Is the housing supply drying up?

The Boise area, also known as the Treasure Valley, is a stunning place that has frequently appeared on top ten lists of best places to live for almost every demographic imaginable. It is a gathering place for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city while staying close to convenience. People have been flocking here thanks to a number of different factors like its low housing prices, mild temperatures, and close proximity to some of the greatest outdoor destinations in the nation. This has created a huge need for new homes, new neighborhoods, and new amenities. However, over the last few years, it seems as though there has been a tapering off of new construction of all sorts and many people who already live here aren’t moving as much as they used to. This tapering of trends has caused many to ask the question: “is the housing supply in Boise drying up?” which then begs the question: “can the treasure valley sustain the large influx of people?” Well, today, we are going to try and answer those questions, diving into the numbers and trends of the Boise real estate market to find out if this paradise of houses of ours has indeed started to dry up.

In our analysis, we will consider the whole “Boise Real Estate Market” which is comprised of the Treasure Valley, the Magic Valley, Boise and Valley Counties, and the surrounding areas and will usually refer to it as the “Boise Area”.

Also, it is important to remember that these are only our estimations of what the market will do in the next few years and should not be taken as fact, rather as speculation.

Number of homes on the market

Before we can determine whether or not the Boise housing market is drying up, we need to figure out how many homes are for sale in the Boise area. The easiest way to do this is to go to the home search section of this website. If you look up at the top of your screen you will see a button that says, “Property Search” or “Search Listings”. By clicking on this button it will take you to our IMLS portal and will show you all the homes that are for sale in the Boise area.

Now, there are some filters on the right-hand side of the home search section of the website and you will want to go through them and set them up the way you like. This will allow you to find the exact amount of homes there are in a specific area for the specific parameters you want. If you were to go on to that housing search section and search for chiefly residential and residential income properties in the Boise area you will find the number of properties available on the top part of the page.

As of now, January 3, 2017, there are approximately 4,000 homes on the market which is lower than years past. 2014 and 2015 saw numbers close to the 9,000 or 10,000 range. However, before you jump to conclusions, you must first remember that winter time is the slowest of the four seasons when it comes to volume of homes on the market, something we will cover more in the next section. However, 4,000 is still lower than last year and the year before during winter time. So, there is a bit of a decline at the moment.

General Real Estate Trends

There are two cycles that everyone who is interested in real estate should learn more about: the yearly real estate cycle and the long term real estate cycle. Let’s first start with the yearly cycle.

The yearly real estate market follows a wave-like pattern. Usually, the high points are during the spring and summer and the low points are fall and winter. Now, this will sometimes vary from year to year, but in comparison to itself, the higher points will exist in the warmer months. Now, this doesn’t mean that it is easier to sell a home in the spring and summer than in the winter, it just means that there is more on the market.

Now, the long-term cycle is a bit more erratic. It can go up and down for all sorts of reasons, but when you look at a few decades at a time, you can see that it follows a similar wave as before with a slight upward trend. This means that even if it seems low now it may just be at a low point, but the market will always bounce back up.

With that being said, it is important to realize that the market is never stagnant, nor does it move in one direction for any long period of time. There will be ups and downs no matter the year is like.

We still have much more room to expand

Now, even if there is a low supply of homes to buy, there is still much more room to build more homes in the future. So, if there are people looking to move to town and we don’t have the supply enough to accommodate them, building is always an option. Land is very easy to come by here in Idaho and is not very expensive (for the most part).

For example, the farther west or south you travel, there are still massive amounts of land open for the taking. Some are owned by the government, but there is also quite a bit that can be bought and built on. This is all space where supply can be added in the future if the market starts to dry up too fast.

From what we’ve found, the Boise area has started to see a downward turn in the number of homes on the market, though, when considering the natural ebb and flow of the market, this looks like it is only a temporary setback. The real estate market in Boise will jumpstart again in a few years if we continue on this path, so it isn’t that big of a concern. If you are still interested in learning more about the real estate market here in the Boise area, please give us a call, we’re glad to help you out.

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