It’s a race against the clock. “I don’t think you can wait much longer,” O’Hara said over the phone, “because when one house sells, it becomes the next comparable sale for a similar house in the vicinity.” “You can see how easily things can get out of hand.”
She noted that a home advertised for $550,000 may sell for $560,000 if it was sold above list price. The next house in the neighborhood may be sold for $560,000. If that house is also bid on and sells for $10,000 more than the original list price, the benchmark for a comparable house becomes $20,000 more than the first home’s original list price. According to O’Hara, Ada County has six-tenths of a month’s worth of home inventory. That indicates the available properties would be sold in around 18 days if no new homes were to come on the market. This is indicative of a strong seller’s market. Between four and six months’ worth of inventory is available in a balanced market. The 418 existing houses sold in Ada County in February were on the market for an average of 23 days. This is down from 33 days in January, and it indicates that houses are becoming more competitive as spring approaches. According to O’Hara, competition may be even tougher in some parts of the county.
“Last week, I was in a position with a buyer where there were 14 offers on the house,” O’Hara explained. “It went for a lot more than the original price, at least $55,000 more.” There are few possibilities and a lot of purchasers in that… neighborhood of East Boise. That, I believe, will continue.”
This tendency continues to push homes in the Boise area more out of reach for average local workers who rely solely on their wages to make ends meet. O’Hara is concerned about the next generation, who will grow up in this town but will not be able to afford to buy a property here when they are older. She described it as “sad” and “unfortunate.” “The cost of living is a concern. “I don’t think that will change very soon,” O’Hara added. “And I’m not sure what, if anything, could be done to help.”
A balanced market is still a long way off, even with more new homes being produced. Ada County new-construction homes sold for a median price of $587,551 in February. However, the increasing prices haven’t deterred entrants. Even if it’s a lateral move financially, O’Hara said her customers frequently relocate to Idaho for quality of life or political reasons. In the 2010s, a scarcity of supply drove up prices in the Treasure Valley. However, in the last two years, prices have risen even faster. “I think a lot of us Realtors will feel like the water just switched on in July of 2020,” O’Hara said. “… We had never seen anything like the supply and demand problem we’re talking about right now.” Other information from the most recent listing-service report:
The average number of days a home spent on the market in Ada County fell from 37 in January to 32 in February. It continued at 42 in Canyon County. Eagle has the highest median price at $957,500, followed by Northeast Boise at $970,000 and North Boise at $805,500. Lowest median prices: $165,000 in Wilder, $379,990 in Southwest Caldwell, and $389,900 in Northwest Caldwell.