Top Contenders: Comparing the Booming Boise and Idaho Falls Housing Markets

A new industry forecast by Veros Real Estate Solutions predicted that two Idaho metropolitan areas will see the largest rise in housing appreciation entering 2020. Boise made #3 of Veros’ top ten list for market appreciation, while Idaho Falls came in at #1. This may come as a surprise to many in the Treasure Valley who did not know that Idaho Falls was seeing similarly strong real estate markets, strong enough to possibly outpace Ada County's rising home prices, but the smaller Idaho city faces its own level of change and growth. This week, we will take a look at the data to see just how the Idaho Falls housing market compares to Boise’s.

Both Boise and Idaho Falls defy the trend seen in most other parts of the nation, where appreciation of home prices are slowing. As reported by Veros, the average appreciation rate of the country's dominant housing markets is predicted to only increase by 3.7%. Comparatively, appreciation in Boise is set to rise by as much as 8.7% in the next 12 months, while in Idaho Falls that number may hit 10.2%. Desirability definitely plays a role in these numbers, as more people seek to settle in the Gem State all the time, but the relatively limited housing supply in both Boise and Idaho Falls is the key factor in driving these prices up. Idaho Falls may have a smaller population than Boise, but that only means the housing market is even less equipped to accommodate newcomers at current price points.

Comparisons of Boise and Idaho Falls data further reveals the reasons behind Idaho Falls’ sharper appreciation climb. 2017 estimates from World Population Review showed Boise’s population grow 1.44% annually; in the same year, the population of Idaho Falls rose at a significantly higher 1.78%. To put this growth in perspective, the population of the United States overall is only expected to rise 0.71%, a number that demonstrates a cumulative average for every city in the nation. Idaho Falls and Boise both are exceeding expectations of growth, to which the cost of living and burgeoning economic opportunities are direct contributors, and the booming population sets the housing demand greater than the supply, especially in Idaho Falls.

On the home-front, Neighborhood Scout lists the median values for homes in Idaho Falls at $181,782, a far cry from the $331,990 median selling prices just reached by Ada County homes this April. Additionally, Idaho Falls has made a number of “best” lists from 2010 and on, always finding a place on Forbes’ “Best Small Places for Business and Careers.” For those looking for a more small-town feel while retaining economic opportunity, Idaho Falls presents an attractive option and a draw for some looking to settle in the Gem State at prices not quite as staggering as Boise’s, for now.

Idaho continues its moment in the spotlight with this recent industry forecast. For now, all indicators point to Idaho being the place to be in 2019 and beyond, with future growth potentially expanding to other Idaho markets beyond Boise and Idaho Falls. Residents of both cities can expect to see their property values rise, while those in the market for new accommodations may be disheartened by the heightened prices.

Readers, were you surprised by Idaho Falls appearance above Boise on a national list of housing market appreciation? How do you feel about the competitive housing market? Do you think the growth spreading across Idaho is ultimately a good or bad thing? How do you think increased population and business in Idaho can be best managed to keep your favorite aspects of the state intact? Please, follow us on social media and share your own thoughts and experiences with housing markets in Boise and the Idaho Falls area. We thank you for being a part of the 208 community and look forward to hearing from you!