Boise Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

Boise Idaho real estate market trends, important information, covering everything from local market data and home values to community events and featured Boise areas. We care about the Boise community and want to help you find your place in it. We'd love to talk to you about your real estate needs!

Sept. 15, 2020

Boise Real Estate Market Update - Aug 2020

Boise Real Estate Market Update - Aug 2020

The median sales price for all homes sold in Ada County in August reached $400,000, the 12.7% year-over-year increase, surpassing the previous high of $390,000 a year ago.

Boise home prices continue to be driven by a shrinking supply of existing homes available for sale compared to demand, more new homes selling at ever higher prices, increased purchase power due to low mortgage rates, and now, buyer activity being compressed into a shorter time period as a result of COVID-19.

First, the number of existing homes for sale has trended down for years now, and there were only 239 existing homes available for purchase at the end of August. This is a dramatic decrease of 72.1% compared to the same month last year, and a record low since BRR began tracking the metric in May 2006.

To further illustrate this imbalance, the months supply of inventory for existing homes in Ada County was also at a record low of 0.3 months as of August. For reference, a balanced market would be between 4.0-6.0 months. This lack of inventory is putting tremendous pressure on existing home prices, which reached a median sales price of $385,500 in August.

Another factor impacting prices is the mix of sales. With fewer choices among existing inventory, many homebuyers are purchasing new construction, increasing the demand in that segment. In August, new homes made up 32.9% of all closed sales, at a median sales price of $444,900. In addition to greater buyer demand, new construction prices are being driven by rising lumber prices. According to the National Association of Home Builders, “The price of lumber has staged a staggering increase in recent months, rising roughly 80% since mid-April… [which is adding] thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical newly-built home.”

Third, the historically low mortgage interest rates are allowing buyers to purchase at higher prices points. For comparison purposes, the rate in August 2006 (the market’s previous peak) was at 6.5% versus 2.9% in August 2020. This has kept monthly payments at roughly the same as what they were during the previous peak in 2006, despite the increase in home prices.

Finally, after a brief COVID-related slowdown earlier this spring, home sales rebounded in August with 1,251 homes closing during the month, up 18.9% compared to August 2019. Interestingly, closed sales year-to-date versus the same period last year were nearly even, with 7,737 and 7,547 sales, respectively.

Off-market new inventory is allowing us to have consistent sales numbers despite low inventory. With so many buyers looking at Boise new construction, builders can sell homes that are not yet built, and therefore, not yet reflected in the IMLS as inventory.

In August, nearly 25% of newly built homes sold were not previously listed on the MLS showed up as a closed sale. This should give hope to homebuyers that while inventory is low, there are options available. Identifying new construction opportunities, in addition to options in the existing market, is just one more way a REALTOR® can bring value to your home search.

Source: Boise Regional Realtors

Aug. 18, 2020

Inventory of Homes For Sale Is Improving

Selling a home

We are still in the seller's market.  We still have more buyers willing to buy a home than sellers willing to sell. The inventory of homes is however slowly improving. This would be a good, positive sign for home buyers who are getting tired of bidding wars.

Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.com, explains:

“Seller confidence has been improving gradually after reaching its bottom in mid-April, and now it appears to have reached an important recovery milestone…After five long months, sellers are back in the housing market; while encouraging, the improvement to new listings is only the first step in the long road to solving low inventory issues keeping many buyers at bay.”

Even with the number of homes coming into the market, the available inventory is well below where it needs to be to satisfy buyer interest. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports:

“Total housing inventory at the end of June totaled 1.57 million units, up 1.3% from May, but still down 18.2% from one year ago (1.92 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 4.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from both 4.8 months in May and from the 4.3-month figure recorded in June 2019.”

Houses today are selling faster than they’re coming to market. That’s why we only have inventory for 4 months at the current sales pace when in reality we need inventory for 6 months to keep up. But, as mentioned above, sellers are starting to return to the game. Realtor.com explains:

“The ‘housing supply’ component – which tracks growth of new listings – reached 101.7, up 4.9 points over the prior week, finally reaching the January growth baseline. The big milestone in new listings growth comes as seller sentiment continues to build momentum…After constant gradual improvements since mid-April, seller confidence appears to be reaching an important milestone. The temporary boost in new listings comes as the summer season replaces the typical spring homebuying season. More homes are entering the market than typical for this time of the year.”

Why is this good for sellers?

A good time to enter the housing market is when the competition in your area is low, meaning there are fewer sellers than interested buyers. You don’t want to wait for all of the other homeowners to list their houses before you do, providing more options for buyers to choose from. With sellers starting to get back into the market after five months of waiting, if you want to sell your house for the best possible price, now is a great time to do so.

Why is this good for buyers?

It can be challenging to find a home in today’s low-inventory environment. If more sellers are starting to put their houses up for sale, there will be more homes for you to choose from, providing a better opportunity to find the home of your dreams while taking advantage of the affordability that comes with historically low mortgage rates.

Contact us for your local Boise real estate market update and Free home evaluation. 

Today may be the time to sell your Boise home!

 

 

April 15, 2020

Are We Facing a New Housing Crisis?

We'll compare current 2020 housing market with the housing market in 2008.  As you'll see, we are in a very different situation right now. Current real estate market is in a much stronger position today than it was in 2008. It is no longer the center of the economic slowdown. In fact, housing could be just what helps pull us out of the downturn.

Home price appreciation is projected to slow down to 1.9% price increase on average. Boise real estate home price appreciation will slow down to 7.6 percent. Boise market will continue to be one of the strongest real estate markets. Click below for full report:

Veros Report

We'll look at different important factors that characterize the real estate markets 2020 vs. 2008:

1. Home Price Appreciation

When we look at appreciation in the visual below, there’s a big difference between the 6 years prior to the housing crash and the most recent 6-year period of time. Leading up to the market crash, we had much higher appreciation in this country than we see right now. The highest level of appreciation most recently is below the lowest level we saw leading up to the crash. Prices have been rising lately, but not at the rate they were climbing back when we had runaway appreciation.

home price appreciation

 

2. Mortgage Credit Availability 

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index is a monthly measure by the Mortgage Bankers Association that gauges the level of difficulty to secure a loan. The higher the index, the easier it is to get a loan; the lower the index, the harder. Today we’re nowhere near the levels seen before the housing crash when it was very easy to get approved for a mortgage. After the crash, however, lending standards tightened and have remained that way leading up to today.

 

mortgage credit availability

 

3. Inventory of Homes For Sale

One of the causes of the housing crash in 2008 was an oversupply of homes for sale. Today, as shown in the next image, we see a much different picture. We don’t have enough homes on the market for the number of people who want to buy them. Across the country, we have less than 6 months of inventory, an undersupply of homes available for interested buyers.

 

historic real estate inventory

 

4. Use of Home Equity

The chart below shows the difference in how people are accessing the equity in their homes today as compared to 2008. In 2008, consumers were harvesting equity from their homes (through cash-out refinances) and using it to finance their lifestyles. Today, consumers are treating the equity in their homes much more cautiously.

 

home equity

 

5. Homeowner Equity

Today, 53.8% of homes across the country have at least 50% equity. In 2008, homeowners walked away when they owed more than what their homes were worth. With the equity homeowners have now, they’re much less likely to walk away from their homes.

 

real estate equity

The current pandemic is causing different challenges than the ones we faced in 2008. In 2008, we had a housing crisis; today, we face a health crisis. 

April 8, 2020

Using Technology To Facilitate Home Sales

Using technology can help real estate buyers and sellers thru the real estate transaction process, starting with locating the right property, using virtual tours or live video chats to view it, and completing whole transaction process online. This technology has been available for quite a while, but it's being utilized more widely now.

We have all the tools and advanced technology at our disposal to help you buy or sell Boise real estate, while practicing social distancing. 

Contact us today for a free consultation. 

 

 

Here is how you can buy or sell a home using modern technology, while adhering to safety precautions:

1. Virtual Consultations – Instead of heading into an office, you can meet with real estate and lending professionals through video chat. Whether it’s your first initial needs analysis as a buyer or your listing appointment as a seller, you can still get the process started remotely and create a plan together. Your trusted advisor is still on your side.

2. Home Searches & Virtual Showings – According to theNational Association of Realtors (NAR), the Internet is one of the three most popular information sources buyers use when searching for homes. Your real estate agent can send you listing information and help you request a virtual showing when you’re ready to start looking. This means you can virtually walk through the homes on your wish list while keeping your family safe. As a seller, you can still have virtual open houses and virtual tours too, so as not to miss those buyers looking to find a home right now.

3. Document Signing – Although this is another area that varies by state, today more portions of the transaction are being done digitally. In many areas, your agent or loan officer can set up an account where you can upload all of the required documents and sign electronically right from your computer.

4. Sending Money – Whether you need to pay for an appraisal or submit closing costs, there are options available. Depending on the transaction and local regulations, you may be able to pay by credit card, and most banks will also allow you to wire funds from your account. Sometimes you can send a check by mail, and in some states, a mobile escrow agent will pick up a check from your home.

5. Closing Process – Again, depending on your area, a mobile notary may be able to bring the required documents to your home before the closing. If your state requires an attorney to be present, check with your legal counsel to see what options are available. Also, depending on the title company, some are allowing drive-thru closings, which is similar to doing a transaction at a bank window.

Although these virtual processes are starting to become more widely accepted, it does not mean that this is the way things are going to get done from now on. Under the current circumstances, however, technology is making it possible to continue much of the real estate transaction today.

If you need to move today, technology can help make it happen; there are options available. To learn about the specific regulations in your area, contact us to discuss your situation, so you don’t have to put your real estate plans on hold.

Call Krystyna Ryan at (208)918-5007 today! I can help you!

April 3, 2020

Guide to Idaho Property Taxes

Guide to Idaho Property Taxes

Idaho property taxes can be confusing. As an example, you may see similar houses in the same area with different property taxes. Below is information that may be helpful when buying a home in Idaho.

Idaho Property Taxing Districts 

Property taxes are important – cities and counties depend on them to fund valuable public services (like schools) and infrastructure development (like new streets and sidewalks). Each of these is a unique “taxing district.” Taxing districts are based on where you live, which is why exact tax rate changes between counties and even cities.

Idaho has more than 1,245 unique taxing districts alone, which gives you an idea of how complicated your property tax bill can be. The more residents in a city or county, the more of a demand there is to pay for public services. That’s why tax rates are generally higher in more populated counties than in rural ones. In fact, the statewide average urban tax rate is 1.327%, while the rural rate is 0.893%.

The City of Boise – Idaho’s largest city, located in Ada County – has a helpful breakdown that shows how each property tax dollar that comes to the city is spent.

How Are Idaho Property Tax Rates Calculated?

All properties are evaluated annually by a county Property Tax Assessor and an unique tax rate is set. The assessors do not use the straight market value of your home (or what a buyer might pay for it) for taxing purposes, they use the "assessed value" of your property.

The market value of your home is the price it would likely sell for. The assessed value of your home is based on the average prices of homes similar to yours that have recently sold. The assessed value will typically be lower than the market value in an upward trending market and higher in a downward trending one.

Simply put, you can calculate your property taxes by taking the assessed value of the property, minus any exemptions and multiplying that by the levy rate.

Assessed Value – Exemptions x Levy Rate = Property Tax Amount.

As an example, and your neighbor both own three-bedroom homes that sit on a quarter-acre of property. The houses were built in the ‘70s, however, your home has a canal running along the back edge of the property. It also has a new roof, siding and windows, and the addition of a front and back porch.

Because of the canal, a mosquito abatement taxing district is applied to your property (in addition to the county tax levy) but not your neighbor’s. Your levy rate is 0.00257, while your neighbor’s rate is slightly lower at 0.00255. And because of the upgrades and additions to your home, your home’s assessed value is higher, too (let’s say at $300,000 after exemptions versus your neighbor’s at $230,000). Now let’s apply our formula to find out how much you’ll each be taxed:

Your home: $300,000 x 0.00257 = $771

Your neighbor’s home: $230,000 x 0.00255 = $587

As you can see, you will be paying significantly more in property taxes on a home that is very similar in size, age and style as your neighbor’s.

The tax rate you pay can also fluctuate from year to year. In Idaho, taxing districts can increase taxes up to 3% annually (plus growth). Each year, the Idaho State Tax Commission double checks each county to try and ensure that properties are being assessed correctly.

How Idaho Property Taxes Compare to Other States

When you look at property taxes in Idaho versus other states, Idaho's per-capita property taxes rank 42nd in the nation. Idaho's taxes are second lowest in the West (NV is the lowest).

What Is the Homeowner’s Exemption and How Do I Apply?

Homebuyers in Idaho may apply for a homeowner's property tax exemption. The state of Idaho offers a generous homeowner’s exemption for property taxes, which can only be applied to your primary residence. The exemption is equal to 50 percent of the net taxable value of your property, plus up to one acre of land, and is capped at $100,000.

While the homeowner’s exemption is the most widely-used property tax exemption, there are others. Some homeowners in Idaho – select veterans and disabled individuals on fixed incomes, for example – are eligible for Idaho’s Property Tax Reduction program (also commonly referred to as a circuit breaker). This program can reduce taxes by as much as $1,320.

The Idaho State Tax Commission administers the program but individuals must apply through their county assessor’s office. 

Property Tax Calculator

The Idaho State Tax Commission created an online property tax calculator to help homeowners estimate their current year’s property tax amount. The easy-to-use tool allows you to select your county, plug in your home value, then select your tax code area to find your estimated property tax.

However, the calculator has a few limitations. It can only calculate property taxes in 24 of Idaho’s 44 counties (the good news is, Ada County is one of those counties). It’s also only available late May/early June of each year through September, when counties begin assembling and sending out their tax bills.

How to Appeal Your Assessed Property Value

Let’s say you disagree with the assessed market value of your property. If this is the case, you’re within your rights to appeal it.

On the assessment notice you received in the mail, you’ll find your appraiser's contact information and the deadline to appeal. The assessor’s office encourages you to attempt to settle disputes by calling their office or your appraiser.

If you still aren’t satisfied, you can appeal by filling out a property assessment appeal form. From there, you’ll go before the Ada County Board of Equalization, where you have a chance to prove that the assessed value of your property isn’t accurate.

As the Ada County website notes, “In presenting your appeal, the best evidence is typically sales data from the marketplace, written analysis from a realtor or other professional source.”

It’s also good to note that residents can’t protest values from previous years, so if you’re using sales data to support your valuation of your property, it should be taken within the previous year.

Please check with you tax professional as everybody's situation is unique and the tax rules may change.

Visit Idaho State Tax Commission website to more info

 

Posted in Home Buying
March 4, 2020

Interest Rates and Mortgage Payments

Interest rates have been historically low. Below we'll analyze and show how low interest rates can dramatically lower your monthly mortgage payments and help you achieve the goal of home ownership. Spring home buying  season is approaching our Boise real estate market. Many potential homebuyers are getting ready to enter the real estate market. If you’re thinking of buying a home or an investment property.  The chart below shows how average mortgage rates by decade have impacted the approximate monthly payment of a $200,000 home over time:

mortgage rates

Over the last 45 years, mortgage rates have ranged from a high of 18.63% (1981) to a low of 3.31% (2012). While it’s not likely that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate will return to its record low, the current average rate of 3.45% is pretty close — all to your advantage.”

Low mortgage rates – like they are right now – benefit qualified buyers, saving them a lot of money over time.

It's important to remember, if interest rates go up, this can push many potential homebuyers out of the market. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) notes: “Prospective home buyers are also adversely affected when interest rates rise. NAHB’s priced-out estimates show that, depending on the starting rate, a quarter-point increase in the rate of 3.75% on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage can price over 1.3 million U.S. households out of the market for the median-priced new home.”

You certainly don’t want to be priced out of the market this year, and waiting may mean a significant change in your potential mortgage payment should rates start to rise. If your financial situation allows, now may be a great time to lock in at a low mortgage rate to benefit greatly over the lifetime of your loan.

Contact us anytime for more information and free buyer consultation.

 

Posted in Home Buying
March 2, 2020

Southeast Boise Market Update for 2019

Southeast Boise Home Prices 2019

Boise Greenbelt

Southeast Boise is popular mainly because of its close proximity to the Greenbelt and Boise River. Average home price was $372,972 in 2019, 10.9 percent increase over previous year. Below is the Southeast Boise real estate market data in detail. Contact us anytime for the market analysis of your neighborhood.

 

  2018 2019 % Change
Number of Sales 780 752 -3.6%
Average Sold Price $336,236 $372,972 +10,9%
Median Sold Price $300,000 $340.350 +13.5%
New Home Sale 66 83 +25.8%
% of New Homes to Total 8% 11% +30.4%
Average Price Per Sq Ft $184 $201 +9.2%
Average Days on Market 23 25 +8.7%
% Sold to List Price 99.9% 101% 1.1%

Home prices in Southeast Boise are at their historic highs. Now may be the best time to sell your home. Contact us at (208)918-5007 for a free home evaluation or click below to get an Instant home value report:

www.BoiseHomeValuesOnline.com

Search Southeast Boise Homes For Sale

 

 

 

Feb. 27, 2020

Advantages of 55+ Communities

Advantages of Aging in a Senior 55+ Community

55+ senior community

Many boomers are moving into active senior 55+ communities. We see this trend here in Boise as well.  55+ homes are in demand and have been selling quickly. Below is the info on Boise area 55+ communities and current listings:

Boise 55+ Communites

Seniors want to be around people who share common interests, goals, and challenges. That comfort in a community doesn’t wane with age – it actually deepens. Whether it’s proudly talking about grandchildren or lamenting the fact that our eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, it's nice to be surrounded by people who feel the same joys and concerns.

These are the reasons why so many boomers are deciding to move into an active adult 55+ community. Baby boomers are now reaching the age when moving to an active adult 55+ community is the right choice for them. Many boomers now want to downsize, experience a maintenance and worry-free lifestyle, and take advantage of more social opportunities. 55+ communities offer this kind of opportunity.

At the same time, there’s still a desire, however, among many seniors to “age-in-place.” According to the Senior Resource Guide, aging-in-place means: “…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community etcetera.”

The challenge is, many seniors live in suburban or rural areas, and that often necessitates driving significant distances to see friends or attend other social engagements. The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) titled Housing America’s Older Adults report addressed these concerns: “The growing concentration of older households in outlying communities presents major challenges for residents and service providers alike. Single-family homes make up most of the housing stock in low-density areas, and residents typically need to be able to drive to do errands, see doctors, and socialize.”

The Kiplinger also analized the subject: “While most seniors say they want to age in place, a much smaller percentage of them actually manage to accomplish it, studies show. Transportation is often a problem; when you can no longer drive, you can’t get to medical appointments or to other outings.”

Driving may not be a challenge right now, but think about what it may be like to drive 10, 20, or 30 years down the road.

There are also health challenges brought on by a possible lack of socialization when living at home versus a community of seniors. Sarah J. Stevenson is an author who writes about seniors. In a recent blog post for A Place for Mom, she explains: “Social contacts tend to decrease as we age for reasons such as retirement, the death of friends and family, or lack of mobility.” The research from the same source suggests if you’re spending time with others in a community, thus reducing or eliminating the impact of loneliness and isolation, there’s less of a risk of developing high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease.

Though the familiarity of our current home may bring a feeling of warmth, comfort, and convenience, it’s important to understand that staying there may mean missing out on crucial socialization opportunities. Living with adult children, joining a retirement community, or moving to an assisted living facility can help us continue to be with people we enjoy every day.

“Aging-in-place” definitely has its advantages, but it could mean getting “stuck-in-place” too. There are many health benefits derived from socializing with a community of people that shares common interests. It’s important to take the need for human interaction into consideration when making a decision about where to spend the later years in life.

Contact your local expert - Krystyna Ryan at (208)918-5007 to explore Boise area active senior 55+ communities
Feb. 25, 2020

Boise Luxury Market

Boise Luxury Market Shift

Boise luxury homes

Boise luxury real estate market is starting a shift, showing increasing buyer activity in that market segment.  In the beginning of last year, many of the more expensive homes listed for sale hadn’t seen as much interest, since much of the demand for housing over the past few years has come from first-time buyers looking for starter homes. 

According to the January Luxury Report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM): “In a snapshot of 2019, despite pessimism at the start of the year, the last quarter showcased a strengthening, with an upswing in the luxury market for sales in both the single family and condo markets.”

Boise luxury real estate momentum is growing, and those looking to enter the luxury market are poised for success in 2020 as well. With more inventory available at the upper-end, historically low interest rates, and increasing average wages, the stage is set for buyers with an interest in this tier to embrace the perfect move-up opportunity.

The report highlights the increase in buyer activity in this segment, resulting in growing sales toward the end of 2019:“According to reports from many luxury real estate professionals, the significant increase in number of properties bought at the end of 2019 versus 2018 is reflective of an early 2019 holding pattern.

Many of early last year’s prospective luxury buyers held off while waiting to see how prices would react to new tax regulations and other policy changes. Buyer confidence returned in late spring and compared to 2018, above average sales were reported in the final quarter of 2019.”

With evidence of strong buyer confidence, this is great news, as more homeowners are building equity and growing their net worth throughout the country, including Boise Metro area:

“Many homeowners are now diversifying their wealth, owning several properties rather than a single mega mansion. In addition, there have been an increase number of home purchases taking place in smaller cities, reflecting the rising number of people relocating from major metropolises. Their property equity wealth or ability to pay high rental costs have afforded them the opportunity to purchase luxury properties in…secondary cities throughout North America.”

With a strong economy and a backdrop set for moving up this year, it’s a great time to explore the luxury market. Keep in mind, luxury can mean different things to different people, too. To one person, luxury is a secluded home with plenty of property and privacy. To another, it is a penthouse at the center of a bustling city. Knowing what characteristics mean luxury to you will help your agent understand what you’re after as you define the scope and location for the home of your dreams.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your current house to a luxury home, or adding an additional property to your portfolio, contact your local Realtor - Krystyna Ryan - at (208)918-5007 or click "Contact Us" button.

 

Feb. 18, 2020

North Boise Home Prices

North Boise Home Prices 2019

North Boise homes are among the highest priced real estate in Ada County. The average price per square footage was the highest at $265 last year and the median price was $476,000 - the 9.7 percent price increase over 2018. New construction dominated the North Boise market (increase by 62.3%). Below is the North Boise real estate market data in detail. Contact us anytime for the market analysis of your neighborhood.

  2018 2019 % Change
Number of Sales 505 551 +9.1%
Average Sold Price $497,421 $552,052 +11.0%
Median Sold Price $434,000 $476,000 +9.7%
New Home Sale 53 86 +62.3%
% of New Homes to Total 10% 16% +48.7%
Average Price Per Sq Ft $232 $265 +14.2
Average Days on Market 41 49 +19.5%
% Sold to List Price 98.9% 98.9% 0.0%

Home prices in North Boise are at their historic highs. Now may be the best time to sell your home. Contact us at (208)918-5007 for a free home evaluation or click below to get an Instant home value report:

www.BoiseHomeValuesOnline.com

Search North Boise Homes For Sale