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Real Estate Market Trends in Boise, Idaho

Posted On September 1, 2022
Colorful urban traffic at night

Colorful urban traffic at night

The heart of Treasure Valley, Boise is one of the major cities in the Pacific Northwest. And with its strong cultural identity and robust economy, this so-called City of Trees continues to attract people from all over the country.

Whether you’re on the verge of buying a home in Boise or have already settled down in the area, keeping on top of real estate trends help. Below, we walk you through what’s currently shaping the Boise, ID real estate market and what we can expect in the next months.

A Refresher on Boise History

Named after the tree-lined banks of Boise River by early 19th-century French Canadian fur trappers, Boise started as a respite for weary travelers crossing the Snake River plain. When prospectors struck gold in 1862, Fort Boise and a small mining town were established. But when the gold rush died down, Boise’s growth came to a standstill. Its location, once its biggest strength, became a weakness with it being far from major transportation lines.

But not all is lost in Boise, and hard work reaps rewards. The remaining residents nurtured the local agricultural industry. By the early 20th century, Boise was a major commercial lumber provider. Growth boomed once again, and after World War II, the city population doubled.

Today, Boise is home to over 230, 000 people. And with a thriving real estate market and economy, Boise is also poised to see a lot more growth in the years to come.

Foothills Realestate in Boise, Idaho

When the pandemic hit, the Boise housing market saw tremendous success as people from bigger cities like Los Angeles moved away from major urban hubs for various reasons. For instance, smaller cities had fewer pandemic restrictions and less stringent guidelines. These attributes attracted those who wanted some mobility and lesser risks for contracting COVID due to the smaller population.

Additionally, living in cities like Boise is relatively affordable compared to most US metropolitan areas. For example, a renter in Boise would only need a little over $5,000 to have the same quality of life as a renter in New York who pays $9,000 for living costs. Consumer prices in Boise are approximately 30% lower compared to New York, and almost 11% lower than those in Los Angeles.

Most importantly, the rise of remote work opened opportunities for people to move to places like Boise where they can still enjoy modern comforts while having more space to grow and breathe. In fact, according to, Boise was one of the country’s top 10 “Zoom towns” that saw an influx of new residents due to remote work during the pandemic.

Similarly, Apartment List ranked Boise as one of the top three best cities to move to for remote work, based on metrics such as:

  • Remote-friendliness
  • Housing affordability
  • Parks and outdoor recreation
  • Urban amenities

Boise’s recent popularity resulted in some of the highest housing prices the city has ever seen, with almost 200% more people moving to Idaho than moving away, as per data from Business Insider. In 2021, Boise had the most overvalued housing market in the entire US. Research by the Florida Atlantic University and the Florida International University found that in November of last year, Boise recorded an 80.5% premium on housing prices. In the Boise metro area, prices were also 69% higher than they should have been if they followed Boise’s typical pricing patterns over the years.

Boise Housing Market in 2022

Today, the Boise, ID real estate market is starting to resettle back to pre-pandemic levels. In June of this year, Boise saw 61.5 percent of homes for sale cut their prices down. Rising inflation and higher interest rates are slowing purchasing activity in the city. According to Redfin senior economist Sheharyar Bokhari, “Higher mortgage rates and a potential recession are causing prospective buyers in popular migration destinations to press the pause button, and they are also having a big impact on workers in big job centers who rely on their stock portfolio for down payments.”

That does not mean, however, that home prices in Boise are at an all-time low. In fact, Boise real estate remains the second least affordable housing market in the country. Additionally, the Oxford Economics’ Housing Affordability Indices suggest that home prices in Boise, Idaho are about 70% more expensive than what a household with a median income can purchase. Based on trends and economic factors, we predict that home prices in the Boise, ID real estate market will grow by 12% from June of this year to June 2023.

In June 2022, the median home price in Boise, Idaho swung between $520,000 and $560,500. This range is a 4.4 to 6.8 percent increase compared to June of last year. But despite the rising home prices in Boise, houses are still selling considerably fast. Properties spent an average time of nine days on the market before selling, with some homes going on pending in as short as four days. Most impressively, homes for sale in Boise tend to sell for 1% more than the original sales price.

Typical Housing in Boise, Idaho

As of date, Boise real estate has a median home value of $450,604. Appreciation rates are strong— the housing market has an average annual appreciation rate of 5.78%. And since 2000, Boise real estate has appreciated by a whopping 248.83%. This puts the market in the top 10% nationally.

Majority of homes in Boise were built between the 1970s and 1990s. Those built in 2000 or later account for about 20% of the local housing market. A significant portion of all these homes, regardless of age, are single-family homes, but the market also offers apartment complexes, small apartment buildings, and townhomes throughout the city. Most homes have three bedrooms, and there are more owners than renters in Boise.

Popular and highly valued neighborhoods in Boise include Boise Heights, Quail Ridge, Barber Valley, West Downtown, and Depot Bench West.

People dine at restaurant patio in Downtown Boise

What Makes Boise, ID a Desirable City to Live?

Since Forbes named it thefastest growing city in the US in 2018, Boise has had no shortage of accolades and distinguished positions in national rankings. For instance, in 2019, it was hailed as the best place for millennials to live in by Livability. It was selected as the best place in the US to buy a house by WalletHub.

In 2021, the city was the 13th best place to live in the USby and this year, it’s distinguished for even more titles. Boise is among the top 20 in US News’ rankings for the following:

  • Fastest-growing places (5th)
  • Safest places to live (14th)
  • Best places to live (15th); and
  • Best places to live for quality of life (17th)

Boise also nabbed the second spot in WalletHub’s Best Run Cities in America. This ranking analyzed 38 metrics grouped into six main categories, such as education, infrastructure, financial stability, health, pollution, economy, and safety. Another Idaho city, Nampa, claimed the top spot, but Boise beat it when it comes to the quality of city services. The city also placed high in terms of the lowest long-term outstanding debt per capita.

Boise truly deserves all these distinctions. It offers a great mix of nature and urban living, in addition to enjoying 210 days of sunshine every year. If you are interested in calling this city home and snatching up one of the properties from the Boise housing market, this is what it is like to live in Boise, Idaho.

Outdoor Adventures

With a river running right through the city and a plethora of options for outdoor adventures, those who like to get their adrenaline pumping or, alternatively, chill and bathe in nature sounds will not find any shortage of things to do in Boise.

For starters, you can check out the 190-mile Ridge to Rivers trail system, a popular year-round destination. In spring, its trails will lead you through wildflowers, while you can cool off closer to Bogus Basin during the summer. You can also hike through fall and winter, as some trails stay dry even during the cold months. Another option is to explore the Shafer Butte trails and cap it off by climbing the top of Boise Ridge Mountains.More hiking options await in and around Boise. If you don’t want to get too far from the city, there is Cottonwood Creek Trail, which is known for its gentle elevation. You can amp it up a bit with a trek through the Table Rock Trail, one of the most popular in the city. Steep but still friendly for most hikers, it offers sea views at 994 feet above sea level.

If you have a fishing license, Boise will prove to be paradise. You will find the state’s native trout in many of the city’s reservoirs, ponds, and rivers, but if you would like to relax with smaller fries, you can try Parkcenter Pond. For golf enthusiasts, you can “grip it and rip it” at any of Boise’s 15 golf courses, including Warm Springs, Quail Hollow, and Boise Ranch.

Dining and Nightlife

Whether you are in the mood for something local and fresh from the farm or international, Boise’s culinary scene is perfect for foodies with an expansive palate. Moreover, the city boasts over 20 breweries and wineries, granting you lots of options for libations whenever, wherever.

First up is the newest culinary hub in the city: The Warehouse Food Hall. Featuring ten eateries and two bars under one roof, it’s a smorgasbord of smoothies and fruit bowls, artisanal coffees, handcrafted grilled cheese sandwiches, “the world’s best lobster rolls,” steamed buns, Japanese curry, slow-smoked Texas-style BBQ, and Thai-Neapolitan dishes.

You can also go al fresco at any of Boise’s outdoor patios and restaurants, such as Txikiteo. Here, you can pair great-tasting tapas and curated cheese with wine from various parts of the world. There is also Reef, which serves tacos, burgers, and pupu platters in a rooftop bar setting, where you can also jive to a live DJ set.

Additionally, you can check out the restaurants that surround historic Hyde Park.

Arts and Culture

Arts and culture are alive and thriving in Boise, from its museums and performance venues to Basque heritage. Some of the best places to go include the Boise Art Museum, which has been a staple in the community for over 70 years, and the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, which is dedicated to the preservation of and education of Idaho’s Basque community. Boise also has the Idaho Black History Museum behind the St. Paul Baptist Church Building, where you can gain access to community education and outreach programs for the African-American community in the city.

For the performing arts, this city is yet another glittering example of celebrating and supporting various creative forms. There is Ballet Idaho, which is the only professional ballet company in this section of the Pacific Northwest. They perform over 20 shows each season, and has been delighting locals and tourists alike since 1972. In the summer, you can sit down to a live performance at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, where you can picnic with friends and family or feast on local food and wine.

Similarly, you can check out the Velma V. Morrison Center. This venue has been among Boise’s main entertainment halls since 1984. Located along the banks of Boise River, it hosts a variety of live entertainment and education events every year. If you are more into the contemporary arts, LED is a cultural and creative organization that weaves choreography, original music, and film elements into timely and relevant stories and narratives.

Naturally, as one of the most livable cities in the US, Boise also has a lot to offer in terms of lifestyle. Shopping in this city will take you anywhere from budget-friendly to upscale, perfect for however much you would want to splurge. Specialty boutiques also abound in Boise, catering to all sorts of hobbies and interests from arts and crafts to literature and music.

Boise is also incredibly kid-friendly. It has one of the best environments to grow up in, with the city offering home to various educational and entertaining activities. You and your kids can visit Zoo Boise, relax at one of its many parks, or try Wahooz and Roaring Spring’s virtual reality rides and water attractions in nearby Meridian.

Finding Your Dream Boise Home

Ready to call Boise home? Take note of these tips to guarantee a successful home purchase.

Preparing to Buy a Home

Before you peruse the market, ensure that you are financially ready, first and foremost. Save enough to cover not only your home’s down payment, but also its closing costs and your moving-in expenses. Additionally, it is recommended that you work on strengthening your credit to qualify for better mortgage rates, especially as they are currently on the rise.

When you have saved up enough and fixed your credit score, decide how much home you can afford. This does not only refer to establishing a budget, but also covers the size of the property and its corresponding maintenance needs. Some properties come with association dues, for example, while others may require significant upkeep.

Finally, explore your financing options. Opt for mortgage loan terms that will be comfortable for you and your family down the line. If you are a first-time home buyer, you can also investigate assistance programs that offer tax credits and down payment assistance. Then get a pre-approval letter from your preferred lender so that you can move to the next phase of the home-buying process smoothly.

How to Successfully Close a Sale

While Boise, ID real estate is slowly returning to pre-pandemic normalcy levels, it is still a seller’s market at present. This means that you might have to compete with other buyers in trying to close a property and convince the owner to sell to you, instead of your competition.

To do this, you should:

  • Get your financial papers in order
  • Anticipate seller requirements and meet them (such as significant spot cash down payment, for example
  • Try to establish an emotional connection with the seller
  • Waive off contingencies if you can
  • Make a cash offer

Importance of Working with a Local Real Estate Expert

Throughout the home-buying process, it is best to work with a professional who possesses extensive experience in the Boise, ID real estate market.

The Hoyte Group is the team to turn to for a smooth homebuying experience in Boise. Led by Elliott Hoyte, a nationally recognized real estate agent and one of the the top 1% of Realtors® in the entire Treasure Valley, our team will take care of your homebuying needs from start to finish.

Learn more about our team and what we can do for you. When you’re ready, call us at 208.999.3076 or send us an email so we can properly meet you.


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