BOISE, Idaho — Editor's Note: This article was originally published by the Idaho Press.
The Treasure Valley’s housing market is starting to cool off. It’s still a strong seller’s market, but rising inventory means buying a house has tended to be a little less of a frenzy than it was a few months ago.
Signs of increasing inventory arose last month. The trend continued in July, according to new data from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. Low inventory, along with low interest rates, were key drivers in climbing home prices. Though prices remain high, more inventory means a shift closer to a more balanced market.
Christina Ward, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty Boise, said she’s seeing a combination of some more sellers and a few less buyers.
“That’s still a seller’s market. It just feels a little bit cooler,” Ward said. “Still warm to hot, but cooler than last year.”
In Ada County in July, 1,027 total single-family homes sold and 1,055 homes were active listings on the last day of the month. Both numbers are the highest in each category of any month in 2021 so far.
In June, 971 single-family homes were sold. Previously, the most homes sold in a month in 2021, was 796 in April, according to the Intermountain MLS.
The 616 single-family homes sold in Canyon County in July was also the most of any month this year.
The change aligns with typical seasonal trends, but it is healthy for the market regardless, real estate agents said. Right now, there’s about a month of inventory of houses on the market compared to 0.2 months earlier this year. A balanced market has four to six months of inventory, they said. Inventory is defined by how long it would take for all available homes to be sold if no more came on the market.
“We’ve got a little more inventory right now, which is great, which is helping,” said Julene Webb, Real Estate Consultant with Group One Sotheby’s International Realty.
The median price for a single-family home in Ada County in July was $540,000. That’s a 38.5% year-over-year increase from July 2020, when it was $390,000. It’s also a $15,000 increase from June. This shows that on a month-to-month basis, the increased inventory hasn’t yet impeded the county’s increasing prices.
In Canyon County, the median price for a single-family home in July was $414,750. That’s a decrease from the $424,000 median price in June. Compared to July 2020, the price has increased 38% from when it was $300,523.
“It’s such a good sign. That was not normal what we went through this last year,” Ward said of the market’s slight cooling off. “... Hopefully this is moving into a healthier market than that extreme low, low inventory market that we experienced in the past year.”
Ward has noticed buyers not having to be in as many big, competitive bidding wars as well as some price reductions on listings. Both coincide with the rise in inventory, which is a “huge relief” for buyers, she said.
While the market seems to be cooling slightly, it’s not unusual at this time of year.
“We are hearing open houses aren’t as crazy busy,” Webb said. “I think some buyers may have decided to take a break for a little bit, but typically this time of year is when we do have the most inventory.”
Paul Schwedelson covers growth, Nampa and Caldwell. Follow him on Twitter @pschweds.
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