Of all the real estate markets in the country, Idaho has been one of the most stable and reliable in recent years- and has seen a massive influx of interest since the pandemic.
In a time where remoteness and personal space are hot commodities, Idaho's wide-open landscapes, and relatively small populations had buyers flocking to the state.
As well as being remote-friendly, Idaho has a low cost of living and- until recently- relatively affordable housing. Of course, nobody becomes an overnight sensation and doesn't cash in on it- and home values in the area have soared.
Quickly climbing house prices can sound alarm bells, and people are questioning whether or not an Idaho real estate market crash could be around the corner.
To find out if this is a concern to take seriously, we have pulled together key statistics, trends, and forecasts to provide a clearer picture of what is really happening- and what the experts predict for the coming year.
A Few Quick Idaho Real Estate Market Statistics
- Idaho is widely considered one of the best states for property investors.
- Only 12.3% of Idaho homes sold above the list price in the last reported month.
- Property price growth has been immense in Idaho since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The sale-to-list price in Idaho is currently 98.3%- below the national average by more than a point.
- Average one-year appreciation rates in Idaho are +37.2%.
- Idaho rental prices are almost bang on the national average- at $1100 for a two-bedroom. Trends suggest rental properties will surpass the average- after climbing by more than 21% in the last year.
Must-Know Idaho Housing Market Trends
Median Home Prices
Idaho home prices have been steadily rising since the beginning of COVID-19- and have gone from first-time buyer friendly to above the national average.
May 2022 saw prices peak at over $507,000 at the high point of the post-pandemic buying flurry, and they have been in decline since.
The most recent figures reported (March 2023) had the average home price in Idaho at $433,300- an 11.3% drop year-over-year, but still $25,000 more than two years before.
Number of Homes Sold
Over the past five years, Idaho has had a fairly predictable cycle of home sales- with May/June/July as the best months and January as the worst.
Numbers have been quite consistent- hovering between 3000 and 3500 at the peak and between 1600 and 2200 in the lowest month.
The previous year has been the least successful for a long time- with overall sales down for nearly every month. March saw a 15.8% decrease year-over-year- a slight improvement from February (17% decrease).
Overall, total sales numbers are down, but the decline is not nearly as dramatic as in many other states. Comparatively, the numbers are quite promising.
Average Days On the Market
The last year has seen a steep increase in median days on the market in the Idaho real estate market. It is a trend seen across the country and is hardly surprising- considering the parallel pattern of rising mortgage interest rates.
On average, the median time spent on the market in Idaho increased by 47.6 days for the first three months of 2023 year-over-year. February was the worst month- with a median stay of 84 days compared to 30 in the same period the year before.
March saw a slight improvement- with a YOY increase from 21 to 72. It is still a significant jump. It is a trend that is likely to continue.
Housing Supply and Inventory
The supply in Idaho has been middle of the road for most of the past year- especially after a serious low throughout 2021 and 2022 (based on months supply). It has dipped again- back to just two months' supply.
Idaho has actually shown a year-over-year increase in available houses for most of the last two years (with only a few months in the red). In January 2023, for example, the increase was as high as 30%.
Sadly, that has hit a road bump- with March showing a YOY decline of 5%. Combined with the serious dip in new listings (more than 42% less than last year)- it is safe to say the inventory is taking a hit.
Local Housing Market Trends in Top Idaho Cities
Trends in Idaho recently show that the smallest cities and towns are doing the best. There is no denying that Boise is the county's main attraction, but the remote, rural areas have seen significant increases in value on the few homes sold.
Here are some numbers for the larger cities in Idaho to compare.
Boise Real Estate Market Trends
The Boise metro area is one of Idaho's hottest markets- but rising costs have priced out many buyers. Currently, the Boise housing market forecast is cool- with drastically longer market stays and some further dips in prices.
Here are the most recent figures.
- Median sale price: $458,600 (down 14.6% year-over-year)
- Average time on the market: 48 days (a huge increase from just seven days for the same period in the year before)
- Total homes sold: 262 (down 13% year over year)
Meridian Real Estate Market Trends
Meridian has followed the Boise trends almost exactly- from much longer market stays to drops in median home value and total sales. Homes are currently marginally more expensive in Meridian than in Boise- but they are beginning to drop- and will like to drop further in the coming months as the market continues to slow.
These are the numbers on the most recent reports.
- Median sale price: $460,000 (down 22% year-over-year)
- Average time on the market: 76 days (a huge increase from just seven days for the same period in the year before)
- Total homes sold: 215 (down 21% year over year)
Nampa Real Estate Market Trends
Nampa has much better affordability than Boise or Meridian, but it has still seen a decrease in activity. Prices have been fairly stable, but they are on a slight downhill. There is a good chance they could turn around if the forecasts are correct.
- Median sale price: $399,200 (down 13.9% year-over-year)
- Average time on the market: 71 days (up from 19 days for the same period in the year before- not as significant as the change in Boise or Meridian)
- Total homes sold: 222 (down 14.6% year over year)
State-Wide Idaho Housing Market Predictions
What do these trends mean for the future- and are they expected to continue? Analysts and market experts have conflicting ideas about what is next for the Idaho real estate market- despite it being one of the most stable in the country.
Here is an overview of the forecast for Idaho's housing market.
Prices May Rise Again Due to Demand
Recent months have seen prices drop slightly in the Idaho housing market- and while some people believe this trend will continue, others predict a change of direction.
Demand is as high as ever in Idaho- thanks to affordable living and quality of life- and as long as the supply remains low, sellers can potentially get away with raising prices and waiting for the right buyer.
It does mean that we can expect to see continued increases in market wait times- and slower sales all around- but home values in Idaho are expected to climb.
Secondary Cities will See the Most Competition
The Boise housing market has been one of the hottest in the country for a while, but predictions have the smaller cities taking over in terms of popularity in Idaho real estate.
Nampa and Idaho Falls have already seen growth- as Boise becomes too expensive for many new buyers. Ada County (the state's smallest county by far) has also seen a lot of interest.
Idaho Will Respond to the Housing Shortage
One of the predictions for Idaho is an attempt to rectify the inventory shortage and create more property opportunities for buyers.
Most of the country has been hit by shortages- but Idaho is taking steps to fix it- specifically, arranging large-scale projects and new construction to boost numbers.
Although this is unlikely to fix the issue this year, it does hold hope for the future. Buyers may decide to wait until there are more options and potentially lower prices- which could have an impact on home costs before construction is complete.
A More Balanced Market
If the plans to alleviate the inventory shortage work, and people spread their interest between lesser-known cities, the result could be a more balanced market overall. House prices are high- and despite recent drops, are expected to climb again.
Sellers definitely have the power right now, and they will most likely retain it for the foreseeable future- but new listing activity could give buyers a little more variation and shift the power monopoly slightly.
What Factors are Influencing the Idaho Housing Market?
Here are some of the things driving the Idaho real estate market trends right now- and are likely to impact the forecast.
Rising Mortgage Rates
Like the rest of the country, Idaho's housing market is being impacted by the high mortgage rates in response to inflation. They have made monthly mortgage payments unaffordable for many buyers- putting people off of buying and leaving sellers in a difficult position- dropping the price- or risking a lengthy stay on the market.
Another issue sweeping the housing market is the lacking supply of houses available for sale. Idaho has not had as much trouble with inventory in recent months, although it has taken a dip in the last month.
A low inventory does two things- it creates competition between buyers (which is good for sellers) but it also slows things down a little.
Idaho is an attractive state for new buyers looking to invest in property. The demand for homes has always been high- and it still is. This high demand influences the market by keeping prices high- despite the increased mortgage rates.
When Is the Idaho Real Estate Market Likely to Crash?
A housing market crash happens when rising prices create a housing bubble- then a sudden drop causes the bubble to burst- leaving people owing a lot more than their house is worth and bringing the market to a grinding halt.
Luckily, this is not someone that experts believe is on the card for Idaho. Yes, prices are high- but this is in response to the demand and appeal. There is also too much of a lacking inventory to support an impending crash.
There is a chance property prices will drop, but the imbalance of supply in demand should stop them from decreasing too fast and leading to a crash.
US Housing Market Predictions
Now that we have discussed the current situation and predictions for the Idaho real estate market- let's take a look at the forecast for the housing markets across the US.
High Mortgage Rates: Will They Stop?
There is currently no end in sight for the record-high mortgage interest rates in the US, but some analysts believe we could see them drop later in 2023. Of course, nothing is certain- and what one expert predicts, another disputes- so for now, it is best to prepare for the worst as far as mortgage rates go.
Home Prices: Up or Down?
This is a point of debate between experts- with conflicting opinions about what to expect.
On one hand, it seems sellers will have to reduce their prices if they want to remain relevant and not price out buyers who are weary of high mortgage rates and monthly payments. Keeping prices high could see the time taken to sell houses continue to increase.
The opposite argument states that there is no need for sellers to drop prices because of the high demand and lack of supply. If supply increases and mortgage rates do not stop rising, then a price drop seems unavoidable- but as long as competition is fierce
Market Stays: Longer or Shorter?
It seems almost certain that the average time spent on the market is likely to increase throughout the US- and the standoff between buyers waiting for prices to drop in response to interest rates- and sellers hoping to spark competition between buyers due to demand.
Crash or No Crash?
Experts predict trying times for the US housing market, but most do not believe a crash is coming any time soon. Most of the issues are down to the rising mortgage interest rates and a limited national supply.
Demand is still there, so although sellers may be forced to drop their prices, it should not be dramatic enough to cause a collapse.
All things considered, the housing market in Idaho is in a fairly good position. The Southern Idaho counties are a little hotter than the Northern Idaho counties, with demand increasing with no sign of stopping- but the impact of high mortgage rates cannot be ignored.
Across the state, there has been a decrease in sales- ultimately driving the Idaho median home prices down as market stay times increase.
Real estate investors love Idaho, and that probably is not going to change amid the nationwide housing market shift. The median sales price may drop- appealing even more to new buyers than it already does- but inventory must be improved to support buyer demand as it continues to climb.
Small-city living appeals to the population today, and Idaho does it well. Anyone looking to buy property in the aptly named Gem State should still expect high prices, but it is a good place to invest if you get the chance.
Is Idaho a popular state for property investors?
Yes, it is. Idaho is considered one of the most advantageous states for property investors for three reasons.
First, Idaho cities are relatively small- and data shows that more buyers and renters are moving to smaller cities- so the potential tenant or buyer pool is promising.
It is also one of the best states for buying investment property because the cost of living is lower than the national average- but the home prices are above the national average- meaning people are used to paying more for housing and rent.
Lastly, property appreciation in Idaho has climbed year-over-year for a decade, and that doesn't show any signs of changing any time soon.
Does Idaho have a balanced market?
Overall, the Idaho real estate market is more balanced than most of the country right now. It cannot be considered a fully balanced market because the lacking housing inventory remains insufficient for buyer demand- but not as bad as elsewhere.
Idaho is technically a sellers' market- because of high home prices and the current short supply of options, but it still appeals to many buyers, so the balance is not too bad.
Where in Idaho has the most competitive real estate market?
The most competitive real estate markets in Idaho right now are in the smallest cities and beyond. More rural communities with small populations- such as Hauser, Avimor, and Osburn have the most competitive right now- with small property developments in sought-after locations sparking major interest.
Is the Boise market in a housing bubble?
No, the Boise real estate market is not in a bubble- and is, in fact, considered one of the very best cities in the US for new buyers. Boise home prices are quite high, but not because of a bubble- it comes down to supply and demand.
Things are cooling a little in the Boise housing market, but it is not showing signs of creating a bubble or causing a crash.