BOISE -- Some people are celebrating the return of the Boise real estate market. However, not all the numbers are on the rise.
Rick Stoolman is trying to sell his home in Eagle. Activity has picked up considerably, and we're very optimistic.
Like many, he's optimistic about not only selling his home soon, but getting a good price for it. The market seems to have rebounded considerably in our area, and there has been quite a bit of interest. I think we'll ultimately end up getting the price that we need out of the house.
Why is he optimistic? If you ask realtor Chris Lofthus, the Treasure Valley real estate market is back. It was so depressed, but we're back. We're one of the number-one real estate markets in the country.
That's despite the number of home sales in Ada County staying level over the past year, and the number in Canyon County dropping from last year, according to Intermountain MLS.
It's the prices that have people excited about the market. People are getting a lot more for their homes. The median price in Ada County is almost 25% higher than it was at this time last year. In Canyon County, the median price is 29% higher than it was at this time last year, and 44% higher for new homes.
So, what's driving all this? Lofthus says it's a little bit of everything, from low interest rates, to prices catching up with an active market, to Boise just being a great place to live and a lot of out-of-state people moving in. We're seeing a lot of California people coming into the marketplace.
Lofthus says his office just finalized two home sales last week for families from California, where the income tax just went up.
This all might sound similar to the big Treasure Valley housing bubble in the mid-2000's that eventually burst. Lofthus says though, he doesn't see it happening that way again. I think the banks in general are still going to hold tight. They're going to loosen the purse strings a little bit. But, I don't think it's going to get out of control like it did before.
Here are some more diverging numbers for you... while building has increased, the number of homes for sale is actually down from last year. Realtors say they would like to see that number increase, because right now, there few homes in the $100-150-thousand range.
Lofthus says he's seeing the most market activity in North Boise, Eagle, Star and Middleton.