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'A new normal' for Ada County home prices? Median price increases January to February, but drops year-over-year

Higher new construction sales likely pushed the overall sales price higher month-to-month, according to Boise Regional REALTORS.

BOISE, Idaho — For the fourth month in a row, the median price of homes sold in Ada County declined year-over-year in February, but they increased slightly month-to-month, Boise Regional REALTORS reported Monday.

The February 2023 median sales price was $492,115, according to statistics from Intermountain MLS. The median price in January 2023 was $487,495. In February 2022, it was $549,900. The latest price report indicates that February was the fourth consecutive month of a year-over-year decline in price.

A total of 613 single-family homes were sold last month in Ada County. Closings were 7.3% lower than in February 2022. Boise Regional REALTORS said in a news release that more than 40% of all home sales that closed this February were new homes, which typically sell for more than existing resale homes.

In Canyon County, the median home sales price this past February was $389,945, down almost $6,000 month-to-month. A year earlier, the median price in Canyon County was $434,900.

"Prices are still adjusting to mortgage rates and buyer demand, but this month-over-month uptick in (Ada County) prices may indicate that we're reaching a new normal with prices," explained Debbi Myers, 2023 President of Boise Regional REALTORS®. "Mortgage rates and supply versus demand will be the ultimate determining factors on where prices go, but we'll keep watching to see if prices continue to level out." 

The average time homes spent on the market continued to slow. Homes that closed in February had been on the market an average of 78 days before going under contract. That's the highest since February 2012.

Boise Regional REALTORS says despite the similar market times, other metrics indicate market conditions today are quite different than they were in 2012.

First, inventory counts at the end of February 2023 were about half of what they were in February 2012, when the market was still recovering from the burst of the housing bubble. Today's home prices are driven by supply versus demand, and not the "speculation like we saw leading up to the Great Recession," the BRR said.

Another indicator is the percentage of distressed sales -- properties listed as HUD-owned, in foreclosure, REO/Bank-owned or "potential short sale." This February, 0.3% of sales in Ada County were considered distressed, compared to 45.4% in February 2012.

"Today's sellers are in a much better credit position than they were over a decade ago, and that's a big reason we're seeing so few distressed sales," Myers said. "With that said, you'll need to work closely with your real estate agent to price per the current market and determine the most effective marketing strategy as the market adjusts."

There were 1,039 homes available on the market at the end of February in Ada County, compared to 493 a year ago. BRR said that means buyers have more negotiation power, more time to decide and more options to choose from. Potential first-time buyers can look into down payment assistance programs specific to their circumstances as well as the Idaho First-Time Home Buyer savings account.

Buyers, on the other hand, have more negotiation power, more time to decide, and more options to choose from than we've seen in recent history. There were 1,039 homes available on the market at the end of February, compared to 493 for the same month last year. Potential first-time buyers can also look into down payment assistance programs specific to their circumstances, as well as Idaho First-Time Home Buyer savings accounts to maximize their down payment savings.

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