So how well did I do with last years predictions? On most points pretty good! Idaho unemployment sits at about 7.1% with a strong lead in construction. The number of distressed homes (short sales and bank owned) on the market continued to drop and has stayed pretty steady at about 24%. We may see more short sales coming on the market now that the government has extended the tax relief on mortgage debt forgiven act. Prices are up modestly. Idaho’s real estate market had a pretty good year in 2012…so what is in store for 2013….
I believe our unemployment numbers will continue to drop, the builders are slammed and having difficulties finding qualified craftsmen. The lack of inventory in 2012 made finding the perfect home for buyers at times difficult, I don’t expect inventory to increase drastically, in fact I expect it to continue to remain pretty flat. More owners are no longer upside down on their loans and will now be able to sell but I think it will be enough to bring our inventory up where it needs to be. In 2012 we averaged approximately 2000 active listings in Ada County at any given time, in ’08 we had between 4,000 – 5,000 listings. Current inventories are discouraging a lot of buyers and the multiple offer situation turns off a lot of buyers. A lot of would-be sellers with very sellable homes are choosing to hang on to their homes because they are not seeing suitable replacement properties.
I believe interest rates will remain FANTASTIC. We may see a slight increase but nothing that will effect the market. Prices will continue to go up which will squeeze out more first time buyers. The bottom of the market was ages ago…there is only one place to go but up! It is nice to see stabilization!