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Ada County Housing Demand Rebounds After Coronavirus Dip

Scott Graf
Boise State Public Radio

After a slight dip in home sales at the beginning of the pandemic, Ada County’s housing market appears to have rebounded stronger than ever.

For the first six months of the year, new and existing home sales dropped by 4.6%, according to Boise Regional Realtors.

The group’s mid-year report shows pending home sales were tracking ahead of 2019, but were waylaid for about a month in April during Gov. Brad Little’s stay-at-home order. 

You can find the complete report from Boise Regional Realtors here

But shortly thereafter, buyer activity shot up like a radish in spring and is well above where it was last year. More than 350 homes sales were pending the final week of June, compared to about 275 pending sales the same week of 2019.

Meanwhile, it’s the same story we’ve heard for years: inventory of existing and new homes continues to drop – significantly. The number of homes you can potentially buy in Ada County are down nearly 45 percent from 2019, with the median sales price riding high at $375,000.

Some analysts say low supply and high demand could insulate Ada County from the slower national real estate market recovery.

Aside from the Great Recession, home prices tend to remain flat or slow their growth, according to Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American Financial Corporation. Because of that, “…we anticipate nominal house price appreciation to actually accelerate this summer,” Flemming said.

But others are watching unemployment trends and for a second wave of the coronavirus that could also derail the industry.

Ralph McLaughlin, the chief economist for Haus, a home investment firm, said he thinks price growth will slow, or potentially drop, at the beginning of next year due to lower demand and foreclosure protections potentially evaporating.

“However, we do expect [prices to grow] quite strongly by the end of next year, growing between 4-6% on a year-over-year basis,” McLaughlin said.

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

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