Strong Spring Housing Market Doesn’t Mean Sellers Can Overprice

Tight inventory continued to push home prices up in March 2016, and sales remained strong.

In March 2016, the median sales price of all single-family homes in Ada County, as tracked by the Intermountain MLS, was at $234,950, up 5.4% compared to March 2015. The median sales price of existing single-family homes was $215,000, up 2.4% year-over-year; the new construction median sales price was $296,000, up 4.8% year-over-year. There were 788 closed sales in Ada County in March 2016, up 13.5% from March 2015.

In Canyon County, the median sales price of all single-family homes was $156,150, up 16.1% from March 2015. The median sales price of existing single-family homes was $149,900, up 15.3% year-over-year; and the new construction median sales price was $197,800, up 13.0% year-over-year. There were and 356 closed sales in Canyon County, up 21.5%, over the same month last year.

For sellers, it’s easy to want to list higher when there is so much buyer demand “just to see” what they could get. Sellers who want to test the market with a higher price may tell their agent they will “let the buyer talk them down on price” or that they’re hoping for multiple offers over asking price like “their friend had, just one day after listing.”

There were a few spots in the region where this was the case last month. In Northeast Boise (IMLS Area 0200), on average, existing homes sold for 102.0% over asking, and in Southeast Meridian (IMLS Area 0100), existing homes sold for 103.7% over asking, on average. In both Ada and Canyon Counties, most newly constructed homes sold at or above asking price in March 2016, often because of upgrades.

While it may feel like every house sells over asking price in just one day, that’s not the case overall.

Existing homes in Ada County neighborhoods sold, on average, between 93.6% (Meridian SW 1010) and 98.8% (Boise N 0100) under asking price. Existing homes in Canyon County neighborhoods sold, on average, between 81.3% (Wilder 1293) and 99.8% (Nampa S 1260) under asking price.

Carey Farmer 2016 President

These numbers are still very positive for sellers, but serve as a benchmark for the research provided by their REALTOR®. Carey Farmer, 2016 President of Boise Regional REALTORS® and Broker Associate with Group One Sotheby’s International Realty, explains: “Our job is to present an accurate, current, and realistic view of the market to our sellers to attract the most buyers, and to work to ensure their selected offer will appraise.”

Even with high demand, buyers can sense when a home is not reasonably priced because they’ve toured a lot of homes and are doing their research online. But should a seller accept an offer that’s above market, there may not be recent, comparable sales to support the appraisal. In this case, the deal is on hold the seller and buyer can agree to a reduced price, or the buyer may cancel and move on.

This news may give some relief to buyers, but it does not mean offers can go too low. Just as they’ll do for sellers, REALTORS® will research comparable homes to help buyers determine a strong offer price that’s reasonable based on the market and (hopefully) acceptable to the sellers. While not every house may be in a multiple offer situation, if an offer is weak, the seller may decline. “If we have offer but more showings are scheduled in the next few days or hours, some sellers may wait, hoping for a better price or more favorable terms,” said Farmer. (“Terms” refer to earnest money, closing date, seller contributions, inspection contingencies, and other aspects of the offer.)

Both buyers and sellers must work closely with their REALTOR® to stay on top of market trends, to make sure offers and listings are the best they can be from the get-go.

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March 2016 Market Summary

Activity from Intermountain MLS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boise Regional REALTORS®, as of April 11, 2016 for single-family homes, with existing and new properties, and all neighborhoods combined.

Metrics Ada County Canyon County
Mar 2016 YOY % Chg Mar 2016 YOY % Chg
Closed Sales 788 13.5% 356 21.5%
Median Sales Price $234,950 5.4% $156,150 16.1%
Days on Market 56 -13.8% 55 -19.1%
Pending Sales 1,590 24.2% 622 7.8%
Inventory 1.796 -17.4% 772 -28.0%
Months Supply 2.6 -27.8% 2.7 -35.7%

Additional information about trends within each county, and by price point, by existing vs. new construction, and by neighborhood, are now available in the March 2016 Market Report. This report includes an explanation of the metrics and notes on data sources and methodology.

Download and share the snapshot graphics for Ada County and Canyon County:

ADA Snapshot - March 2016 CANYON Snapshot - March 2016

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This report is provided by the Ada County Association of REALTORS®, which began doing business as Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) in 2016. BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in Idaho, with over 3,600 members and two wholly-owned subsidiaries — the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (IMLS) and the REALTORS® Community Foundation. This report is based primarily on the public statistics provided by the IMLS, available at: intermountainmls.com/Statistics/Static.aspx. These statistics are based upon information secured by the agent from the owner or their representative. The accuracy of this information, while deemed reliable, has not been verified and is not guaranteed. These statistics are not intended to represent the total number of properties sold in the counties or cities during the specified time period. The IMLS and BRR provide these statistics for purposes of general market analysis but make no representations as to past or future performance.  || The term “single-family homes” includes detached single-family homes with or without acreage, as classified in the IMLS. These numbers do not include activity for mobile homes, condominiums, townhomes, land, commercial, or multi-family properties (like apartment buildings). If you are a consumer, please contact a REALTOR® to get the most current and accurate information specific to your situation.

Distributed to the media on April 12, 2016.

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