BOISE, Idaho — Editor's Note: This article was originally published by The Idaho Press.
A year since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, housing prices in the Treasure Valley continue to climb.
Median single-family home prices rose in both Ada and Canyon counties in March compared to both last year and last month, according to data from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service.
In Ada County, the jump was from $367,250 in March 2020 to $467,325 in March 2021, or a 27.3% rise. It’s the biggest year-over-year percentage increase in the county since January 2013 (34.7%). Back then, the median price was $185,909.
The median price for a home in Canyon County this March was $386,000, a 42% increase from last March’s $271,900 median price.
In February, the median price for a home in Canyon County was $369,000, which was $20,000 more than in January, the largest jump since at least 2006. That, though, was only a 39.3% year-over-year increase.
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Nampa Association of Realtors President-elect Ophelie Montgomery pointed to the use of remote work, the strength of Idaho’s economy despite hardships and low interest rates as conditions that created the massive boom in prices.
As the pandemic moves closer to its end, Montgomery thinks the increases will continue, but not as substantially each month.
“The situation we had in the last 12 months was dramatically unique,” Montgomery said. “It created the perfect storm.”
The rising prices continue to be the result of a lack of supply. Ada County homes spent 22 days on the market in March, half as many as in March 2020, a testament to the competitive nature of the current housing market.
To stand out among the crowd, prospective buyers frequently offered more than what the house was listed for. According to Boise Regional Realtors, existing homes in Ada County sold in March for approximately $18,000 more than the listing price.
“If you’re searching for a home, this is certainly something to keep in mind,” Boise Regional Realtors President-elect Becky Enrico-Crum said in a news release. She recommends buyers reduce their price range so they can stay within their budget if they need to offer more than the list price.
In Canyon County, homes spent 14 days on the market in March, a slight drop from the 15 days in February and a significant decrease from the 50 days in March 2020.
In a Boise Regional Realtors report, the agency predicted sales this upcoming April and May might end up higher than sales in those months in 2020 because of last year’s statewide stay-at-home order.
At the time, uncertainty loomed around the housing market, but the Treasure Valley’s growth wasn’t slowed down. Instead, increasing prices were accelerated even more.
Paul Schwedelson covers growth, Nampa and Caldwell. Follow him on Twitter @pschweds.