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Fewer and fewer homes go on the market in Treasure Valley

A home for sale in Meridian. The housing supply has fallen to record lows, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. File photo.

A home for sale in Meridian. The housing supply has fallen to record lows, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. File photo.

The number of homes available on the market in December reached a record low, based on statistics collected since 2006 by the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service.

Ada County had just 1,490 homes for sale in December, far fewer than the previous low of 1,664 in January 2013, according to statistics from the Boise Regional Realtors.  Intermountain MLS is a subsidiary of BRR.

That puts the available inventory of homes for sale in Ada County at 1.8 months, a 25 percent drop from December 2015. BRR views a balanced market as one with four to six months’ supply.

Canyon County’s home inventory fell 57 homes short of that county’s February 2016 record with 808 homes on the market in December.

The housing supply has been tight in the Treasure Valley since late 2015, and home prices have reached record highs. The Ada County median home price in December was $245,000, 5.6 percent above that of the prior holiday season. Canyon County saw an 11.3 percent year-to-year gain to $167,000 in December.

Homebuyers are adapting to the new conditions.

“It creates more savvy buyers,” said Katrina Wehr, BRR’s president and managing broker at Keller Williams. “They are getting prepared before they got out to look for a home. They are getting pre-qualified and making cleaner offers so they don’t lose. The offers in 2014 had a lot of contingencies built in and (there were) outs for the buyer. Now they are ready to perform and they are not so wishy-washy.”

Wehr said homes are in short supply mostly because existing homes aren’t coming on the market. New home sales were down just 1.1 percent in Ada County in December and increased 25.5 percent in Canyon County. She said homeowners pondering a move might be unable to find another home to buy, and some home prices still haven’t recovered the value homebuyers paid for them, making the owners reluctant to sell.

About Teya Vitu

Teya Vitu is an Idaho Business Review reporter, covering commercial real estate, construction, transportation and whatever else may intrigue him in the moment. Join me on Twitter at @IBR_TeyaVitu.