Idaho Sales Down Prices Up

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Single family home sales in January 2013 were 361 in Ada County, a decrease of 7.7% compared to January 2012…first time I’ve had to say that in a over a year.

Dollar volume for January was up 27% to $777 Mil.

New homes sold in January increased 17% over new homes sold in January of 2012.  However…sales of existing homes were down 12.6% in January.  This becomes more worrisome as inventory continues to try to find a new low number.

Historically, January sales decrease by 28% from December. January 2013 sales decreased by 28% from December 2012.

Of our total sales in January… 25% were distressed (90 total sales)….unchanged from December 2012. In January 2012, 53% of our sales were distressed.  In January 48% of distressed properties were REOs and 52% were short sales.  In December 2012 the ratio was 76% short sales (91 total sales) and 24% REOs (29 total sales).

This is ten consecutive months with short sales being the larger percentage of distressed properties sold. In January RealtyTrac rated Boise one of the five worst places to try to buy a foreclosed property.

Pending sales at the end of January were 780; down 1% from December. In general pending sales in May are the highest of the year; and June the second highest.  The percentage of pending sales in distress was unchanged from December, totaling 29% overall. There has been very little fluctuation in this number since May 2012 when we first went below 30%. A year ago we were averaging close to 50% of pendings in distress; but have decreased steadily since January 2012.  Of Pending sales in distress, short sales outnumbered REO’s 1.6 to 1.

At the end of January, we had 9% fewer sales pending than at the end of January 2012.

January median home price was $185,909; up 35% from January 2012. Median home price is above $170,000 for nine months running.  We continue to outpace our national recovery; according to NAR’s most recent report.

New Homes median price for January was $242,900; up 21% from January 2012. Existing homes median price outpaced that finishing January at $170,000; up 31% over January 2012.

The number of houses available at the end of January held steady from the end of December at 1,751. At the end of December our total active inventory was 1,750 homes; the lowest since February 2001 (when sales were 450 houses and median price was $131,000). This is 11% less than last year at this time.

At the same time, the percentage of distressed active listings held steady at 24%. This reverses the trend of the last two months in which the percentage rose from 23% to 26%. We have been hovering between 33% and 36% for the last year. We remain well below the 40% levels set last spring….when we were on the increase.

With an inventory increasing and the percentage of distressed inventory holding steady; median home price will continue to strengthen well into 2013.

Of our Distressed Inventory 88% is Short Sales (369 homes) and only 12% is REO (50 homes); unchanged from the last two months.

Available inventory declined in all price points; except for a net gain of eleven houses in the $160,000 to $200,000 price range and a gain of sixteen homes in the $250,000 to $300,000 price range.

In Ada County we now have less than 4 months of inventory on hand.

The price category in shortest supply is <$159,999 where we have 2.9 months. All price points up to $400,000 have a 4 month’s supply. We have benefited for nearly two years from inventory levels much lower than national average.

Multiple offers are much more prevalent; now becoming the norm.

Based on January sold data, our most desirable price point is $120,000 to $160,000 which was 25% of total sales. The next largest price point sold is $160,000 to $200,000 at 17% of all sales. Coming in a strong third is sales in the range of $200,000 to $250,000 at 16% of all sales.

2013 is going to be a good solid year, but nothing like what we enjoyed in 2012.  Moving forward we’re comparing “recovery” numbers against “recovery” numbers, overcoming our critical shortage of available housing and starting to see some federal policies come into being that are going to make our jobs harder still.


by Marc Lebowitz, RCE, CAE

ACAR Executive Director

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