The following analysis of select counties of the Idaho real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate chief economist Matthew Gardner. We hope this information can help you make more informed real estate decisions. For more information about the housing market in your area, please contact your Windermere real estate agent.
Regional economic overview
In addition to recovering by the end of 2020 all the jobs lost to COVID-19—a remarkable achievement in itself—Idaho’s economy continues to pick up. Current employment levels have increased by 15,400 jobs since the pre-pandemic peak. With the labor market continuing to grow, the unemployment rate stood at 2.9% in August (the most recent data available). Equally impressive, the percentage dropped even as the workforce grew — no easy task. New cases of COVID-19 remain higher than I’d like, but this doesn’t seem to have affected the state’s economy to any significant extent given the robust employment picture. As we hopefully move toward a time when the impact of the pandemic continues to diminish, I see nothing but an upward trajectory for the state’s economy.
Home sales in idaho
❱ In the third quarter, 7,354 existing homes were sold, a decrease of 19.9% compared to a year ago. However, as the country experienced a massive housing market rebound after the COVID-19 outbreak, any comparison with data from 12 months ago is not very informative. More conveniently, sales are up 22.1% compared to the second quarter of 2021.
❱ As mentioned, comparing current data to a year ago doesn’t provide an accurate picture, but comparing it to second quarter data shows that sales are higher across the board. Sales rose by double digits in every province covered by this report.
❱ Year-over-year sales improved in Northern Idaho’s Shoshone County. Sales also rose in Gem County in the southern part of the state.
❱ Pending sales are up 16.5% from the second quarter of 2021, indicating that closed sales in the last quarter of the year are also likely to show improvement from current levels. This is also supported by the fact that the list stock has increased by almost 36%. I predict that more offers will lead to more sales.
Idaho Home Prices
❱ The region’s median home price increased 30.9% year over year to $603,066. Prices also rose by 8% compared to the second quarter of this year.
❱ Compared to the previous quarter, house prices in this report increased by 8.9% in both the northern and southern provinces. Significant gains were made in Shoshone County (+33.7%) and Bonner County (+22.7%) in the north, and Valley County (+22.6%) and Blaine County (+17.2%) in the south.
❱ Prices rose by double digits across the board. Sales prices increased 37% in the Northern Idaho counties covered by this report and 27.7% in the Southern counties.
❱ With much more buyers than sellers, house prices continue their upward trend. Since prices are rising much faster than wages, this cannot go on indefinitely. I expect the pace of valuation to slow down, but probably not until next year.
Days at the market
❱ It took an average of 72 days to sell a home in Northern Idaho, and 31 days in the Southern part of the state.
❱ The average number of days it took to sell a home in the region decreased by 23 days compared to the third quarter of 2020 but increased by 2 days compared to the second quarter of this year.
❱ In Northern Idaho, days on the market fell in all counties from a year ago, but increased in all counties compared to the second quarter of this year. Market time in Southern Idaho was also lower than a year ago, but higher than in the previous quarter in Valley, Gem and Blaine counties.
❱ Homes sold fastest in Ada and Canyon counties in the southern part of the state. Sales were again fastest in Shoshone County in the northern part of the state.
This speedometer displays the state of the real estate market in the region using housing stock, price increases, home sales, interest rates and larger economic factors.
Idaho’s economy appears to be moving forward and the job recovery is well ahead of almost any other state. The result is clearly an increasing number of buyers who feel comfortable buying a new home, even given the dramatic price increases of recent times.
That said, the only factors favoring buyers right now are that there are significantly more homes to choose from and mortgage rates remain very low historically. All other factors support sellers more than buyers. As such, I’m shifting the needle a bit more in their favor, even as affordability concerns continue to mount.
About Matthew Gardner
As chief economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market at both the local and national levels. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience in both the US and UK
In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and serves on the Advisory Board at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington, where he also teaches real estate economics.