Boise home values have improved by nearly five percent from their post-recession low. That’s enough of an increase that a recent Brookings Institution report ranks the city first for its house price recovery. StateImpact reported that finding early this week.
The report also shows that Boise’s improved home prices are part of a broader recovery in Mountain West cities. As Brookings’ Mark Muro and Kenan Fikri write, “‘[o]n all fronts the region outperformed the nation.” Their analysis points to job growth in Denver, growing output in Las Vegas, and the general strength of Utah’s metro areas.
However, like much in this prolonged and anemic recovery period, the news is not uniformly good. Las Vegas may have rising output, but its unemployment rate remained above 12 percent in the first quarter.
Boise’s house prices may be up by 4.8 percent from their 2011 low, but they remain more than 40 percent below their pre-recession high. Moreover, Mountain West cities like Colorado Springs showed little improvement, falling near the bottom of Brookings’ quarterly rankings.
In other words, try as we might to find signs of a steady upward path, the present route appears to be more like something we in the Mountain West know well: a laborious and rocky climb.