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Viewpoint: Homes sales and price trends in hot Treasure Valley housing market

Boise Regional Realtors reports home prices are still going up, but sales are dipping.

BOISE, Idaho — Anyone who has bought a house lately or is looking to buy one knows just how expensive and competitive the Treasure Valley housing market is. On the other hand, it has been a great market for sellers. 

The median sales price just keeps climbing month-over-month, year-over-year. In fact, the median sales price for a home in Ada County just hit another record high in May at more than $600,000.

Numbers from Boise Regional Realtors show a steep upward trend in the median sales price for homes in Ada County over the last four and a half years. In January of 2018 it was $279,000. By May of that year it went up to $305,000.

Here are the median sales prices in Ada County for the months of May since then:

  • 2019 $340,000
  • 2020 $360,000
  • 2021 $518,550
  • 2022 $602,250 (Record high for Ada County)

You can see that the jump from May 2021 to May 2022 is the biggest in recent years at nearly $85,000, an increase of 16.1%. Also, this May's price is up $7,000 just from this April.

As KTVB has reported, the causes of the increases in home prices include, population growth, demand being greater than the supply of available homes, many buyers paying over-asking price for their homes, supply chain issues and increased costs of construction. But can the prices just keep going up, up and up? 

There appear to be some signs that the market conditions are changing. For the month of May, Boise Regional Realtors reported home prices did go up again, as noted earlier, but closed home sales went down for the third month of consecutive year-over-year declines. Closed home sales decreased 5.8% to 894 compared to May of 2021. The percentage of pending home sales also dropped by 12.7%.

The length of time houses are staying on the market is also growing, from an average of eight days before closing in May of 2021 to 11 days last month.

For a snapshot of the region, here are the latest numbers on the housing market in Elmore and Gem Counties. Boise Regional Realtors reports the rolling 12-month median sales price for homes in Elmore County was $316,500 in May. That's up 21.5% from May of 2021. In Gem County, the median sales price hit $445,586 in May of this year. That's up 33.5% compared May of last year. Keep in mind the number of transactions in these counties is much smaller than in Ada County.

Boise Regional Realtors 2022 President Becky Enrico-Crum is watching factors that will likely impact home sales and home prices going forward, including rising mortgage interest rates.

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Becky Enrico-Crum: "We actually anticipate seeing interest rates maybe continue to crawl up a little bit moving forward. So that is going to affect buyers that were qualified at a certain price point. It is now going to lower that price point a little bit. So they're really going to have to be working on their credit scores and saving a little bit more for down payment. Because it really does come down to their payment. They always want to make sure, can I afford this payment and what kind of house can I buy with that house payment."

Doug Petcash: "So do you anticipate to keep seeing this trend that we've been seeing in your monthly reports that the median sales price might continue to go up while home sales continue to dip a little bit?"

Becky Enrico-Crum: "I'm not sure that we're going to continue to see the price go up. I think what we're finally going to see is that price to stabilize. I keep saying where's the ceiling? I think we've hit the ceiling, and you know, it's a really big ceiling."

On this edition of Viewpoint, Enrico-Crum discusses the trends in homes sales and prices up to this point and the market forces that will likely affect them in the months ahead. Viewpoint airs Sunday mornings at 9 on Idaho's NewsChannel 7 right after Meet the Press.

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