Business

Boise-area house prices keep rising. Still, Californians and Utahns want to buy here

Our house prices keep rising at a nation-leading pace, yet out-of-staters remain undaunted.

Boise ranked No. 2 on Realtor.com’s list of cities with the most out-of-state views on its website last quarter, and it’s the only landlocked city among the top three. Boise trails only Charleston, South Carolina, the historic city on the Atlantic coast. Honolulu was third.

Californians and Utahns, especially, seek to join us. More than a quarter of the out-of-state online traffic for Boise home listings during the second quarter came from just three cities: Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Sacramento, according to a new analysis by Realtor.com.

In all, out-of-state shoppers accounted for 60% of the Boise home viewings during April, May and June. Of those, 12 percent were from Los Angeles, 9 percent from Salt Lake City and 7 percent from Sacramento.

“Although interest rates are the lowest they have been in three years, cost has become a deal breaker for many buyers, especially in pricey West Coast metros,” senior Realtor.com economist George Ratiu said in a news release. “But instead of giving up on the American Dream, many buyers have decided to look for a home in medium-sized metros outside their state that offer price relief, and a similar lifestyle.”

Prices like Boise’s “feel like a steal” to buyers leaving those cities, the real estate trade association said.

The median listing price for Boise homes was $372,500. That’s 18% higher than the national median of $315,000 But the median listing price in Los Angeles is $766,800, and in Salt Lake City it’s $434,900, Realtor.com said.

Meanwhile, the growth in home sales nationwide has weakened — especially on the West Coast. Home prices in Seattle have been lower for the past two months than they were for the same months a year ago. In June, a national credit rating service warned that Boise’s home prices are so high that a “sharp slowdown” is possible.

But for now, buyers keep bidding local home prices up. On Tuesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said the Boise-Nampa metro area ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for its rate of price increases in the past year. Homes rose 13.6% here, compared with the national average of 5%.

Business Editor David Staats contributed.

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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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