Business

Ada homes prices set another record as buyers fight over scarce homes

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.

Home prices set yet another record in Ada County in May as buyers struggled to find housing and sellers basked in the warmth of multiple offers. .

The median price of a singe-family home in Ada County rose to $342,990, up nearly $8,000 from the record-setting $335,000 in March. It was 12.5 percent higher than in May 2018, Boise Regional Realtors said.

Last year, median home prices rose 18.1 percent, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service.

As the Statesman has reported over the past 18 months, Ada County has set median price records six times. They broke the $300,000 barrier in March 2018.

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Mike Turner, an agent with Front Street Brokers in Boise, doesn’t believe Boise’s market is overvalued. He said the market is being dictated by high demand and low supply.

“What I would say is that it’s in trouble in the sense of providing a healthy amount of supply for all the people who live and work here,” Turner said. “That’s what I’m worried about.”

It’s getting harder and harder for first-time buyers to find a home for less than $250,000, he said.

Turner found that from January through May, only 600 homes sold in Ada County in that price range. A year ago, for the same period, 1,200 homes sold. In the first five months of 2017, 1,800 homes did.

“The reason we’re seeing such jumps in median price is that there’s no houses out there at that price,” he said. “If there was inventory at that price point, people would grab them.”

The median price in Canyon County in May was $243,103. That was down from $248,500 in April, which was the second month in a row the median set a record.

Rick Gehrke, agent with RE/Max Executives in Nampa who sells in both Ada and Canyon counties, said he recently sold three homes in that price range, all in Nampa. For two of his buying clients, Gehrke wrote at least 10 offers each before sellers accepted.

“It’s been hard working as a buyer’s agent to get through multiple-offer situations and not overpay,” he said.

Other details from the new Intermountain Multiple Listing Service report:

The median price for the 792 existing homes sold in Ada County was $329,000. For the 369 new homes sold, the median was $389,000.

In Canyon County, 350 existing homes were sold, with a median price of $232,700. There were 148 new homes sold, with a median price of $268,582.

Highest median prices: Northeast Boise, $530,000; Eagle, $499,900; North Boise, $497,750.

Lowest median prices: Northwest Caldwell, $226,200; Northwest Nampa, $232,250; Southwest Caldwell, $238,245.

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Reporter John Sowell has worked for the Statesman since 2013. He covers business and growth issues. He grew up in Emmett and graduated from the University of Oregon.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.

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