They can’t afford Ada County, so they’re flocking to its less expensive neighbor to the west.
Ada County renters priced out of the sales market and other buyers who want larger lots than they can get on Ada’s high-cost land are buying houses, or trying to, in Canyon County. Bidding wars are driving up prices fast, just as they have in Ada County.
Home prices leaped to record-setting levels in April in Canyon County. The median house price jumped $18,500 from March (which also was a record) to April, to $248,500, the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service reported Monday.
Still, that’s $83,490 less than April’s median price Ada County, which fell slightly from March’s $335,000 record.
“Homes are more affordable in Canyon County, so demand is a little higher,” said Kecia Mortenson, a real estate agent with Silvercreek Realty Group in Nampa, in a telephone interview. “The lack of supply is pushing up prices.”
Over the weekend, Mortenson wrote an offer for $235,000 for a four-bedroom, two-bath house in south Nampa listed for $230,000. Her clients, first-time buyers, lost to someone who offered $2,000 more.
The same clients are now interested in another house of nearly equal size in north Nampa that’s listed for $215,000. Mortenson said she’s making an offer for $237,000.
“The demand is so high there’s multiple offers, and people are having to bid up close to what their maximum is,” she said.
Buyers who work in Ada County get lower prices in Canyon in exchange for heavy commuter congestion on eastbound Interstate 84 in the morning and westbound in the afternoon. The commuters also clog Chinden Boulevard (U.S. 26) and State Street (Idaho 44).
“Renters just want to own a home, and they’re willing to make that commute,” Mortenson said. People who already own a home in Boise are less willing to move out of the city and commute, she said.
Canyon County is also attractive, she said, for buyers who want to leave subdivision living behind and find a place with a half-acre or larger lot, she said.
A client with a $350,000 house near Curtis Road and Chinden Boulevard in Boise is buying a $330,000 home in east Nampa. While the Nampa home is smaller, it comes with three-fourths of an acre. And because the buyer is retiring, she won’t need to commute, Mortenson said.
Other details from the new Intermountain Multiple Listing Service report:
▪ The median price for the 443 existing homes sold in Canyon County was $234,000. For the 117 new homes sold, it was $271,990.
▪ In Ada County, there were 596 existing homes sold, with a median price of $308,450. For the 339 new homes sold, the median price was $369,000.
▪ Highest median prices: Northeast Boise, $528,000; North Boise, $480,000; Eagle, $428,325.
▪ Lowest median prices: Northwest Caldwell, $211,965; Nouthwest Caldwell, $229,495; Northwest Nampa, $234,600.