Boise-area median home prices top $500,000. West Coasters think twice about moving here

·2 min read

The median home price in Ada County just hit a major milestone: Single-family home prices jumped 8.7% in one month to cross the half-million mark.

It’s a number that was hard to imagine just three years ago.

“I’ve seen our average home price double, more or less, in the last three years,” Alexis Rankin, vice president of Keller Williams Realty Boise, said by phone. “It’s great for current homeowners for building equity. But as a brokerage with over 800 agents, we’ve also seen the trouble and the heartache it brings buyers.

According to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, Ada County’s median sales price was $523,250 in May. In April, the median was $481,208.

A year ago, the same report said the median was $360,000. That’s a 45% increase in 12 months.

Canyon County too is closing in on that half-million mark. Last month, Canyon homes sold at a median price of $410,000, a 2.5% increase from April’s $399,856. The increase pushed Canyon’s home prices over $400,000 for the first time. In May 2020, Canyon homes prices were at $277,018.

Rankin said seeing price tags above $500,000 is finally causing some potential buyers who are considering moving from more-expensive cities to think twice about whether Boise is going to be much more affordable than where they currently live.

“We’ve seen with people from California and Portland and Seattle, there are a handful who are starting to say, ‘Hey, it’s just as expensive as California. Why don’t we stay here for the better weather?’” Rankin said. “There are people who will slowly start to back off because of the median home price market hitting that half-a-million-dollar mark.”

Homes are selling faster too. In May 2020, Ada homes spent 28 days on the market on average. Last month, they spent just 12 days on the market. That speed reflects a decrease in the supply of houses for sale. There were just 570 active sales in May compared with 1,239 in May 2020.

“We are at historic lows of inventory,” Rankin said. “It’s a telltale sign of (residents) going, ‘Well, if we sell our house, where are we going to go?’”

Newly constructed homes sold for even higher prices than the overall medians. The median of new home sales was $544,986 in Ada and $427,000 in Canyon. Existing homes sold at a median of $504,000 in Ada and $390,500 in Canyon.

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