By Breanna Vanstrom, Chief Executive Officer, Boise Regional REALTORS®
For the second consecutive month, home sales in Ada County were lower than the same month in 2019, as REALTORS® and consumers heeded Idaho's stay-home order for any non-essential transactions.
Closed sales were down 29.7% compared to May of 2019, but as this is a backward-looking metric, it primarily reflects buyer activity during March and April when more restrictions around showings and open houses were in place.
However, pending sales, or properties with an accepted offer that should close within 30-60 days, were up 4.7% in May 2020 compared to last year, and up 25.4% compared to April. The 1,957 pending properties, which were almost evenly split between the new construction and existing/resale, will be reflected in the sales data in June and July.
While the Ada County housing market has indeed been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, we believe the stage is set for a rebound in sales, due to the strong market position at the beginning of the year and continuing buyer demand compared to supply.
The median sales price in May 2020, for new construction and existing/resale combined, was $360,450, up 6.0% year-over-year but down 3.9% from the record high in April of $374,900.
This month-over-month dip was primarily driven by the mix of sales. Previous record highs were the result of new construction making up a large share of closed sales. While still significant in May at 31.8%, the share of new construction sales was down from 35.0% in April, helping to bring down the overall median sales price for the county.
Whenever you're ready to buy or sell a home, REALTORS® are here to help. Across the valley, brokerages and builders are taking extra precautions to protect clients. Additionally, REALTORS® have access to local, up-to-date market data, and are able to customize it to your unique situation.
The data released over the past week revealed an unprecedented decline in economic activity resulting from the pandemic, but also indicated that recovery has already begun. Mortgage markets have been relatively quiet, and rates again ended the week with little change.
Following growth of 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic activity, fell 5.0% in Q1 2020, which was the weakest reading since 2008. As bad as that was, however, it does not even come close to the expected decline for the second quarter. The Federal Reserve publishes an estimate of GDP growth, which it updates every few days based on the most recent data. On Tuesday, the Fed projected that GDP will fall over 50% during the second quarter, which is roughly in line with Wall Street forecasts. After that, early estimates from economists for the second half of the year predict sizable gains.
Despite the Fed and Wall Street's dire predictions, the more recent results have shown clear signs of a rebound. Two of the most significant reports released each month, which reflect the most current economic activity, are from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The May ISM Services Index rose more than expected to 45.4 from a reading of 41.8 in April. Similarly, the ISM Manufacturing Index increased to 43.1 from 41.5 in April.
The reduced economic activity resulting from the pandemic has caused a decline in inflation, which has helped keep mortgage rates low. In April, the core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index, the inflation indicator favored by the Fed, was just 1.0% higher than a year ago, down from an annual rate of increase of 1.7% last month. Fed officials have stated that their target level for annual inflation is 2.0%.
Looking ahead, investors will continue watching for news about medical advances to fight the pandemic, Fed actions, government stimulus programs, and plans for reopening the economy.
There are a lot of reasons to welcome summer with open arms. We're especially excited about the return of all our favorite Boise farmers markets. With a long growing season ahead, we are thrilled to recommend these great spots in the Boise area to find fresh, local produce!
Here in Idaho, we're blessed with many great options when it comes to shopping local!
By Tamara Oakley, Coldwell Banker Blue Matter
Home resale value is something most homeowners strive to increase so that they can see a profit when it's time to sell. Unfortunately, there are many things that they accidentally do that have the opposite effect. Here are four ways that you can unintentionally lower the value of your home.
This is the easiest way to lower the value of your home. Not keeping up with maintenance typically leads to larger problems down the road or hidden problems that are discovered when you try to sell your home. If you notice a damp spot on a wall or a wiring issue that you don't ever look into, you could be setting yourself up for massive problems in the future. Damp spots can turn into huge mold infestations (which must be included on your home disclosure and can cause potential buyers to pass on your home) and wiring problems can turn into electrical fires that cause massive damage and put you and your family's lives at risk. Pay attention to the tiny things that come up along the way and try to keep your investment in the best possible shape.
Incorrect installations and work not done up to code or with the proper permits can also lower home resale value and be a turn off to buyers since they'll have to make the necessary repairs. Trying to do some things yourself is fine, but consider hiring a professional before you make any massive changes.
Upgrades and renovations normally add value to a property, but it is possible to overdo it. If you live in a neighborhood where homes are in the $300,000 range and you add $200,000 worth of upgrades to your home, it's going to be challenging to find someone willing to pay the full value for your property because it will be much more expensive than the other comparable homes in the neighborhood (if there are any). Even if it does have the added value, someone interested in living in a luxury home probably wants to live in a luxury neighborhood as well. Be aware of the ROI for your upgrades and try not to price yourself out of your neighborhood.
Not making any changes is another way that you can accidentally lower the value of your home. If your home is dated, buyers are going to consider the cost of updating it and might try to offer you less for it. There's a fine line between not enough and too many upgrades, but it's a line that's important to stay close to.
If you take care of your home and do your best to make sure that it keeps up with the times, you shouldn't have a lot of trouble with a decrease in your resale value. As long as the market in the Treasure Valley continues to grow, homeowners can expect to see higher sales prices as long as their homes are in good condition.
From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
Unfortunately, scammers and hackers are taking advantage of Coronavirus health crisis. The FTC has issued several warnings and advisories about these scams; that even though Health Departments could reach out via text or email…
Contact tracers will never ask for sensitive identification or financial information!
You can use your cell phone carrier's built-in number blocking on your phone to stop unwanted calls or texts from specific numbers; you can also block offending email addresses in your email account. But with any sort of fraud, scammers often use hundreds of thousands of phone numbers and emails and move very quickly onto the next. This makes permanent blocking hard.
To really have an impact, we recommend reporting the offending communication to the FTC. This can be done online at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
A few rules of thumb for spam calls, texts, and emails:
If you have any questions about a suspicious email, call, or text, feel free to contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
During this time people are conducting a lot of business via email, spending money online, and trying to find information on the internet. Be vigilant when opening emails, browsing the internet, downloading free software or games, and clicking on links in email and on the internet.
If you have any questions about updates, pop-ups, emails, or need a clean-up, this can be done remotely. Please contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email email@example.com if you need immediate assistance.
Fire pits are hot these days-- literally and figuratively. They form a focal point for outdoor socializing and can extend your outdoor time with the warmth they provide in the evenings. Plus, let's not forget the joy of making s'mores in the backyard!
You can purchase a pre-made kit or have one professionally installed, but a DIY fire pit is a relatively simple project for a long weekend, and if you'd like to create a fire pit of your own, read on.
Examine the area where you'd like to build your fire pit. The best spots for fire pits have a non-flammable material such as dirt or stone, and are free of overhanging or nearby branches, and are well away from other potential fuel. Your fire pit should be at least ten feet away from the house or other structures. What should be near your fire pit is a space for an appropriate fire extinguisher that's kept ready each time you light the fire pit.
The Right Stuff
Stone, cement blocks, and brick make suitable materials for a DIY fire pit, as they can be arranged into almost any shape you want. Retaining wall blocks serve as ideal side material for fire pits. Pavers provide the perfect smooth surface for the bottom of your fire pit. Use paver sand to fill in the gaps and discourage shifting. If your fire pit is deep and you'd like the fire to sit slightly higher in the pit, use river stones or gravel for a non-flammable filler.
Some Light Upcycling
Some items require only a little refashioning to make a great fire pit. A large stone, concrete, or terracotta planter makes an excellent fire pit. If you'd like to give concrete casting a try, a container that is a great shape but in a less than ideal material, such as a plastic planter, might make a good mold for a concrete fire pit.
Light Your Fire
Only light materials designed to be burned in an outdoor setting. Seasoned wood, pressed wood logs, or gel canisters are all ideal for fire pits. If you use gel canisters, make sure the cap stays handy for extinguishing the flame. Avoid using green wood or other materials not prepared for fueling outdoor fires. If you plan to cook using your fire pit, make sure your fuel is designed for cooking.
Home design trends come and go, but a fire pit has practical value and is very DIY-friendly.