Words & Deeds

New study says Boise is nation’s No. 1 ‘best place to buy a house.’ Wait, stop laughing.

As prices rise, home building booms from Boise to Caldwell

Home construction is booming from Boise to Caldwell in Southwest Idaho, but home prices are still setting records, worsening the shortage of affordable housing for moderate-income buyers.
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Home construction is booming from Boise to Caldwell in Southwest Idaho, but home prices are still setting records, worsening the shortage of affordable housing for moderate-income buyers.

We’re addicted to rankings, Boise, and WalletHub knows it.

Why else would the personal finance website invent yet another metrics-based “study” that blows our backwoods Idaho minds?

The latest one seems so wrong that you’ll want to beat yourself over the head with the nearest “for sale” sign.

WalletHub claims that Boise ranks No. 1 in the entire United States among “Best Places to Buy a House.”

By “best,” is it possible they mean “competitive and expensive”? OK, that would make sense.

In a news release, WalletHub decribes the study as a “report on 2019’s Best Real-Estate Markets.”

So is Boise supposedly the best real estate market for buyers? Or for sellers? It had better be the latter, because trying to purchase a house in the exploding Treasure Valley is a mad scramble, right?

Wrong, apparently. When you go to the WalletHub article, Boise, indeed, is No. 1 on the best places to buy a house list.

Come on, man. As any local knows, the nation’s fastest-growing home prices are in the Boise area. And our wages aren’t keeping up.

Hello, WalletHub? Does any of this compute?

“To determine the most attractive real-estate markets in the U.S.,” WalletHub says, it “compared 300 cities across 23 key metrics. The data set ranges from median home-price appreciation to home sales turnover rate to job growth.”

Some of the highlights: Boise ranked 13th in percentage of homes with negative equity, seventh in average days until sale, 15th in job growth rate, 32nd in foreclosure rate, 44th in percentage of delinquent mortgage holders, 61st in number of unsold homes owned by banks (REOs), 107th in population growth rate and 135th in home price as percentage of income.

Good luck house hunting, WalletHub. Try the North End.

Just make sure that when you do buy a home in Boise, you don’t get taxed out of it.

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Michael Deeds is an entertainment reporter and opinion columnist at the Idaho Statesman. Since starting at the Statesman as a news intern in 1991, he has been a sportswriter and features/entertainment editor. Deeds also has freelanced for The Washington Post, Relix, Country Weekly, Velo News, Beer Advocate and more.
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