May 2019 Marketing Report

Clients are always asking my thoughts on the prices, increases, demand and of course.... Can this market continue climbing?" I wish I had a crystal ball. I don't, but I do study the market and its statistics.  With the help of Boise Regional Realtors I've compiled information that might help you understand what's happening in the Boise real estate market. Questions? Happy to help! Want more information on your specific area/area you are considering? Let me know!


Key Takeaways:

  • The existing home median sales price reached a new high at $329,000, up 14.7% from May 2018. Local home prices are being driven by the persistently low inventory of existing homes compared to demand.

  • Due to the lack of inventory of homes for sale at the lower price points, the share of higher-priced home sales continued to rise, further driving up the median price for the segment, as well as the market overall.

  • The median sales price for Ada County reached a new record of $342,990 in May 2019, for existing and new homes combined. This was up 12.5% from May 2018.

Helpful fact:

A balanced market—not favoring buyers or sellers—is typically between 4-6 months of supply. In May 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory metric for Ada County was at just 1.5 months for all price points combined, and for existing homes priced below $300,000 MSI was at one month.

Think the Boise area is in a bubble? Well...


At the 2007 peak, there were 1,355 new homes for sale compared to 756 in April 2019. Instead of prices being based on supply-and-demand, they were being driven by speculation.  Today, new home prices are being driven mostly by higher land, labor, and material costs, as well as a low level of move-in ready inventory,  compared to demand. 


Because there are fewer homes available at the lower price points, the share of home sales above $300,000 continued to rise – at 61.3% of all existing homes sales in May 2019. As a result, as more existing homes sell at higher price points, it further drives up the median price for the segment, as well as the market overall.

To that point, the median sales price in Ada County, for existing and new homes combined, reached a new record of $342,990 in May 2019, up 12.5% year-over-year.



Key Takeaways:

  • New construction sales are gaining more and more of the market share and continuing to influence the overall median sales price.

  • In the existing home segment, the median sales price has been rising due to a persistent lack of supply, especially in the lower price points.

  • An increased share of higher-priced existing homes has contributed to the higher median sales price reported for the existing home segment.

New Construction’s Impact on the Overall Market
As reported last month, new construction sales are gaining more and more of the total market share in Ada County. Since new homes generally sell for more than existing homes, new home sales continue to have a greater impact on the overall median sales price. In February 2019, new construction sales made up 38.7% of all home sales in Ada County. In March 2019, that share increased to 39.8% resulting in an overall median sales price of $335,000, an increase of 8.4% year-over-year and a record high for Ada County.

Jeff Martel
Boise Continues To Be Ranked On Top Lists Nationally In 2019

Boise Continues To Be Ranked On Top Lists Nationally In 2019, here are just a few that have made headlines so far this year:

Jeff Martel
You've moved to the city of your dreams! Now what?

I recently had a conversation with clients who relocated to Boise after spending their whole lives in their hometown. They have taken to Idaho with wreckless abandon, always on an adventure, showing off all the Boise area and the state of Idaho have to offer. I was shocked when they told me they actually had a hard adjustment. They explained that after all the boxes were unpacked and the kids were settled in school there was a "now what" moment. Leaving behind the familiarity of your hometown or a place where you have a support system isn't easy. I thought the author of this article offers some great advice if you find yourself in a similar spot. 

PS- For the record, those clients are beyond happy with their decision and now have their roots down here in Boise.

Jeff Martel
Moving to Boise? What you need to know: Tips from a relocation expert

Moving to Boise? What you need to know: Tips from a relocation expert

The secrets out. Boise is the fastest growing city in the country. Young and old, working and retired, people from coast to coast are moving to the City of Trees. If you’re making the move or considering it, our relocation expert & realtor, Kerri O’Hara, has some tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible. 

  1. UNDERSTAND THE AREA: There are a lot of different options for homes and communities in the Treasure Valley. Do you want the charm of an old bungalow in the North End, a master-planned community with a school & park in Hidden Springs, easy access to the greenbelt in East Boise, space and mature landscaping in Eagle or maybe a brand new house with all the modern amenities in Meridian?  Know the difference in what each place has to offer. A home is where you sleep, but a community is where you live! 

  2. NEEDS vs. WANTS: Try to figure out what you really need verses want. It’s easy to give your agent a list of “like to have” items, but what can you not live without? For example if your budget is set at $400k max and the non-negotiable is new construction and a yard for your dog, your realtor will know North Boise isn’t going to work. Now you have eliminated an area and can FOCUS on the options that will meet your must haves. 

  3. KNOW THE MARKET:  While there may be 2 months of inventory in Ada County, there may only be 2 weeks worth of inventory in a particular neighborhood. The Boise market saw an 18% increase in home prices in 2018. That trend that is expected to continue in 2019. So what do you need to expect when putting in a offer? How can you make yours the most desirable for the seller? Knowing your competition will help you devise a plan to land your dream home. 

  4. NEW CONSTRUCTION: You may be coming from a market with little or no new construction. It’s important to understand how the new construction communities and builders work. Options range from a production, to a semi-custom, to a fully custom builder. Know the differences and make sure you know their track record.  In some cases you can select the lot, the builder and the home and in others you will be limited to a certain builder and/or floor plan. 

  5. PICK THE RIGHT REALTOR: There are thousands of realtors in the Boise area, but only a fraction of them dedicate their professional lives to the business.  So how do you pick the right one? Ask questions. Do they have a team or do they work alone? Who will be working with you? What do they have experience in? Get a feel for who they are. There is a right realtor for every client. Find someone who can guide you through the process. Moving from one state to the next is a lot different than moving across town! 

Kerri is a former television journalist who relocated to seven different states over a 12 year period. Since 2012, she has helped over 100 families make the move to the Boise area. She is a mom, native Bostonian, avid skier and lover of everything Boise. Check out Kerri’s YouTube channel for more on relocating to the Boise area. 

Jeff Martel
Whats in store for the 2019 Real Estate market in Boise, Idaho?

It’s the million dollar or wait? The Boise, ID real estate market saw an 18% increase in home prices in 2018. Now people are asking what is expected for 2019. Some very knowledgeable folks made their predictions now Kerri O'Hara is breaking them down for you. Kerri is a realtor & relocation specialist with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate 43° North in Boise, Idaho.

Jeff Martel
The Boston Globe's, James Sullivan weighs in on Boise after reviewing the City of Trees

It's easy for me to say Boise is worth the hype. I live here, chose to raise my kids here and built a business helping people find their home here. Seemingly, I'm not alone in thinking this place is something special, but for someone who is considering moving to Boise, it may be hard to believe the girl who makes a living on selling homes to those transplants. When I saw the recent Boston Globe article, "Still Dreaming of Boise. (That's Boise with a C, not a Z)" I took the chance and emailed the reporter to see if he would chat more about his experience. James Sullivan has the credentials that might make you believe Boise is worth the Hype. Check out the video section for the full interview. 

Jeff Martel
What about the Weather?

There are two questions I hear all the time from relocation clients. One of them being: “What’s the weather like?"

Typically, people are concerned about the cold. Don’t be. I think I speak for many when I say the heat here is more intense than the cold. You can see the actual temperatures throughout the year on the weather page of this site which is under the “Boise Area” tab, but keep in mind Boise is a mountain desert climate. What does that mean? Easily said, its very dry here. When its cold, its cold, but its not a wet cold which means you don’t get that “cold to your bones” feeling like you do in a humid climate (i.e. New England, down south or in California). Boise is a sunny spot, high in elevation with a lot of blue bird days. The worst part of winter here comes from the inversions. An inversion is cold and dreary and typically lasts about a week. We see a few of them each year from November to February. So what is an inversion? Its when the cold air gets trapped in the valley under a layer of cloud cover. You can expect more of that "cold to the bones” feeling without a ray of sunshine to be seen. For people here in Boise, this is dreadful as they are accustomed to blue skies. Once mid-February arrives you can expect the start of the end of winter and by mid-March we are enjoying spring. On the flipside, summer is hot and dry. You can catch reprieve from the scorching sun in the shade, but not the heat. Luckily, everything is air conditioned and the restaurants typically have misters on their patios so you can still enjoy outdoor dining. Nearby Lucky Peak Reservoir is a hotspot for boating and the Boise River is always a great option for floating, kayaking and paddle boarding. Summer hits its peak in July and August and then we are back to temperate, awesome weather days! 

Jeff Martel
To Buy or Rent

I have clients moving from that big state to the West this spring. They visited over the summer and loved their time here. Now they’re ready to make the move, but are thinking of renting for a bit. The idea of renting makes sense. You get to learn the area, find where you fit and then decide where to buy. That’s a great idea in theory. Here comes the reality, you’re wasting your money. According to Boise Regional Realtots, in Ada County last year (December 2016 to December 2017) the average home price went up a little more than $32,000. That is a lot of money to leave on the table while you sit in a rental paying someone else’s mortgage. Inventory is low (under 2 months in the majority of price ranges) and demand is high. Yes, there is always that thought that the market is going to crash. It will inevitably happen however, there are no signs pointing that direction.  So what about knowing where you fit? Find an expert... realtors are those experts. The good ones know every corner of this valley. They can give you years of knowledge, tell you about the areas, explain the pluses and minuses and help you with all your questions and concerns! Save your money, find a realtor and don’t waste money! Ps-  sellers pay the buyers agents commission so find a great one! Happy house hunting!

Jeff Martel
McCall, Idaho Makes Wall Street Journal!

It was only a matter of time before all the national outlets, who have long been recognizing Boise as a hidden gem, would find Mccall. The sleepy ski town nestled next to Payette Lake has long been a favorite weekend destination among locals. Ski lovers make the two plus hour trip up Highway 55 to enjoy the added snow in the mountains, the Winter Festival with its dazzling ice sculptures captivate all ages as we wrap up January, The Shore Lodge adds elegance and a bit of relaxation for visitors and summer is for boating, RVing, hiking, mountain biking. There really is a reason for everyone to enjoy McCall, even if its just to admire its striking landscape. 


If you missed this recent Wall Street Journal article on Mccall, read on:

Jeff Martel
Home Owners Associations: The Good, the Bad and why you want one here in Idaho

In a community in northern California, neighbors are now required by their Home Owners Association to leave their garage doors open 8 hours a day. You have to be kidding me. This summer I left my garage door open one night after we got back late from boating at Lucky Peak. We pulled the boat in, got the gear out, put the kids to bed and then didn’t double check the garage. I had a near heart attack when I woke up in the morning to leave and saw my garage door open. I instantly thought of all the expensive recreational gear that could easily be grabbed. Good news, everything was exactly as we left it. Now imagine being those people in California. They have to wake up and leave their garage door open from 8am-4pm or get fined by he HOA. As the story has become a headline, thieves are taking notes. The HOA says one of the neighbors was renting out their garage space as an apartment, which is against the covenants of the neighborhood so…. this is the solution. Makes about as much sense to me as getting an adjustable mortgage because your eventually going to make that nine-figure income. 

Californians in particular are the first to ask me about the HOA in a certain neighborhood. They’ve been through it all…. you house has to be painted taupe, your dog has to be a golden doodle and your car has to be made in the US between 2006 and 2016. I have no idea if any of those are actually real rules. I hope not, but these folks are coming to Idaho terrified of HOAs. 

Home Owners Associations are common place here in the Boise metro area as well. I’m not saying they are perfect, but there is a reason for them. For most of us, the most expensive purchase of our life will be our home. HOAs are there to make sure your neighbor, who likes to collect old beater Fords which he is "going to restore”… eventually, can’t keep his hunk of junk in sight. They are there so Miss Dorothy can’t paint her house burnt orange while reminiscing about  the good ole’ days and even things as simple as pulling in your garage cans.  From the resale and investment side alone, you want an HOA to protect your investment. You want to be able to sell your home without  and from what I’ve seen in my experience, you want an active one in your neighborhood for your protection. 

In my experience, HOAs here in Idaho aren’t perfect, but from what I’ve seen, they aren’t unreasonable. Yes, they are going to make sure you don’t have your RV parked in your driveway for more than 24 hours and you are going to get a letter if you leave your Christmas lights up until Easter, but they are also making sure the entrance to your community looks nice and all those neighbor issues I previously mentioned, don’t happen.  Oh, and the cost? The neighborhoods with amenities like a community pool, aren’t paying more than $800/year and many are paying less.

Jeff Martel
Showing Boise

Its early January and my weekends are already filled with relocation clients. 26,000 Californians alone move to the Boise area last year and I was lucky enough to help my fair share explore and find their new home. This year isn’t looking much different.

 So what is it that I actually do? Well aside from gassing up the Volvo and cleaning my children handprints off the car windows, I plan a morning or afternoon that is going to give my prospective clients their best look at the Boise area. Ahead of time, we converse via email or phone, sometimes for months, about why they are moving to Boise (or Meridian, Eagle, Star, etc), what they’re wanting in a community and a home, the budget, the lifestyle they want for themselves and all the other details that will make or break this decision. Sometimes we talk about school districts other times its about finding a quiet neighborhood without those delightful squeals of children playing at the nearby neighborhood park. Its all about you and your desires for your future hometown. Both before hand and during the tour I explain home prices, hot and declining neighborhoods, how quickly or slowly (that hasn’t happened in a while) the market is moving and about what your budget is going to get you (see previous blog about wanting 1 acre of land).  I want to make sure you have a clear picture of what you can get and what the area is all about. 

I’ve found this experience incredibly rewarding. Its an amazing feeling to know you played an integral part in helping a client find exactly where they want to start their new chapter in life here in Idaho.

Jeff Martel
Boise: The City of Trees... full steam ahead!
dreamstime_m_36317877 Fall City of Boise.jpg

My husband is an illusive native. What I mean by that is he was born and raised right here in Boise, Idaho. Back then, Boise wasn’t much to talk about. It didn’t make every top 10 list known to man and it certainly wasn’t part of the fastest growing state in the nation. Fast forward to 2018 and he is sometimes in disbelief of the farm land that has turned into the latest top selling community. We live in one of those communities. When he was a kid it was “way out there,” today its 10 minutes from downtown Boise. How times change. 

Every week there is at least one email in my inbox sent from someone who is looking to buy a home on a "big piece" of land in Boise. Ahh, you, and me both, my friend. Here’s the reality, which most don’t believe at first, land is a scarcity here in the metro area. Sure, Idaho is a rural state with wide open spaces, but that’s not the case in Ada County (i.e. Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star and Kuna). As developers turn what used to be farm land into planned communities, the lots are getting smaller and smaller. To give you an example, if you’re looking to buy a new construction, 2500 square foot home with 4 bedrooms and a three car garage in a community with amenities and a highly rated school district, the price tag is going to start at about $400,000 and it can quickly go up from there depending on where you are looking. Oh, and that home, its on .17 of an acre. 

If that doesn’t seem shocking to you, then you haven’t been watching the capital city’s housing market. According to Boise Regional Realtors, in March of 2013, the average home price in Ada County was $186, 750 which was a 22% increase compared to the previous March. Today, the average home price $269,900. which is up more than 10 percent compared to last year at this time. Our inventory remains low, our days on market even lower and the amount of people deciding to move to Boise is higher than ever. 

By 2040, Boise is set to be home to more than 1 million people. A mind-blowing statistic for my husband. 

Jeff Martel
December's First Thursday: Don't Miss It!

Christmas lights now illuminate Boise’s downtown streets as people hustle from one place to
the next trying to keep warm. The holiday season in Boise is in full effect. Personally, its one of
my favorite times of the year in the City of Trees. The downtown area is vibrant any day, but
the lights, trees and holiday cheers adds another element. This Thursday is First Thursday, the
perfect time to get out and support our local businesses as they forge through another holiday
shopping season.

The Boise area has top-notch vendors and shops. One of my favorite places to swing by for
unique gifts is Mixed Greens on 9 th Street in Boise. They offer a wide variety of everything from
laugh out loud cards to luscious lotions and candles, baby gifts, Idaho made items, jewelry and
more. You could spend hours pawning over the options. The Small Business Association says
$68 of every $100 spent stays in the community so why not help the community while crossing
off items on your Christmas list.

The majority of downtown businesses and restaurants participant and some tempt you with
deals and steals. For more information visit:

Jeff Martel
Annual Wintry Market is Here!

This weekend marks the return of the annual “Wintry Market” in downtown Boise. Local vendors from around the Treasure Valley will converge at JUMP this Saturday and Sunday, selling their goods and kicking downtown into the holiday spirit.  These vendors are talented and are a large part of the fabric of Boise. I try to support local whenever I can which is relatively easy to do living here. These artisans design and create pieces you are proud to give as gifts, wear or decorate your home with. I’ve made it a point to introduce my relocation clients to their talents by creating “Welcome to Boise” baskets which I give them when they move into their new home.  They are always a hit! If you’re swinging by the “Wintry Market” this weekend be sure to check out a few of my favorites: Ladybug Press, Lit & Co, Banana Ink and Wear Boise. Happy shopping! 

For more information visit:

Jeff Martel
Staggering Number of People Move to Boise Each Day

I heard a staggering statistic yesterday: 34 people a day move to Boise. I don’t even know if thats true, but to me, thats crazy. Its understandable, but still crazy. The first time my feet touched Idaho soil was in 2006. It was a hot summer day in August and my future boss picked me up at the airport. I still remember driving down Vista and seeing the “Boise” sign. I, like many, had heard so many great things about this little city nestled in the foothills, but I had no idea what to expect. Less than 24 hours later I was on a plane back to the east coast with a job offer in hand and a firm belief that THIS was where I was meant to be. So when I hear that 34 other humans everyday decide that this place is also for them, I’m not shocked. So WHY are people moving to Boise? I have the privilege and I do believe its a privilege, to show people my Boise several times a week. They come from all walks of life…from coast to coast and all visit wondering if this is the place for them as well. I’ve been working with relocation clients for 5 years now and there are only two people I can remember that visited and said, nah, Boise isn’t all that its cracked up to be. Today I find myself getting a bit defensive… “Really? Well, good luck! Whats better than Boise?!” The thought of my defensiveness makes me laugh. I’m not from here. I’m a born and raised Bostonian and anyone who knows a Bostonian knows those roots run deep. Yet, as years go by, I value this little city more by the day.

Jeff Martel