Last updated on July 31st, 2023 at 12:29 pm

A housing bubble is a market condition in which prices rise beyond what many people perceive to be reasonable or sustainable. 

When these types of markets get out of hand, they can lead to major crises in the economy. This is known as a bust in the housing market. 

Boise Idaho’s housing market may be cooling off [just like in Seattle], but it’s not yet at full capacity.

According to Redfin, Treasure Valley prices are down over 41% compared to 2022

Land is at a premium here and development is certainly a concern as there are plenty of ordinances and laws. 

Boise let the nation in many studies when it came to price growth in 2022. Inflation certainly has had an impact on home values!

Still, some experts worry that a housing crash could occur within the next couple of years.

Also don’t commingle the commercial and residential markets, they are completely separate!

“Boise’s housing market remains among the hottest in the country, with homes selling within days of hitting the market and bidding wars pushing prices well above asking. 

In January, the median home price in Ada County hit a new record of $460,000, up 22% from a year earlier.” (Source: Idaho Statesman, February 13, 2023)

Spoiler alert

Yes house prices in the areas in and around Ada County are dropping, but this is not a crash. Higher mortgage rates have slowed down real estate transactions. Year to date, the median sales price has decreased 9.7%. Boise is coming off a peak high year in home values. 

  1. Inventory has increased to 1.7 months from .5 months. This means  home sales have slowed down.
  2. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistic, the unemployment rate in the is 2.1%.
  3. Foreclosures in Boise, as well as the rest of the USA are well below averages though.
Ada housing market data
image: courtesy of Boise Realtors

Boise housing market prices and trends

Boise boasts one of the most expensive housing markets in America, partly due to the influx of people from outside Idaho who are buying properties here

But the good news is that there are still a lot of positive indicators in place for the local market. Home prices are expected to keep rising, and the economy remains robust.

Another influential factor contributing to high prices is interest rates [the federal reserve has been raising them] . As of the second quarter, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.2%.

Rising rates has significantly increased  the cost basis for purchasing a property in Boise. Even if this trend continues, the housing market may begin to slow down, but with little inventory, sellers are still in control. 

boise idaho housing inventory
image: courtesy of FRED

The housing market in Boise Idaho is cooling off

According to Zillow, the average Boise home has decreased 3% over the last year. (data through January 31, 2023).

Research from FRED shows housing inventory shot up in the summer of 22, but has really declined in 23 so far.

 It is still a sellers market as listings have come down. It will be very hard for a market to crash with such low inventory.

According to Boise Regional Realtors

  • The median sales price of homes in Ada County fell year over year for the third consecutive month. The median sales price of residences in January was $487,495; this was a decrease of $52,500, or 9.7%, from January 2022. In July 2021, the last time the overall median sales price was below $50000.
  • The median sales price fell in both the existing/resale category and the new construction segment over the previous year, with new construction experiencing the highest drops. In January, the median sales price for new homes closed was $494,990, down 16.0%, or $93,955, from the same month last year.

Housing bubbles occur when prices exceed what an average buyer can afford and speculators are eager to purchase houses for flipping. 

This leads to economic booms caused by high employment levels, more assets in the hands of the wealthy, and low interest rates.

A bubble bursts when prices decline due to a large number of people being unable to make their mortgage payments and lenders losing money. This can occur due to rising interest rates, an economic slowdown, or other factors.

Boise Idaho’s housing market has seen exceptional growth over the last decade due to a combination of pent-up demand and low interest rates.

Indeed, home prices there have increased faster than most other U.S. cities during this time.

And now it makes sense that home prices in Ada County are coming down.

However, the housing market in Boise has reached a point where it may be slightly overvalued. According to Moody’s Analytics, Boise is currently the nation’s most “overvalued” major housing market.

Elmore County housing snapshot
image: courtesy Boise Regional Realtors

Housing Trends in Elmore County

Elmore County, Idaho is just outside the Boise metro. Here is the most recent data from January 2023, compared to 2022

  • Decline of almost 43% of homes sold
  • Houses sitting on the market 50 days, which is an increase of over 13%
  • Inventory of 57, an increase of 180%

As you can see the market in Idaho has slowed down, but housing prices have increased! 

The rental market is full of students

Boise is a hub for students and one of the biggest student markets in Idaho. 

And they must rent.  

Home to several campuses of both University of Idaho and Idaho State University, real estate investors should target this market for investment opportunities.

Thus, there is a high demand for housing that caters to college students. If you have the right property in an ideal location, you can easily tap into this market and see great returns on your investment.

Boise Idaho’s housing market remains a seller’s market with an enormous gap between demand and supply. 

This has resulted in many home buyers shifting to rental markets, which offer much more cost-effective alternatives.

The job growth in Boise Idaho’s housing market is the primary factor attracting people there. This has been a positive indicator for property investors, as it suggests there may be hope for home prices to begin rising again.

boise employment rate
Image: courtesy

Employment in Boise

Boise Idaho’s housing market offers more than just great opportunities for homebuyers; it also presents great possibilities for entrepreneurs looking to start or expand a business. 


Furthermore, this fast-paced high-tech city boasts numerous corporate headquarters and media outlets as its residents.

Recent studies have ranked Boise among the top 10 cities for entrepreneurs to start or expand their businesses. 

Furthermore, Boise provides tax incentives and government grants to encourage companies to relocate or expand in the area.

Highly rated schools in Boise, Idaho

Boise Idaho boasts a number of highly rated schools. These establishments provide students with an outstanding education and can assist them in reaching their life objectives.

Boise High School is widely regarded as one of the top high schools in Idaho, boasting an impressive A rating and outstanding AP offerings and four-year graduation rate.

At Boise High, teachers and staff are passionate about their students’ success, with many reporting that they are treated with kindness. Students are motivated to achieve academically and diligently at work.

Boise High is not the only great public junior high school in town; North End Junior High, located in a historic part of Boise, provides students with plenty of extracurricular activities.

East Middle School has earned a stellar reputation for offering students an impressive academic program. Furthermore, it boasts a diverse student body and high teacher retention rates.

Good living in Boise

Boise is an ideal place to live, offering big city amenities at a small town price. It boasts an exciting tech scene, affordable healthcare services, and easy access to nature.

It also boasts one of the lowest crime rates in America, making it a safe place to raise a family and many residents choose to remain here for their entire lives.

Many residents of Boise are drawn by its fantastic weather. With over 200 days of sunshine annually and a drier climate that creates distinct seasons with moderately cold winters and hot summers, Boise offers something special for everyone.

The city is encompassed by an incredible 25-mile greenbelt that connects several riverside parks and the foothills for walking, jogging, cycling and other outdoor activities. 

It provides a wonderful opportunity to get active while admiring stunning views of the mountains surrounding the city.

As well, the city boasts the world’s largest bird sanctuary – an excellent attraction for families with kids! Plus, there are plenty of other exciting activities and events taking place within its boundaries!

Boise, Idaho attractive tax rates

Idaho not only boasts a low cost of living and safety, but it also has one of the lowest property tax rates in America compared to other areas in the nation. Cities and counties rely on property taxes to fund essential public services like schools, roads, parks and more.

In fact, the Idaho State Tax Commission offers an online tool to help homeowners estimate their property tax bill. 

This website utilizes a property value calculator to determine your tax rate and shows you exactly how much you’ll pay in total.

When purchasing a home in Boise, make sure to consider all taxes that need to be paid. These costs may differ based on where you live and how much your property is worth.

The Gem State has a progressive income tax system with four brackets and an upper marginal rate of 6%, but it has also implemented several tax cuts over the last decade that have helped lower rates for most households.

why boise housing market is growing

Over the last decade, Boise’s housing market has grown faster than many other American cities. 

Additionally, it remains an ideal place for investment purposes with many large single-family homes being offered at prices well below the national average.

Boise ranked 14th in affordability in a study conducted recently.

The local economy is doing well, unemployment remains near historic lows and there’s no shortage of people moving to Boise for its superior quality of life. These factors will continue to drive home prices upwards in the future.

Inventory levels have begun to drop again, which is encouraging from a sellers perspective. 

A balanced real estate market typically has six or more months’ supply of inventory or more, suggesting that Boise housing is not shifting into a buyer’s market any time soon.

Currently the lack of inventory will most likely keep a seller from invoking any price cuts.