The steady climb of home sales in Ada and Canyon counties is partially due to properties finally regaining enough value for owners to sell without taking huge losses.
A total 1,104 homes sold in the Valley in June 2013, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, up 17.4 percent from June 2012. The median home prices rose 21.5 percent in Ada County to $198,500 and 25.6 percent in Canyon to $123,250 during that time.
Many owners who wanted to sell during the recession held off because their homes had lost 30 or 40 percent of their values, said Greg Manship, CEO of the listing service.
Rebounding prices are rewarding their patience, he said.
"People are starting to come off the fence and list, because prices are back to a level where they can at least recoup what they put into a home," Manship said.
Nina Cadwell, a real estate agent at Group One in Boise, said shes seen a dramatic shift in the attitudes of home sellers.
Selling homes was a depressing prospect for homeowners after the housing market crashed in 2008, Cadwell said. Many took big losses when they were forced to short sell their homes for less than they owed on their mortgages. Others allowed their homes to be taken through foreclosure because they couldnt continue making payments.
Cadwell said she commonly saw sellers who were forced to sell at a loss bringing cash to closings to pay off their mortgages, pay other fees and pay agent commissions. Thats happening less now, she said.
"Theres a lot of pent-up frustration from people who bought at the peak of the market," Cadwell said. Now, people feel like they can make a move. Theres a sense of relief and hope and freedom to start (selling) like they want to."
There were 808 June home sales in Ada County, up 16.4 percent from the previous year. Of those, 641 were existing homes whose median price was $198,500, and 167 were newly built homes with a median price of $266,518.
Canyon Countys 304 sales were a 23.6 percent increase over the previous year. Of those, 266 were existing homes selling for a median price of $138,164. The 38 newly constructed homes sold for a median price of $170,570.
Houses in Ada County were on the market an average of 45 days before selling, 10 days fewer than June 2013. Canyon County homes sold in an average of 46 days, or 12 fewer than the year before.
The increased competition is another sign of strength for the Valley housing market, Cadwell said.
"Every (market segment) is better, and listings under $300,000 are really quite busy," Caldwell said.