The following analysis of select counties of the Idaho real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere Real Estate agent.
Regional Economic Overview
Year over year, Idaho added 24,900 jobs, representing a solid growth rate of 3%. All of Idaho’s metropolitan areas saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Pocatello experienced the greatest increase at 5.5%, followed by Boise (3.7%), Idaho Falls (3.1%), Coeur d’Alene (2.9%), Twin Falls (.4%), and Lewiston (.3%). The state unemployment rate was 2.6%, matching the rate of the first quarter of 2022. The Boise metro area matched the state’s jobless rate of 2.6% and equaled the rate during the same period in 2022. This is rather impressive given that the labor force has grown by over 9,800 persons, or 2.4%. Clearly new jobs are being created at a very solid pace. My current forecast is that employment will rise by 17,000 jobs, which would represent a growth rate of 2 percent.
Idaho Home Sales
❱ In the first quarter of 2023, 4,205 homes sold, which was down 19.5% from the first quarter of 2022 and 2.3% lower than in the fourth quarter of last year.
❱ Although listing activity was significantly higher than the first quarter of 2022, it was down 27% from the fourth quarter of 2022. All counties had fewer homes on the market.
❱ Compared to the same period in 2022, sales fell in all but two markets covered by this report. Compared to the fourth quarter of last year, sales fell in all the Northern Idaho markets, but rose in Canyon, Ada, and Blaine counties in the southern part of the state.
❱ Even with fewer listings, pending sales in the quarter were up 36.9% from the fourth quarter of 2022, suggesting that sales growth may improve in the second quarter of this year.
Idaho Home Prices
❱ The average home price in the region fell 6% year over year to $576,130. Prices were 5.4% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2022.
❱ Compared to the fourth quarter of 2022, prices only increased in Shoshone County. In the southern part of the state, prices rose in Valley, Payette, Gem, Boise, and Blaine counties.
❱ Both the northern and southern market areas saw counties split, with prices rising in around half while contracting in the other half. Year over year, prices fell 6.4% in the south and 4% in the north.
❱ Median listing prices in the first quarter were up by only .9% over the fourth quarter of last year. Interestingly, listing prices were up more than 10% in the populous Ada County, which many believed would see significant downward price pressure after the rapid growth over the past few years.
Rates in the first quarter of 2023 were far less volatile than last year, even with the brief but significant impact of early March’s banking crisis. It appears that buyers are jumping in when rates dip, which was the case in mid-January and again in early February.
Even with the March Consumer Price Index report showing inflation slowing, I still expect the Federal Reserve to raise short-term rates one more time following their May meeting before pausing rate increases. This should be the catalyst that allows mortgage rates to start trending lower at a more consistent pace than we have seen so far this year. My current forecast is that rates will continue to move lower with occasional spikes, and that they will hold below 6% in the second half of this year.
If you’re thinking of selling your house, it may be because you’ve heard prices are rising, listings are going fast, and sellers are getting multiple offers on their homes. But why are conditions so good for sellers today? And what can you expect when you move? To help answer both of those questions, let’s turn to the data.
Today, there are far more buyers looking for homes than sellers listing their houses. Here are the maps of the latest buyer and seller traffic from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help paint the picture of what this looks like:
Notice how much darker the blues are on the left. This shows buyer traffic is strong today. In contrast, the much lighter blues on the right indicate weak or very weak seller traffic. In a nutshell, the demand for homes is significantly greater than what’s available to purchase.
What That Means for You
You have an incredible advantage when you sell your house under these conditions. Since buyer demand is so high at a time when seller traffic is so low, there’s a good chance buyers will be competing for your house.
According to NAR, in February, the average home sold got 4.8 offers. When buyers have to compete with one another like this, they’ll do everything they can to make their offer stand out. This could play to your favor and mean you’ll see things like waived contingencies, offers over asking price, earnest money deposits, and more. Selling when demand is high and supply is low sets you up for a big win.
If you’re also looking to buy a house, you may be tempted to focus more on just the seller traffic map and wonder if it means you’ll have trouble finding your next home. But remember this: perspective is key. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, says:
“The limited number of homes for sale is a lesson in perspective. This same stat that frustrates would-be homebuyers also means that today’s home sellers enjoy more limited competition than last year’s home sellers.”
If you look at the big picture, the opportunity you have as a seller today is unprecedented. Last year was a hot sellers’ market. This year, inventory is even lower, and that means an even bigger opportunity for you. Even though finding your next home in a market with low inventory can be challenging, is that concern worth passing on some of the best conditions sellers have ever seen?
As added peace of mind, remember real estate professionals have been juggling this imbalance of supply and demand for nearly two years, and they know how to help both buyers and sellers find success when they move. A skilled agent can help you capitalize on the great opportunity you have as a seller today and guide you through the buying process until you find the perfect place to call your next home.
If you’re ready to move, you have an incredible opportunity in front of you today. Trust the experts. Let’s connect so you have expertise on your side that can help you win when you sell and when you buy.
Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters
2020 is a year like no other we have seen in our lifetime. It presented a unique set of challenges for many and it is not lost on any of us at Windermere Powerhouse Group that our industry is thriving locally. We realized we were given a gift this year. We were reminded of what is truly important… family, friends, health and home. It was an opportunity to appreciate little things we took for granted. Our community is special and we wanted to do all we could to make sure that we were helping others who were in less fortunate circumstances.
Windermere Powerhouse Group staff, agents and their clients got creative in figuring out ways to help. We hosted a Drive Thru Donation day for the Boise Rescue Mission, donated money to The Idaho Foodbank and helped seven families through Faces of Hope have a special Christmas. We all have time, talent or money to donate and strive to live that motto.
We look forward to continuing and doing even more in 2021. We are grateful we have the resources to help others and appreciate the community that serves us. If you are interested in helping any of these local organizations, they are all linked above.
Happy Holidays and Cheers to 2021.
Did you know?
For the past 30 years a portion of every Windermere agent’s commission has been donated to the Windermere Foundation. Having 100% participation gives us a common purpose and sends a powerful message about our commitment to the community. Housing is our business, so helping homeless families is a natural fit. We later expanded that to include low-income families, with an emphasis on helping children.