- Boise, Idaho, was named the best place in the US to buy a home in 2019.
- People are moving in droves from places like California, Washington, and Oregon to the mid-size Western city, which Forbes named the fastest-growing city in the US in 2018.
- The median home price in Boise is $US349,900, less than half of the median price in Seattle in Los Angeles and a fraction of San Francisco’s $US1.34 million median listing price.
- The most popular areas to buy in Boise right now are the Boise Bench, the North End, and prestigious Harrison Boulevard, local real-estate agents told Business Insider.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The unassuming Western city of Boise, Idaho was named the best place in the US to buy a home in 2019, according to a report by WalletHub that looked at 300 cities across the country, comparing factors like home sales, median home price growth, and job growth.
Wes Jost, senior vice president and manager of Zions Bank’s Idaho commercial real-estate group, said WalletHub’s ranking is spot-on from the perspective of an out-of-state buyer relocating to Idaho.
“Even with rising Boise home prices, our costs are still below that of many states that many new Boise residents are moving from,” Jost told Business Insider.
Of the 80,000 people who moved to Idaho in 2018, more than 21,000 were from California and many others came from states like Washington, Utah, and Oregon, according to US Census data.
The median home price in Boise is $US349,900, less than half of the median price in Seattle in Los Angeles and only about 26% of that in San Francisco, where the median listing price is $US1.34 million.
But Boise’s ranking as the best place to buy a home might not ring true for longtime residents, according to Jost. While housing prices in the Boise-Nampa metro area rose faster than in any other city in the US between 2018 and 2019, Idaho’s per capita personal income ranks 44th in the nation.
But for those moving from out of state, Boise homes are still a bargain. Here are the three hottest areas to buy in Boise right now, according to local real-estate agents.
Millennials are buying in the trendy Boise Bench area
Stephanie Marshall, a marketing specialist at Group One Sotheby’s International Realty in Boise, said the most popular neighbourhood for buyers lately is the Boise Bench, which sits in central Boise overlooking downtown.
“This has become the sort of ‘trendy’ place for home buyers, specifically millennials,” Marshall told Business Insider. “The homes on the Bench are typically older, with home buyers remodeling to their style. The location is close to downtown Boise, but far enough away that you’re out of the chaos.”
Proximity to downtown is one of the main draws for younger buyers in Boise, according to local broker Eric DeBord, who owns Red Pheasant Realty.
Current listings on the Bench range from a single-story two-bedroom house in West Bench for $US185,000 to a gated four-bedroom Dutch Colonial estate in Depot Bench, which is closer to downtown, for $US1.45 million.
The North End has long been a coveted neighbourhood with tree-lined streets and older homes
Another longtime sought-after neighbourhood is Boise’s North End, according to local agents.
Boise’s North End, which sits between downtown and the Boise Foothills, is a liberal community full of young professionals, bars and restaurants, and highly rated schools. According to Niche, the neighbourhood is one of the best places to live in Idaho.
The North End’s appeal lies in its proximity to downtown, its mature trees, and the curb appeal with many of the city’s older homes, according to DeBord and Jost.
Marshall highlighted Hyde Park, a compact retail area tucked away in the North End.
“The Hyde Park area in the North End is full of notable restaurants, boutiques, specialty shops and parks,” she told Business Insider. “This area of town is very community oriented and community friendly. I would describe Hyde Park as a more liberal area as a whole.”
Harrison Boulevard is one of the most prestigious – and pricey – thoroughfares in Boise
A local blog describes Harrison Boulevard as “one of Boise’s most picturesque thoroughfares,” and it’s also one of the most prestigious parts of the city to own a home, according to Marshall.
The wide, tree-lined boulevard, which sits in the Warm Springs area, has a mix of architectural styles.
There are only three active listings on Harrison Boulevard – and all three are listed above $US1 million. One is a four-bedroom Tudor-style home built in 1929, which is asking $US1.15 million. A block away is a Dutch Colonial from 1921 for about $US1.2 million.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.