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Boise is the top housing market for 2020

Boise has the nation’s hottest housing market going into 2020. File photo

The online version of this article was updated on Dec. 12 to clarify the relationship between Realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors and Move Inc.

Boise has grabbed the No. 1 spot as the hottest residential housing market in the U.S. going into 2020, according to Realtor.com.

Last year, Boise had the No. 8 spot on the Realtor.com rankings of the hottest residential real estate markets. The 2020 ranking were released on Dec. 12.

Realtor.com is a real estate website which is operated by Move Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of Realtors. The website lists approximately 97% of all U.S. housing for sale. Using this robust dataset, their economists track the housing market every month. They use listing views in each market as an indicator of demand and median days listed as an indicator of supply.

Realtor.com’s yearly ranking of the hottest markets is limited to the 100 largest metropolitan areas. Boise is the only Idaho city included in this list—so active but smaller housing markets like Idaho Falls aren’t considered. According to Janice McDill, vice president for corporate communication at Move inc., the annual rankings are based on both price data and the volume of home sales in each market.

Along with Boise, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona, round out the top three on the 2020 list.

This year, Boise’s neighboring metros finished just outside of the top 10. Salt Lake City was ranked No. 11 and Spokane was ranked No. 15. Las Vegas ranked last as No. 100. No cities in Wyoming or Montana made the list.

Overall, the U.S. housing market is projected to slow down in the upcoming year. In contrast, the top 10 markets are predicted to grow with strong local economies, job growth and available housing inventory.

“Many of the markets on this year’s list are late bloomers in the current housing cycle, meaning they still have plenty of inventory and prices are within reach — a rare combination in recent years,” said George Ratiu, senior economist for Realtor.com. “Additionally, a number of the top markets in 2020 are welcoming an influx of buyers from large cities … that have become crowded, expensive and lack sufficient inventory.”

The 2020 rankings reflect the continuing trend of people moving from expensive coastal cities to more affordable areas inland. In fact, nine out of 10 of 2020’s hottest markets are not on the coast—a significant change from last year when four out of 10 markets were on or near the water. This trend is particularly noticeable in Boise. The city and its environs are seeing an influx of out-of-state buyers attracted by the city’s amenities and lower housing prices compared to places like California.

In the top 10 markets, home sales are expected to rise 2.4% and prices by 3.1% on average year-over-year. This is in contrast to a 1.8% decrease in home sales and a 0.8% increase in sales prices nationwide, according to Realtor.com.

Boise has had a population boom in recent years, nearly doubling in size since 1990. Many of the city’s newcomers are transplants from more expensive coastal cities. Realtor.com notes that newcomers to the area are attracted by the mild four-season climate, easy access to mountains and rivers, thriving job market and excellent health care. A favorable tax structure — which includes relatively low sales and property tax and no state Social Security tax — as well as relatively affordable housing has made Boise a popular home for retirees as well as young professionals, Realtor.com said.

“As a whole, millennials are driving the housing market, but what’s interesting in this year’s list is that not all of our cities fall into that category. In fact, only half of this year’s top 10 are millennial markets and the other half are being driven by retirees and mid-lifers leaving more expensive coastal cities,”
added Ratiu.

Realtor.com top 10 markets for 2020:
1. Boise, Idaho
2. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
3. Tucson, Ariz.
4. Chattanooga, Tenn.
5. Columbia, S.C.
6. Rochester, N.Y.
7. Colorado Springs, Colo.
8. Winston-Salem, N.C.
9. Charleston-North Charleston, S.C.
10. Memphis, Tenn.


Boise’s housing profile:
Median home price: $295,000
Home price change: +8.1%
Sales change: +0.3%
Combined sales and price growth: +8.4%

About Catie Clark