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Housing inventory rises in the Treasure Valley, possibly leveling off market

A key factor in the soaring prices has been a lack of homes coming on the market.
Credit: Brian Myrick / Idaho Press
Roof trusses stand in front of a home under construction in a subdivision near the corner of Cole Road and Lake Hazel in Boise on March 12.

BOISE, Idaho — The Treasure Valley’s housing market could be approaching a tipping point.

In the past year, the median price of a single-family Ada County home decreased only twice, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service’s monthly reports. From May until June of this year, it increased slightly, from $523,250 to $525,000.

The small bump comes as inventory has ticked up recently. It’s a smaller increase than most months the past year. A key factor in the soaring prices has been a lack of homes coming on the market.

The inventory in Ada County — meaning how long it would take until all homes sold out if no more entered the market — has increased from 0.2 months in 2020 to 0.7 in June, according to Christina Ward, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Boise.

There were 729 Ada County listings at the end of June, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. That number was 570 at the end of May and 361 at the end of April. While the median price is still 40% higher than June 2020’s $375,000, the rising inventory could lead to a potential calming down of soaring prices.

Mike Pennington, a real estate agent for John L. Scott Real Estate who writes a monthly report, took note of the possibly shifting landscape.

“We may finally be at a point where we are starting to see a correction,” Pennington wrote. “Not a crash, but simply a plateauing of our housing market. If that is in fact the case, it is badly needed.”

In Canyon County, the median price jumped from $410,000 in May to $424,000 in June, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. It’s a 48.8% increase compared to the June 2020 median price of $285,000.

Canyon County’s inventory is 0.6 months for resale homes and 1.3 months for newly constructed homes, Ward said. A balanced market would have around four or five months’ worth of inventory and the national length is about three months, she added.

The new data from June could be caused by a seasonal shift in more listings or fewer buyers. Maybe, even, more people are simply becoming more comfortable selling their house as more and more people receive COVID-19 vaccinations. 

“To see this little increase in inventory, it’s been such a relief for buyers to maybe compete against three people instead of 20,” Ward said.

The average days on the market in June remained low in both counties, based on Intermountain MLS data. In Ada County, it dropped from 12 days to 10. In Canyon County, it went from 12 to 13.

Ultimately, the next few months will dictate if increased inventory is here to last.

“It’s not a matter of if the market will shift,” Ward said. “It’s a matter of when. Markets always shift.”

Paul Schwedelson covers growth, Nampa and Caldwell. Follow him on Twitter @pschweds.

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