ADA COUNTY -- Home prices in Ada County reached new record highs last month, according to the Boise Regional Realtors Association, driven by a number of factors like buyer demand, rising new construction costs and the fact that the area is simply booming contributed to an increase of 8.7 percent over June 2016.
It's proving to be a good time for many sellers, but for buyers, the market can be tough. Many homes are selling weeks - and even days - after a listing. KTVB's Morgan Boydston went house hunting on Tuesday, and it proved to be quite the challenge.
Consumer demand versus supply is really what's growing our housing market.
We decided to look at homes priced around $200,000. Here's why: According to Sperling's Best Places, the median household income in Boise is a little more than $49,200 - which is $4,100 per month. If someone making that amount were to budget 25 percent of their monthly income in housing, they would have a little over $1,000 to spend on a mortgage.
We found that you could get a mortgage on a $200,000 home for between $909 and $1,200 per month - including taxes and insurance. Obviously, everyone's situation is different, and people's income, down payment and interest rates are going to vary. But based on the average household income in Boise, $200,000 is where we decided to draw the line.
According to the Boise Regional Realtors Association, the median home price in Boise in 2017 is $255,750.
"They'd like to do less, I think people still have the idea that 'I'll budget $150,000, I should be able to get a nice little starter house on the Bench.' Not anymore," Boise Regional Realtors Vice President Phil Mount, said.
KTVB went around to multiple neighborhoods across Boise and one in Meridian - with a threshold right around the $200,000 mark as real estate experts consider that "affordable" for the average wage earner in Ada County. There was not a lot to shop for.
"It's rare to get a home under 200,000," Realty One Realtor, Kimberly Richman, told KTVB.
These homes are attracting dozens of first-time buyers, small families, investors and empty nesters.
"We only have 134 homes in Boise under $210 [thousand]," Group One Sotheby's Realtor, Julene Webb, said.
Homes in that price range, especially, are getting snatched up quick.
We started our house-hunting trek in Meridian with a home in the process of closing.
"It's listed for $199.9," Richman added. "It was pending under contract in less than seven days."
The single-story house is about 1,440 square feet, has 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms and was built in 1998.
"With inventory being so low and so many people still want to buy, there's just nothing for them to buy. So each house under 200,000 - if it's in good shape - is getting multiple offers," Richman said.
Then, KTVB crews headed over to the Boise Bench, which is a hot spot for real estate right now. Going for $187,000, the home was built in 1920! It's about 1,600 square-feet, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a basement, and a large backyard. Realtors say large properties and backyards are very rare in this price range.
"Larger lot and more square footage for the price," Webb added.
Then we went south near Amity and South Cole Road.
"It's been really well updated," Mount added. "Might be a little premium priced but they are factoring in the fact that this house is completely dialed in."
This home was built in 1978 and is going for almost $205,000. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two-car garage, about 1,450 square feet, on about a fifth of an acre.
"On the market for 10 days, shouldn't last much longer," Mount added.
Last, we headed west on Amity Road, still in southwest Boise, in the Rockhampton subdivision just off Cloverdale Road.
"Bang for your buck: you are going to do better here in southwest Boise and as you head to Kuna. Even Meridian is a little bit less aggressive than as you get closer to downtown, the North End," Callen Properties of the Silvercreek Realty Group Realtor, Clifford Callen, told KTVB.
The house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and was built in 1999 on almost a fifth of an acre, backing up to Amity Road.
"A lot of renovations have been made to the property."
At 1,300 square feet, this single-level house is going for $199,900.
While the median sales price trends higher, Boise Realtors studies show the rate at which it's increasing is actually slowing down. The trend has moved to Canyon County, too; in Nampa, real estate agents tell us homes are becoming more expensive as the market grows tighter.
"They want to be homeowners, it's still the 'American Dream'. And the majority of people are right in this price range," Callen added. "We need more houses on the market."
Renting is a whole other issue for another day; that market is very tight, with rent prices increasing more and more.