Rebound Idaho: While housing market sustains, experts predict teleworkers could soon flood into Idaho

Posted at 10:20 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 00:23:04-04

BOISE, Idaho — While housing markets in cities like Seattle crater under the pandemic, the same can’t be said about Boise — despite a burgeoning affordable housing crisis.

But from a nationwide standpoint, the coronavirus hit the housing market hard.

"There are certain markets, where I would be a little nervous if I was an agent in those markets," said Matt Bauscher, owner of Bauscher Real Estate at Amherst Madison.

As CNBC reports, sales of existing homes fell more than 17% from the year before — and they fell the most in the West region of the country.

But Bauscher, a Boise real estate company owner, said Boise’s housing market has already started to bounce back.

“For like two weeks the market kind of slowed down," said Bauscher. "But Boise’s definitely, ya know, one of the hottest markets in the country.”

And we know you don’t need another survey to tell you this, but last year, Idaho was the fastest growing state in the nation — again.

“We have really low unemployment historically, we have four seasons of climate, outdoors, great quality of life, good schools -- a lot of things that people are going to continue to gravitate towards for the next, ya know, five, 10, 15, 20 years," said Bauscher.

So with many west coast tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter letting their employees work from home in 2020, what’s holding those employees back from picking up and moving to Idaho?

As reports, Glenn Kelman, the CEO of Redfin, a Seattle-based real estate company, says cities like Boise are likely to see an influx of people moving there, as more and more workers operate remotely.

But with an already limited supply of housing in the Gem State, to protect the welfare of Idaho residents, Bauscher says it’ll be imperative that we have more housing to meet this demand.

“Between 2009 and 2014, we didn’t build enough homes," said Bauscher. "If we can’t get more homes built, and more inventory out there, and more sellers willing to list their house, I mean it’s gonna be a huge traffic jam of more buyers than we have inventory.”

This — threatening spikes in rent costs and home prices. That’s why Bauscher said the best time to buy instead of rent... may just be right now.

“Part of the optimistic side, is the interest rates are so low, sometimes… you do a calculation between what rent’s gonna cost you, and what it is to buy a home, and it becomes pretty close to a wash."

Click here to learn more about our findings and to follow our reporting efforts focusing on Idaho's rebound from the devastating impacts of the coronavirus.