Boise, ID Real Estate Market Trends & Analysis [Updated 2021]

by Than Merrill | @ThanMerrill
Published on Tue, May 11 2021

Jump To Another Year In The Boise Real Estate Market:

The Boise real estate market was perhaps the unsung hero of the last recovery, and the capital of Idaho shows no signs of slowing down—even as the globe recovers from a pandemic. Despite all that has happened across the country, in fact, real estate in Boise appears perfectly capable of leading a nationwide recovery in the real estate sector. Due—in large part—to a strong economy, high demand, and competitive prices, the Boise housing market not only fared better than most of its counterparts over the last year, but it appears ready to outpace averages across the country.

All things considered, the Boise real estate market is setting the bar in today’s constantly evolving landscape. While a small degree of uncertainty persists, the city appears more able to weather the storm than just about everywhere. As a result, buyers, sellers, and investors are well-positioned to capitalize on the active market. In particular, opportunities are growing in the rental sector. Not only are profits looking easier to realize, but demand should remain strong for the foreseeable future.

Boise Real Estate Market 2021 Overview

  • Median Home Value: $465,406

  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: +33.7%

  • Median Home Value (1-Year Forecast): N/A

  • Median Rent Price: $1,475

  • Price-To-Rent Ratio: 26.29

  • Boise City Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (latest estimate by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics)

  • Population: 228,959(latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Median Household Income: $60,035 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Percentage Of Vacant Homes: 6.70%

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 12,893 (0.7%)

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Boise housing market

2021 Boise Real Estate Investing

The Boise real estate market has remained incredibly active, despite the spread of the Coronavirus. In fact, the real estate business has done well maintaining the “status quo.” As a result, prices continue to increase in the face of rising demand. Few cities, for that matter, have enjoyed a better 12 months than the Boise housing market. Investments in the Boise real estate market appear to be paying off, which begs the question: Is now a good time to invest in Boise real estate? Is there still room for a profit after so much appreciation has already taken place? The answer is simple: yes.

Flipping real estate remains an attractive exit strategy, but it’s true: home value appreciation has eaten into profit margins over the last 10 years. Finding deals below market value is harder than in recent years. That said, the Boise real estate market appears to be more suitable for passive income investors. Otherwise known as rental property owners or buy-and-hold investors, passive income investors are the beneficiaries of several positive market indicators:

  • Interest rates on traditional loans are historically low

  • Lower borrowing costs increase monthly cash flow from operations

  • Years of cash flow can easily justify today’s higher acquisition costs

  • A 26.29 price-to-rent ratio suggests high home prices will increase rental demand

The idea of building a rental property portfolio is perhaps more attractive than ever before. Despite high home values, borrowing costs are much lower than they have ever been. In an attempt to stimulate the housing market in every city across the country, the Federal Reserve has dropped interest rates to near all-time lows. As of April, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan was 3.06%, according to Freddie Mac. While rates have already increased slightly year-to-date, they are still historically low and significantly reduce the cost basis of buying a home in Boise.

Lower mortgage rates make the prospect of buying a home with traditional financing more attractive. That said, there’s another way for real estate investors to justify buying rental property in today’s market: cash flow. Several years of cash flow can warrant an acquisition at today’s high prices. With a median rent price of $1,475, many long-term investors should be able to pay down their mortgage using someone else’s money.

In addition to low mortgage rates and cash flow potential, the city has a price-to-rent ratio that leans heavily in favor of investors. At 26.29, the price-to-rent ratio in the Boise housing market suggests homes are expensive. Subsequently, fewer people can afford to buy, driving up rental demand and the amount landlords can charge.

The Boise real estate investing community is lucky to have several viable exit strategies at its disposal. Still, none appear more attractive than building a proper rental property portfolio at the moment. Too many important market indicators are pointing towards becoming a buy-and-hold investor to ignore.

2021 Foreclosure Statistics In Boise

Real estate in Boise has enjoyed a decade-long ascent, which has all but eliminated any sort of foreclosure “crisis.” In fact, the growing equity, strengthening economy and growing jobs market in recent history has led to only one in every 12,893 homes being foreclosed on; that comes out to a foreclosure rate of 0.7%. For context, the country (as a whole) has a 0.8% foreclosure rate, according to RealtyTrac.

For all intents and purposes, the Boise real estate market has a healthy foreclosure rate. Nonetheless, there are still pocks with higher rates of distress than others, not the least of which include:

  • 83703: 1 in every 7,428 homes is distressed

  • 83713: 1 in every 10,730 homes is distressed

  • 83709: 1 in every 20,521 homes is distressed

COVID-19 is expected to increase the number of distressed homeowners across the country, and the Boise real estate market is no exception. While it is still too early to tell exactly how the foreclosure industry will unfold over the course of 2021, it is fair to assume there will be an increase. While foreclosures aren’t expected to rival other cities, an increase may mean more buying opportunities for local investors. Those who position themselves well today and line up financing could find the latter half of 2021 to be a great time to acquire a deal.

2021 Median Home Prices In Boise

Few cities—if any— have had their home values fare better than those in the Boise real estate market over the last decade. In the wake of the Great Recession (the first quarter of 2012), the city’s median home value bottomed out around $150,000. However, since the recovery began to today, real estate in Boise increased in value at a pace few cities could keep up with. From its lowest point of the Great Recession to today, the median home value in Boise has increased 210.2%. Riding a wave of increasing sentiment, improving economic conditions, and a lack of inventory, the median home value in Boise is now a healthy $465,406. In the last 12 months (alone), the median home value in Boise increased 33.7% or roughly three times the national average.

It is worth noting that appreciation rates are expected to continue, despite their recent run-up. The scale of supply and demand is greatly leaning in favor of demand, and competition is likely to send prices upwards for the foreseeable future. As long as inventory remains tight and pent-up demand drives acquisitions, prices will appreciate. In particular, the presence of the Coronavirus prevented builders from adding more inventory to the market. The lack of “new builds” will actually continue to drive up prices in the Boise real estate market once all of the dust settles. Therefore, anyone looking to buy may want to consider sooner rather than later.

Boise Real Estate Market: 2020 Summary

  • Median Home Value: $341,449

  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: +10.3%

  • Median Home Value (1-Year Forecast): +0.4%

  • Median Rent Price: $1,475

  • Price-To-Rent Ratio: 19.29

  • Boise City Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (latest estimate by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics)

  • Population: 228,959(latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Median Household Income: $56,798 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Percentage Of Vacant Homes: 6.70%

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 20,521 (0.4%)

Boise Real Estate Investing 2020

Boise real estate investing followed the same trajectory as the rest of the country. At the onset of 2020, real estate in Boise was firing on all cylinders, building off of several years of moment. At the time, demand was increasing in the face of rising prices, or at least as much as the improving economy would allow. That said, all of the positive sentiment leading into 2020 took a significant hit with the introduction of the Coronavirus. The impact of the Coronavirus on real estate was immediate and damaging. By the end of the first quarter, activity was brought to a standstill. Buyers refused to tour the homes of strangers, sellers took their listings off the market, and lenders experienced bottlenecks in the underwriting process because nobody was working. Fear and uncertainty threatened to upend nearly a decade’s worth of progress.

To mitigate what was looking like a disaster, the Fed dropped interest rates to their lowest point ever. Well below three percent, borrowing costs were made attractive enough to counter the fear onset by COVID-19. In a matter of weeks, buyers came out in droves and sought to take advantage of the opportunity; that, in addition to government stimulus checks and increased savings, drove up demand almost overnight. It should be noted, however, that demand quickly outpaced supply. Sellers quickly saw their listings receiving multiple offers, and the Boise real estate market was no exception. Not unlike everywhere else, demand turned into feverish competition, which would shape how the Boise real estate investing community conducted business over the course of 2020.

Competition increased home values and trimmed profit margins for local investors, perhaps more than anywhere else in the country. Few, if any, markets came close to the appreciation rates Boise saw in 2020. From the moment the Fed announced lower rates through the end of the year, the median home value in Boise increased about 18.3%. For some perspective, the median home value across the United States jumped a more modest 7.2%. All things considered, investors were up against steep appreciation rates.

To combat rising home values, Boise real estate market trends let investors take advantage of new opportunities created by the pandemic. In particular, low borrowing costs allowed investors to focus on long-term strategies. Rental properties became the “go-to” strategy for investors, as lower interest rates simultaneously justified higher home prices and increased monthly cash flow from operations. Perhaps even more importantly, the city’s lack of listings meant more people would be relegated to the renter pool, making vacancies less of a threat. By the time 2020 was concluding, there was still room in the market to “flip” homes, but nothing made more sense than taking a more long-term approach.

Boise Real Estate Market: 2018 Summary

  • Median Home Value: $253,358

  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: 12.7%

  • Median Home Value (1-Year Forecast): 4.8%

  • Median Rent Price: $1,350

  • Average Days On Market: 40

  • Unemployment Rate: 2.9%

  • Median Household Income: $53,353

  • Number Of Foreclosures: 156

Boise Real Estate Investing 2018

The Boise real estate market became the single greatest beneficiary of Idaho’s booming economy in 2018. Appreciation rates outpaced the national average, and there was nothing to suggest they wouldn’t continue to today. For all intents and purposes, there wasn’t a healthier real estate market across the whole country. That said, the Idaho capital wasn’t able to escape the same inventory shortage plaguing the rest of the country at the time. Nonetheless, there was still demand for housing despite prices going up.

The median home price was roughly $253,358, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. At their price points, homes were 12.7% higher than they were the previous year and showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, appreciation rates have set historical paces up until today. Even in 2018, Boise was one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and today looks no different.

Boise Real Estate Market: 2015 Summary

  • Median Home Price: $178,700

  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: 12.7%

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.1%

  • 1-Year Job Growth Rate: 1.4%

  • Population: 214,237

  • Median Household Income: $49,583

Boise Real Estate Investing 2015

According to Boise real estate news, the capital of Idaho had already recovered from the Great Recession quite nicely by 2015. Real estate in Boise saw an increase in price growth of more than 25.0%. At the same time, equity gains made the market a very desirable place to live. Positive trends favored real estate investing as well. Low unemployment numbers, increased job growth, and a below-average local foreclosure rate all added to the Boise housing market’s appeal.

The median home price was about $178,700. While below the national average of $203,867 at the time, it appreciated at a rate of 12.7% over the previous year. In the three years leading up to 2015, real estate appreciated by as much as 42.7%, well above the already impressive national average. Values may have been below the national average, but they grew at what turned out to be a sustainable pace. In fact, 2015 paved the way for the Boise housing market today.

The city’s unemployment rate was a healthy 4.1%, which was down from 5.2% the previous year—both were lower than the national average at the time. What was even more promising, however, was the rate at which local jobs were growing. The twelve-month job growth rate reached 1.4%, which only slightly trailed the national average. A strong local economy and sustained employment gave buyers confidence—just what the Boise real estate market needed in 2015.

Boise County Map:

Map of Boise neighborhoods

Boise Real Estate Market Summary

There’s no doubt about it: The Boise real estate market is one of the strongest in the country, both before and after the introduction of the Coronavirus. Whereas many cities expect home prices to go down and activity to cease, real estate in Boise has pushed forward. That’s not to say the pandemic won’t impact local real estate; it will. Builders have been unable to work during the quarantine and therefore haven’t helped the inventory shortage. As a result, the city may see prices continue to rise in the face of growing demand. Therefore, investors may view now as the prime opportunity to acquire a deal.

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