Idaho Real Estate Blog

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Jul 31

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Fact Sheet

Who is Eligible? Income Limits? Effective Dates for the Tax Credit? Types of Homes that Qualify for the Tax Credit?

Jul 30

When comparing Boise homes for sale, is cost per square foot an effective tool?

A frequent topic of debate and though it can be a simple measurement it only works if you are comparing apples to apples.

Jul 30

Summary of Housing Bill That Just Became Law

So, President Bush withdrew his veto threat, and signed the housing bill into law early this morning. Outside of the politics that he is playing with the Democratic controlled Congress (interesting in and of itself), let's review what the bill provides.

Jul 30

Quote of the Day

From Ronald Reagan.

Jul 29

Green Washing

With so much information about "Green" it gets confusing? Tell me about it!

Jul 29

The formula for evaluating home values

There are three components- E, P and H

Jul 29

Who are Treasure Valley's top produing home builders?

Everyone likes Top 10 Lists and Who's Who.

Jul 29

Are you looking for Boise Homebuilers that are accountable and offer quality before durng and after construction? You know ones that kick butt!

Too many times I have heard how a buidler is scared of their clients and do not want to be rated and reviewed online.

Jul 29

The Conscience Framer

As I drove up to one of my job-sites today I noticed 4 bikes in the garage!

Jul 28

The bottom line on Boise homes for sale

Is the market up, down, bottomed, still buyer or what?

Jul 25

Economists say U.S. economy suffering crisis of confidence, not recession and its parent, Real Estate Media Network, hosted  “The U.S. Economy Crisis and Cures,” an economic briefing today with top economists from Ernst & Young, Moody’s, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, CB Richard Ellis and Marcus & Millichap to discuss the current economy and its impact on the commercial real estate industry.  Following are highlights of the presentation:

  • The general consensus is that we are experiencing a crisis in confidence, not a crisis in market fundamentals.  The numbers indicate a mild downturn, not a recession.
    • The economy has been steadily contracting since December 2007, with housing and the financial sector the leading indicators.
    • Though we haven’t yet met the definition for a recession (two consecutive quarters of negative GDP), the overall impression is that of a slowdown, impacting nearly all sectors
    • The downturn is in line with expectations and less severe than previous recessions


  • To date, job losses have been smaller than in previous recessions (notably the 1991 and 2001 recessions), leading to a less severe employment situation
    • The slower economy is typically attributed to six straight months of job losses, the continual plunge of home prices, and the impact of the credit crunch (particularly the rise in the risk spread)


  • Economists agree that the last two quarters of 2008 will see a slowdown or drop in economic productivity, and that recovery will pick up steam in 2009
    • A poll taken during the webcast found the majority agree that the economy will improve by the third quarter of 2009
    • Headline inflation is likely to spike again in the short-term, and will slow in 2009
    • Inflation rates are expected to rise, as the Federal Reserve is challenged with issues on both the economic growth and inflation sides of the equation, and economists try to gauge how prices and wage pressures are going to hold up with increased inflation
    • The economy will reset to where we were in 2004, as opposed to the boom years of 2006 and 2007


  • In overall terms, the financial sector is demonstrating its strong fundamentals
    • Underwriting for loans and mortgages has normalized, returning to how it was before the real estate bubble, mostly due to the Fed stepping in
    • Financing is available, but if you can get credit it is more expensive
    • This change in underwriting has tremendous implications for economic growth and recovery, as access to new capital is a key factor in growth


  • The commercial real estate market will see an increase in vacancies of 1-1.5 percentage points, but that increase is on a fairly healthy supply base
    • The market is in for some erosion of its fundamentals, as the economists are keeping a close eye on sublease numbers
    • Most expect to see weakness, not a hit, in market fundamentals
    • The industrial market is strongest overall, followed by office.
    • Existing CMBS is in very little distress, though 25-30% of today’s commercial debt comes from the CMBS market
    • The psychological aspect of the downturn comes into play with leasing demand, as most investors are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see where the market will go, and job losses will be way below trend
    • Prices have adjusted downward by approximately 15%


  • Economic recovery will come from a stabilization in energy and food prices, and establishing a new balance for the economy
    • The ‘dull’ downturn will have a ‘dull’ recovery, and will take another year to play out

 Gail Heist
NAI Kowallis & Mackey 


Jul 25

SW Boise (Meridian District) New Subdivisons Available for New Construction ( 25 )

Updated with lot sizes and icons for community amenities

Jul 24

Selecting a Boise Home Builder

The Ten tips that help Boise home buyers achieve the highest level of success

Jul 24

Today we a re starting a poll question

Who is the best Boise, Idaho Real Estate Brokerage?

Jul 23

Soutwest Boise New Subdivisions Updated

List updated including lots sizes and home values.

Jul 23

Pickens Plan . . . will it work?

Some of you may be familar with a plan by oil baron T. Boone Pickens to increase wind production to remove the need for natural gas as a source of electricity. The question is will he get the support, and does it make sense?

Jul 23

Jul 23

Second Quarter Ada County Real Estate Analysis

People are always asking me what the market is doing in real estate and I keep saying “It Depends”. Anyone that gives a quick answer to such a broad question should be dismissed immediately.
The old proverb of “location, location, location” is still true. You can look at a snapshot of just the market in Eagle and draw a very different conclusion than if you looked in Kuna. Even the nine different MLS areas that make up “Boise” will provide drastically different answers. But since my blog is based on “Ada County” the following numbers are averages for the entire county. I would be glad to research specifics if you need them.
The quick good news is that every single market segment (homes, condos, mobile homes, etc.,) showed improvements over the first quarter! For example, we sold 388 more single family homes in the second quarter than in the first. Although these numbers are still below 2nd quarter 2007 numbers, it is nice to see the market shifting positive.
Of the 1,691 homes that sold in the second quarter of 2008, 27% of them were brand new homes. That is about the same ratio as it was in the 2nd quarter of 2007; however in 2006 that ratio grew to 39% of the homes sold were new since we were busy trying to cure the appetite of all the investors moving their money to Idaho.
According to the Construction Monitor, building permits have also increased in the past two consecutive quarters. This is the first time we have had back to back increases since 2005!
Keep in mind that effective today, there are still 5,682 active listings (not counting the 883 that have offers waiting to close). Even though that sounds like a lot of homes, even with all the negative publicity in the first half of the year, we still managed to close 2,972 houses so we currently have about a year of standing inventory at this rate. I don’t expect sales to be at the level they were in the second quarter of 2006, but using that absorption rate, we would only have five months of inventory!

That is the interesting thing about analyzing the numbers, if you know what you are doing, you can make it sound the way you want. Samuel Clements “Mark Twain” is one of my favorite authors and that was before I realized that he was the one that said “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure”!   Look at the statistics including historical perspectives, not just a snapshot, before investing your money or deciding to sell.


Jul 22

Bodo and the Library Blocks

Just a follow up to my blog about infill and the vision for our Valley. Here's a great article posted by the Idaho Business Review from the most recent press conference with Mark Rivers, the developer of BoDo. Enjoy!

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