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Is one state to blame for driving up Idaho's housing prices? An economist weighs in

The attraction to the Gem State likely won't go away in 2022, but there are signs home prices may start to cool.

BOISE, Idaho — It's a new year, but as of right now, still the same housing market in the Gem State.

Senior Economist for Zions Bank, Robert Spendlove, said while the Idaho housing market has been leading the rest of the country for several years, there are signs that home prices are rising more slowly, and possibly about to peak.

“That's really something that we want to see and that we've been welcoming,” Spendlove said. “What we found is the housing market in Idaho continues to be extremely strong, one of the strongest in the economy.” 

RELATED: Boise home prices in 2022. Higher or lower?

That growth has some folks asking, are Californians moving to Idaho driving up home prices?

“We just got new data from the U.S. Census Bureau and over the last year the net in-migration into Idaho was almost 50-thousand. That is a huge jump and it's a huge impact on the Idaho market, so that is driving the demand for home prices,” Spendlove said.

He went on to explain that people moving from California aren't the main driving force, but it is a contributing factor. That said, people from many other states are also moving to Idaho. Another contributing factor: lack of inventory.

“We know anecdotally that many of those people are coming from California and they're also coming from areas on the East Coast like New York or Pennsylvania. There's a lot of attraction to Idaho right now,” Spendlove said. 

He believes that attraction will continue to grow through 2022.

“While prices are way up relative to other parts of the country, Idaho is still affordable, so we'll continue to see prices going up, we'll continue to see strong demand, but we won’t see that strong acceleration,” Spendlove said. 

It's important to note, while there are a lot of Californians moving to the Gem State, analysis website Stacker.com analyzed the census data and found there are also significant numbers of people moving from Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona and Colorado.

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