2012 Idaho Housing Market

Pushed by record low mortgage rates and the lowest home prices in years, most of Idaho’s housing markets are in the midst of a major Boise, Idaho turn around, and are projected to appreciate in home values by the end of the year. A limited supply of homes on the market in Idaho cities is also helping home prices to climb as the region pushes out of the bottom of the market.

Boise had been one of the hardest hit cities in the U.S. housing collapse but the reduction in foreclosures is helping the area to recover. Foreclosures have been slashed in half over the last year as lenders increase the number of short sales they approve for homeowners underwater or unable to make their mortgages.

Despite lower home prices being paid in Boise than during the height of the real estate bubble, the area is under going a major transition. Pushed by greater activity and low lending rates, home values in Boise are also forecast to appreciate an average of 2.1% by years end.

The foreclosure crisis hit Boise hard and is far from over with job losses at a number of local businesses, including some of the regions major employers. However, a slowly improving economy will also provide more home buyers over time and provide stabilization for the region’s housing market.

Local Idaho Housing Markets at a Glance

City Forecast
Boise 2.1%
Meridian 1.7%
Nampa 1.1%
Idaho Falls 1.0%
Couer d’Alene 3.2%

In neighboring Meridian, home values declined for almost four years before showing signs of improvement. The lower home prices have attracted many new home buyers, with near record low mortgage rates pushing many off the fence to make purchases. Average home prices are forecast to inflate 1.7% for the year.

Just outside of the city limits of Boise, Nampa has suffered larger price declines in housing as a result of the crash. Investors searching for deals have helped the area to recover sooner than many thought would occur, but a surplus inventory of homes in the shadow inventory trouble the market, holding back a full recovery. Home prices, however, are forecast to improve slightly over the remainder of the year, and book a slim 1.1% in average appreciation.

Home sales aren’t exactly booming in Coeur d’Alene, home to the region’s largest second home market. But lower prices and favorable lending rates have been inviting for many buyers looking to break into the market. A smaller inventory has also triggered the demand of hungry bargain hunters searching for promising investment real estate.

However, foreclosures and short sales still make up the bulk of transactions and should continue to do so throughout most of Idaho over the rest of the year. Home prices in swank Coeur d’Alene, including condominiums are projected to increase an average of 3.2% for the year.

In smaller Idaho Falls, new housing starts flourished during the boom years before projects were brought to an abrupt halt. Sales are much slower these days but home values are projected to rise slightly through year’s end, at an average of 1.0%.