Bringing the Economy Home

Why New Home Sales Have Slowed In Boise

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

A sign advertises new homes going up outside of Boise.

New home sales took a dive in June, falling by more than 8 percent nationwide.  That’s according to a report out this week from the Commerce Department.  But that national trend doesn’t hold as true in the Boise area, which accounts for a large number of Idaho’s new home sales.

According to data from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, 120 new homes were sold in Ada County in June, a 9 percent decrease from May, when 131 new homes sold.  Neighboring Canyon County saw an increase in new home sales in the same period — from 21 to 28 — which compensated for most of Ada County’s drop.  Taken together, the counties saw a much less consequential 2.5 percent decrease in new home sales.

“I don’t think we’re hitting a stagnation point,” says Marc Lebowitz, of the Ada County Association of Realtors.  “The limited availability is what is causing that slowdown.” 

In other words, Lebowitz says, there aren’t enough new homes to go around, which means there are fewer available to sell.  As evidence, Lebowitz points to the number of available distressed homes, which has been cut in half over the last year.  What’s more, prices are rising.  Ada County’s median home price was up by 13 percent in June compared to June 2011.

“I’ve heard there have been some good solid purchases of available lots,” Lebowitz says, “but we have more demand than availability.”


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