Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Idaho home price growth 4th in U.S.

Prices up 15 percent after 1st quarter vs. 6.7 percent nationally


By BRENNAN REGO
Express Staff Writer


This graph demonstrates the recent appreciation of home prices in Idaho compared to the rest of the country. Idaho had the fourth-highest rate of appreciation in the nation from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, according to the Idaho Housing and Finance Association.
Graphic courtesy of Idaho Housing and Finance Association

    The prices of existing single-family homes in Idaho rose just over 15 percent in the past year, compared to only about a 6.7 percent uptick nationally. The Idaho Housing and Finance Association says the data, released on Thursday by the Federal Housing and Finance Association, indicates an increase in confidence in the housing market by Idaho home buyers that could result in a bump in home sales in the state.
    “It’s multifaceted,” said IHFA President Gerald Hunter, referring to the possible results of such a price rise. “I think it will cause sales to go up. People will have the confidence to purchase a home. I think that’s positive for our economy.”
    Idaho had the fourth-highest rate of appreciation in the nation from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, according to a news release from the IHFA. Only Arizona, California and Nevada had higher rates.
    The top performing area that the IHFA had specific data for was the Boise/Nampa metropolitan area, with a 10.17 percent upturn. Coeur d’Alene (1.55 percent), Pocatello (1.23 percent) and Idaho Falls (0.57 percent) also saw small increases. IHFA did not have Blaine County-specific data available. However, Hunter said the 15 percent rise is attributable in large part to home price increases in “resort areas” across the state.
    Hunter said the price rise could also encourage many potential home sellers who have been waiting for the housing market’s “doldrums to pass” to now sell their houses.
    The FHFA House Price Index is calculated using the purchase prices of homes with mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The FHFA was created in 2008 to regulate and supervise Mae and Mac when Congress adopted the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. Mae and Mac are government-sponsored enterprises chartered in 1938 and 1970, respectively, to “support stable funding for the housing and mortgage markets and expand opportunities for home ownership and affordable rental housing,” according to FHFA’s website.
    “The value of the FHFA index is that it uses repeat-sales data obtained from Idaho-specific, single-family properties, which better reflects the trends we see in our communities,” Hunter said.
    According to Hunter, Idaho experienced larger declines in home prices during 2009 and 2010 compared to national averages, especially in rural areas. Hunter said the exaggerated fall in Idaho is one reason why the state is now seeing such a strong upswing.
    “Additionally, the western U.S. as a whole is experiencing a stronger housing rebound than national averages,” he said.
Brennan Rego: brego@mtexpress.com




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