Boise New Home Sales: This Year vs. Last Year

Here’s a look at Boise new home sales for this year vs. last year.

2013 Boise New Home Sales

  • # Closed: 1,160
  • Average Sales Price: $276,534
  • Median Sales Price: $259,950

2014 Boise New Home Sales

  • # Closed: 1,044
    % Change: -10.0%
  • Average Sales Price: $313,159
    % Change: +13.2%
  • Median Sales Price: $298,426
    % Change: +14.8%


  • Higher new home sales prices are being driven by increased builder costs for land, materials, and labor.
  • New homes are often larger than resale homes with more modern finishes and amenities.
  • New homes are built to newer building codes and are generally more energy-efficient than the typical resale home.

Data pertains to Ada County new single-family homes on lot or acreage. Data does not include condo or townhome properties.

Data pertains to January 1st through August 31st of each year.


Boise Homes: How Referral Fees Work

Have you ever worked with a real estate agent who was eager to refer you to another agent in another real estate market?

Well, there’s a reason for that eagerness.

That reason is a “referral fee”.

One of the inside secrets of real estate is the practice of referring clients to other agents in return for receiving a portion of the receiving agent’s commission when a sale occurs.

In real estate speak, that’s called a referral fee.

Referral fees aren’t illegal, but I believe they should be fully-disclosed to all parties to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

When I have a client who’s relocating, I ask them if they’d like my help finding an agent in their new location.

If they want my help, I discuss the details of their move with them in detail so I understand their needs, wants, likes, and dislikes.

Then, I research the market where they will be relocating to identify competent agents who might be a good fit for my client.

Then, I “test” one or more of those agents by calling and e-mailing.

I actually hope they don’t answer their phone so I can leave a brief message to see how long it takes them to respond.

If they don’t respond promptly, I eliminate them from consideration.

Those agents who answer their phone on the first or second ring go to the top of the list!

I also evaluate their internet presence as an indicator of competence.

Agents with no internet presence, only a business card webpage, or a sub-page buried deep in their broker’s website, are automatically eliminated.

If they don’t understand the role of the internet in today’s real estate market, they’re probably lacking in other areas of real estate too.

Finally, I interview them on the phone to determine how active they are, how long they’ve been in real estate, if they’re full-time, if they know the area where my client will be relocating, and assess their business practices to determine if they’re a good fit for my relocating client.

If they pass those tests, I refer my client in return for a portion of their commission.

I also follow up on the transaction afterward.

In other words, I “earn” my referral fee vs. just passing along my client’s name, hoping to receive a referral fee.

Typical referral fees range between 20% to 25% of the receiving agent’s commission and cost the client nothing.

Corporate relocation companies also require referral fees from receiving agents and their fees are almost always considerably higher.

Agents willing to accept relocation company referrals are often required to pay a referral fee of 30% or more (I was offered one for 37% earlier this year and renegotiated it).

Referral fee agreements should be documented in writing before the transaction occurs.

In Idaho, it’s illegal to pay a real estate commission to anyone who’s not a real estate licensee.


Why Boise Homes Are Taking Longer To Sell

More than a few Boise home sellers are wondering why their homes aren’t selling.

The simple truth is that our market has changed ~ dramatically.

We had a big party in 2013 with low listing inventory, eager buyers, and multiple offers.

At the end of May 2013, we had 1,802 homes for sale in MLS.

As of this morning, we have 2,985 homes for sale in MLS.

That’s a stunning 65.7% increase in available listings.

At the end of May 2013, we had 1,434 pending sales (sales in escrow; awaiting closing).

As of this morning, we have 917 pending sales.

That’s a 36.1% decline in pending sales.

Further, our pending sales have declined over each of the past four months ~ during our busy summer selling season.

Our pending sales, at the end of August, were equal to those of last February.

Is this the end of the world?

Is the Boise real estate market crashing?

Absolutely not!

Our market is simply leveling off after going on a tear since bottoming out in the Spring of 2011.

Our overall market has about four months’ supply of listing inventory, which is a healthy market.

Our distress sales are mostly behind us and homes are still selling; albeit at a more moderate and rational pace.

Most areas of the country would love to have a market like ours with four months’ supply of listings and 917 pending sales.

Our market isn’t “bad”; it’s simply returning to normal.

You can’t continue to have 16% annual price appreciation without pricing everyone out of the market.

If you’re a seller, the reality is that this isn’t 2013 anymore.

It’s 2014 and you have competition ~ lots of competition.

That competition means buyers have choices ~ lots of choices.

It’s not reasonable to expect your home to have 10 showings a week and sell in 30 days.

Selling a home in the Boise real estate market requires putting your home in top condition, pricing it realistically, and allowing adequate time for the right buyer to come along.

Data pertains to Ada County single-family homes on lot or acreage.  Data does not include condo or townhome properties.


Boise Homes For Sale: Listing Inventory By Age

Here’s a breakdown of the 2,982 Boise homes for sale currently offered in our MLS, broken out by age.

  • To Be Built: 432
  • Under Construction: 151
  • New-Never Occupied: 254
  • Less Than 1 Year Old: 21
  • 1-5 Years Old: 133
  • 6-10 Years Old: 570
  • 11-20 Years Old: 546
  • 21-30 Years Old: 260
  • 31-50 Years Old: 319
  • 50+ Years Old: 296


  • The 432 To Be Built homes (14.5% of all available homes) are phantom listing inventory offered by builders hoping to sell them before starting construction.
  • Most of the New-Never Occupied homes are spec homes built by Corey Barton, Hubble Homes, and a few other spec builders.

Data pertains to Ada County single-family homes on lot or acreage. Data does not include condo or townhome properties.


Boise Home Sales: 2014 Pending Sales Trends

Pending sales of Boise homes are an indicator of future closed sales.

Here’s a breakdown of 2014 year-to-date pending sales.

  • January: 813
    % Change: (baseline number)
  • February: 897
    % Change: +10.3%
  • March: 993
    % Change: +10.7%
  • April: 1,177
    % Change: +18.5%
  • May: 1,143
    % Change: -2.9%
  • June: 1,114
    % Change: -2.5%
  • July: 971
    % Change:  -12.8%
  • August: 898
    % Change:  -7.5%


  • Declining pending sales for the past four months are not a positive indicator for future closed sales.
  • Our August pending sales are equal to our February pending sales.
  • Pending sales  typically rise during our Spring market and continue to be relatively strong throughout our Summer market, but that hasn’t happened this year.
  • Our downtrending pending sales will result in lower closed sales in the coming months.
  • Our Fall market is often stronger than our Summer market, so perhaps we will see an uptick in  pending sales during September and October.

Data pertains to Ada County single-family homes on lot or acreage.  Data does not include condo or townhome properties.