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Ada, Canyon home prices set records again in August as ‘perfect storm’ fuels sales

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 another record in Ada County in August as high demand and low supply combined once again to fuel a seller’s market.

The median price of a single-family home rose to $355,000, up $595 from the previous record of $354,405, set in June, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service.

It marked the eighth time since February 2018 that a record was set, with four in 2018 and four this year. The February 2018 record was $297,500. Since then, the median price has risen 19.3%.

The median is the price in the middle of the houses sold. Half cost more and half less.

Rick Gehrke, an agent with RE/Max Executives in Nampa who sells in both Ada and Canyon counties, said there continues to be high demand for homes in the Treasure Valley from people looking to leave California and Washington.

“It’s still a perfect storm of low inventory, high demand and very, very good interest rates,” Gehrke said.

On Thursday, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.6 percent. It had been as high as 4.94 percent last November.

Gehrke recently sold a home in Meridian to a man who was already living in Meridian but originally came from Alaska. The man’s mother, sister and grandparents, who still live in Alaska, are now looking for homes in the Treasure Valley.

“We’re still getting that exodus from other areas coming into Southern Idaho that come for whatever reason, the weather, the lifestyle, the gun rights, the conservative political climate,” Gehrke said. It’s always a hodgepodge of different reasons why they’re coming, but they’re coming.”

He said buyers are fairly well split between local residents and those coming from out of state.

The median price in Canyon County in August was $254,900, which was also a record. That bested July’s record of $250,000.

There are still bargains to be found, Gehrke said. He found a listing for a home between Meridian and Nampa and although he wasn’t actively looking for a place, he bought it himself a week ago.

Located about a mile from his office in Nampa, the house, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and nearly 1,700 square feet, was listed for $265,000. The sellers accepted an offer of $240,000 and agreed to pay $2,500 in closing costs.

“It was a screaming deal,” he said. “I felt I got really lucky, and figured I got $10,000 to $15,000 in instant equity.”

Other details from the new latest monthly listing-service report:

The median price for the 723 existing homes sold in Ada County was $338,000. For the 312 new homes sold, the median was $399,999. That’s up $11,000 since May.

In Canyon County, 380 existing homes were sold, with a median price of $246,000. There were 149 new homes sold, with a median of $266,990.

Highest median prices: Northeast Boise, $552,000; Eagle, $546,120; North Boise, $472,465.

Lowest median prices: Nampa, $232,000; Southwest Caldwell, $237,450; Northwest Caldwell, $239,990.

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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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