Home Value Trends in Idaho


The housing bubble has burst! Home value medians are plummeting, the real estate market is in a horrible slump and the sky is falling! So say many doom and gloom predictions of media and real estate industry leaders about the state of the market. If you’re sick of hearing all that bad news, here’s some good news for a change: it’s not that bad! When looking at the market on a national level it’s easy to make generalizations on how the market is doing, but realistically knowing the median home value of the nation isn’t going to help you much when you’re ready to buy or sell. (But in case you’re curious, the national median home value in 2006 was $221,900.) In order to get an idea of how a particular area is doing in real estate and home value averages, and where they may go in the future, you need to take into account more than just average home value and sales rates. You must look into the economy, employment rates, attractions and the past trends of that area in order to get a good grasp on how the market is doing in said area.

Idaho (capital is Boise), probably best known for being the potato state, has much more to offer than just agriculture. With a population of nearly 1.5 million and plenty of land to spread out on (it’s said that if you were to flatten Idaho’s mountains, it would be the size of Texas), Idaho’s economy does rely on it’s cattle, potatoes, dairy, wheat, sugar beets and barley production, as well as industry production like lumber and wood, paper products, food processing, machinery, chemical products, silver and other mining and tourism.

The more tourism a state receives, the higher it’s market and home value averages tend to go, simply because knowing a place is so popular tends to drive people to reside there. Broken into 7 distinct regions, Idaho has something to offer everyone. In northern Idaho, you can visit lakes and thicks forests, as well as the North West’s largest theme park: Silverwood. Northern Central Idaho is where Lewis and Clark searched for a Northwest passage to the Pacific and so has plenty of hiking and historical opportunities. The South Western region holds the capital city with it’s bustling night life and only miles away, high deserts and rock canyons. Visit Eastern and Central Idaho for the mountains, beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities, and South Central for national reserves and state parks. Finally, South Eastern Idaho is a treasure trove of Native American history, hot springs (warmed by volcanoes) and all kinds of adventure.

With so much to do in Idaho, it’s a wonder anybody has time to work, but they sure do. Idaho’s unemployment rate hit a record low of 2.8% in April of 2007. The median household income in 2005 was about $43,959, which by 2007 has most likely risen to $45,000 or more. The median home value of Idaho is still relatively low at about $131,854 in 2007.

As of now, the busiest area of Idaho, Boise, has a conflicted market. Properties listed with a home value over $400,000 are going slowly, usually sitting on the market for a year or more. It’s a good time for buyers, since there’s so much competition and homes on the market, and sellers are dropping prices to sell their home quicker. Anything with a home value under $400,000 is still in a very healthy market, with homes selling usually within 90-120 days and within 1% of a seller’s asking price.

In northern Idaho, the Coeur d’Alene region, home value averages are down a bit from last year (considering inflation), while listing are up about 25% and sales down by almost the same amount. It does not look to be a very strong market at this time for northern Idaho.

Western Idaho and the Idaho Falls region has seen an increase in average home value and it looks as those prices on existing homes and new construction will continue to rise, based on rising costs of materials and consumer demand. So far the inventory of homes isn’t so high that prices are dropping and homes are just sitting on the market.

All in all, Idaho’s real estate market is still doing pretty well, though mostly in the southern part of the state. With the low unemployment rate and all the available land, Idaho as a whole shouldn’t suffer too badly from this supposed real estate “slump” and though home value averages aren’t rising as fast as they did 2 years ago, for the most part they’re still moving on up.

Find out your own home value [http://www.getmyhomesvalue.com] and other valuable homeowner information at GetMyHomesValue.com

Ashley Lichty is a webmaster and the resident SEO of Web Xtreme, Inc. She has a background in real estate and marketing with an emphasis in writing.

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