Housing market inventory within the Boise, Idaho metro area has experienced some serious ups and downs over the past few years. Supply levels had been trending downward for a long time, even before the pandemic-fueled housing market boom.
As inventory dwindled, home buyers in the Boise area found themselves competing fiercely with one another for limited housing options. In addition to causing bidding wars and rapid home sales, this trend boosted Boise-area home prices to all-time record highs.
The current real estate market is not as tight or competitive as it was during the past few years. Even so, inventory levels have trended downward in 2024, once more increasing competition among buyers. These trends could extend throughout the rest of this year.
Boise Housing Market Supply Has Dropped in 2024
During 2022, housing supply in the area increased from the rock-bottom levels seen during the previous year. But that growth trend reversed itself in early 2023, when Boise housing market inventory began to drop again.
When this report was published, the Boise-Nampa metro area had less than a two-month supply of homes for sale. This represents a fairly tight housing market, where inventory is concerned.
A two-month supply of homes for sale means that it would take two months to sell all of the homes currently on the market at the current sales pace. This metric is often used to indicate the level of inventory in the housing market and provides insight into the balance between supply and demand.
A low months’ supply (like the present level in Boise) indicates that there are not many homes for sale relative to demand. This in turn can lead to multiple-offer scenarios and sometimes even bidding wars, as buyers attempt to outmaneuver one another.
The ideal months’ supply for a balanced housing market is closer to four or five months. But that’s something we haven’t seen for quite some time, in Boise or in other housing markets across the U.S.
Why Some Homeowners Are Reluctant to Sell
Higher mortgage rates have played a role in all of this. Numerous surveys over the past few months have shown that some homeowners who would like to sell are reluctant to do so, because they don’t want to give up their low mortgage rates.
Many homeowners across the Boise area and nationwide currently have mortgage rates that are significantly lower than today’s average rates. So a person who sells their current home and buys another could encounter higher housing costs.
According to a recent report from the national real estate brokerage Redfin:
“Elevated mortgage rates are prompting many homeowners to stay put, resulting in bidding wars as buyers compete for a small pool of homes. But buyers and sellers can at least take a little comfort in knowing the Federal Reserve probably won’t raise interest rates again anytime soon.”
If mortgage rates decline over the coming months, as some forecasts suggest, it could make homeowners more comfortable with the idea of selling. Additionally, not all sellers have the luxury of waiting around for mortgage rates to drop. For many people, moving is a necessity due to work-related relocation or other reasons.
So we could see an increase in inventory levels across the Boise real estate market later in 2024. That would be a positive development from a home buyer’s perspective.
Boise Homes Are Selling Faster in 2024
When inventory levels decline within a particular real estate market, we tend to see a corresponding increase in the overall pace or speed of home sales. And that’s exactly what has happened within the Boise real estate market during the first half of 2024.
During the frenzied housing market of 2001 and 2022, homes listed for sale across the Boise metro area typically went under contract in less than 10 days. But starting in early summer 2022, the median number of “days on market” rose considerably. This was part of a nationwide real estate cooldown that has since been well documented.
The next major turning point came in early 2023, when the days on market metric began to decline again. In other words, the Boise real estate market began to speed up, with faster home sales. This shows there is still a high level of demand among home buyers within the Boise housing market.
Anyone planning to buy a home in 2024 should pay close attention to these trends. They’re a direct reflection of the level of competition within this housing market.
What Home Buyers Can Do to Succeed
Market research and awareness can help home buyers increase their overall chance for success. But don’t stop there. There are also some proactive steps you can take to find a suitable property within budget, despite tight inventory conditions.
Here are some strategies to consider as you gear up for the house-hunting process:
- Be prepared and pre-approved. Before starting your home search, make sure you are financially prepared by getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This shows sellers that you are a serious buyer, and that you have the financial means to purchase a home.
- Broaden your search criteria. In a tight market, you might have to be more flexible with your home search criteria. Expanding your search box and remaining open-minded about property features could open up a lot more options.
- Consider going above the asking price. When supply levels run low, buyers sometimes need to offer more than the asking price to triumph in a bidding war. Just be sure to do your research so you don’t exceed your budget or overpay for a home.
Sammamish Mortgage serves home buyers all across the Pacific Northwest, including the Boise area. We can pre-approve you for a loan to give you an added advantage in this competitive market. Additionally, our efficient underwriting process can help ensure that you close on time. Please contact our staff if you have mortgage-related questions.