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Idaho ranked #1 for greatest housing price spike, according to Zillow data

Idaho is number one! But not in the way you want. The Gem State now has the distinction of being the state that saw the biggest spike in home prices since 2012.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho is ranked #1 in the country for experiencing the biggest spike in home prices since 2012, according to data collected from Zillow. Take a look at these numbers:

Statewide Housing Price Increase

Zillow Avg, 2012-2016 to 2017-2022

1. Idaho - 78.7% ($152,221 - $272,019)

2. Nevada - 74.2% ($195,660 - $340,779)

3. Washington - 64.9% ($209,646 - $345,726)

4. Utah - 64.7% ($240,880 - $396,824)

5. Oregon - 61.2% ($197,068 - $317,739)

If you take the average Idaho home price from 2012 to 2016 and the average home price from the next five years, it went up more than 78%! Also, the entire rest of the top five is made up of Northwest states - with Nevada in second, followed by Washington, Utah and Oregon. Montana is not far behind in 7th place. Also, remember, these are the average prices across a five-year span. Furthermore, Idaho's current median price is unfortunately much higher than the $272,019 average listed in the data above. It's actually closer to $440,000!

So, what's going on here? What happened in Idaho over the second half of the previous decade and why did it happen here more than anywhere else in the country? Debbi Myers, the President of Boise Regional REALTORS said we saw the big jump because we were way under-valued back in 2012 to begin with. Then, since Idaho was considered affordable compared to larger markets, the state saw a continued surge of folks moving into the state, especially remote workers. The word continued to get out and the increased demand for homes accelerated the spike in home prices. Although prices have since come down a little, they're still pretty high. Add those to rising mortgage rates and affordability is a major issue, especially for locals.

However, Myers said that if you're looking to buy, there is hope, "Mortgage lenders are doing everything they can to try to keep people buying homes, because that's how they make their living as well. If they're not able to write mortgages, they don't have a business." Myers went on to say, "There's that myth that everybody has to have, you know, an 800-credit score and 20% down. That's not true. It's advantageous. If you have an 800-credit score and or 20% down, you're going to get a sweetheart deal on your mortgage. But even without those things, there are lots of programs out there that address affordability and make that something that can happen."

There are also helpful programs for first-time homebuyers, such as resources provided via the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. But at the moment, the market is just slow. Or, to a put a positive spin on it, it’s a "seller's market." How long might that continue? Myers said that it will continue as long as we have a massive inventory shortage. How much is that? Idaho is short about 10,000 homes. So, recovery will likely take a while.

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