The least affordable housing market in the U.S.? Boise

·2 min read

Boise, Idaho — Boise is having its biggest gold rush since the 1860s. It's called real estate, and the Idaho city now has the least affordable housing market in the U.S., according to one study. 

The issue is home prices in Boise dwarf residents' incomes. 

"It was just completely insane. The amount prices went up — 30% in a year here in Ada County — it's just incredible," said Jennifer Louis, a real estate agent in Boise. "Ten, 20 people in a bidding war, sometimes even more. This year we've had homes that sold $100,000 over the asking prices." 

A Boise Regional Realtors study found that the city's median home price was almost $535,000 — 10 times higher than the city's median income. 

Those who want to put in an offer better make it all cash and above the asking price. 

Lifelong Boise residents Max Hampton and Kelsey Taylor got lucky with their new home: $414,000. They had been stung by a series of rejected offers, but found a seller who wanted a local buyer. 

"It was super discouraging. I remember a lot of hard nights, a lot of hard conversations," Hampton said. "Why is it like this when just a couple years ago it wasn't?" 

Boise has beauty, a desired lifestyle and too few homes for sale. The pandemic created a next-level frenzy with investors and virtual workers from neighboring states snapping up homes and driving up prices. 

Louis's home value has more than doubled, but her growing family can't afford to buy a bigger home. Louis said she wants to put an offer in a house, "but the Realtor said they wouldn't even look at a contingent offer." 

"It's money that talks," she said. 

Residents told CBS News that Boise's housing market has changed the city. Young people squeezed out of buying their first home are moving away, along with older residents who are cashing out. 

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