House For Sale In Idaho Falls, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS —— Rexburg residents Alee Noland and her husband Nate didn’t expect to be in the position they recently found themselves in.

“We honestly thought we were going to be homeless. We thought we were going to have to move in with our parents and we have been independent and alone for 10 years, ”she said.

Alee explained to EastIdahoNews.com that she had lived in a townhouse in Rexburg for four and a half years when she and her husband were forced to move out due to the owners’ wish to sell. The unexpected change in circumstances led Alee to scramble to find a new place to live. But she said it was nearly impossible to find a place due to a tough housing market.

“I literally checked each site six to ten times a day. So Zillow, Zumper, Facebook Marketplace, Rentler, there are several different. I have gone through them all. Every two hours I checked them, ”she said.

Alee told EastIdahoNews.com that she has even gotten to the point where she has expanded her housing search from Rexburg in Idaho Falls, all the way to Logan, Utah.

“There wasn’t a lot of choice. Everything we were trying to get would be gone in a day or there were just a lot of issues and reasons we couldn’t get room, ”she explained.

The reality is true.

Rental property managers in eastern Idaho have seen a rapid increase in the number of applicants. These candidates come from several Western states. Places like California, Washington, Oregon and even people moving from Boise.

“(Rental properties) are going fast. Often times when people call they ask how many people have applied because they know things are going so fast. A lot of the houses we manage seem to be going the fastest because people really like living in houses. The market is really crazy, ”said Casey Cassity, property manager at Blue Pine Property Management in Idaho Falls.

House for rent from Blue Pine Property Management, EastIdahoNews.com

Cassity says they are constantly busy.

“When we put in some properties, they can go away in a day or two. Sometimes we post them and within 12 hours we have someone who applied, the process has passed and they are already approved, ”he said.

According to a study by Jake Durtschi, founder of Jacob Grant Property Management in Idaho Falls, the current landscape of the real estate market in Idaho Falls has changed dramatically over the past three years. The city has seen a significant increase in demand for rental properties. As a result, the values ​​of multi-family properties increased by 8% on average.

Jacob Grant Property Management manages just under 800 residential units primarily in Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Rexburg.

“A lot of the management companies here in town have waiting lists. We don’t do that. We treat everyone equally at all levels. This is on a first come, first served basis. So the very first person to apply, once it is approved they have 24 hours to post a bond, once they post a bond it locks the property until they sign the lease and then it’s all official going forward, ”said Kirk Rehfield, owner and relationship manager of Jacob Grant Property Management.

Rehfield says the prices have been almost astronomical with the increase in rent.

“Really, the rental market correlates directly with the housing market. Over the last year or a year and a half, I would say, your average home has gone from $ 150 to potentially $ 300 to $ 400 in rent, ”he explained.

For Alee, she was able to find a place to live. However, she never chose it or was able to watch it in advance. She thinks she was only able to rent the place because she started working at a rental management company who told her she had accommodation available.

“In fact, we took a much smaller place. It’s about half of what we had before just because (we took) everything we could get. We are paying more rent than before. We went from a townhouse to an apartment. We were paying $ 1,165 month to month for our townhouse and now we’re paying $ 1,325 for an apartment, ”Alee said.

The waiting lists do not only concern existing apartments. New townhouses that are still under construction also have long waiting lists.

Austin Fitzgerald, president and CEO of Angelo Development, and his brother Tyson Fitzgerald, are building Riverside Townhomes near Freeman Park to try and keep up with demand.

So far, development has only done a small amount of marketing. There is a sign outside the development describing the townhouses and who to contact, and there is a small amount of social media marketing. Despite this, the development has managed to secure a significant waiting list for the 27 units.

Riverside Townhomes near Freeman Park, EastIdahoNews.com

Riverside Townhomes Sign, EastIdahoNews.com

The Fitzgeralds and their group say they are heavily invested in Idaho Falls and have new developments underway that they hope will add value to the community and help fill the inventory gap.

The homebuyer’s market

“The market is in an interesting period right now. You just don’t see (the houses) sitting around for very long, ”said Jessica Cardon, director of sales and marketing for the Murdock Manwaring Company, part of Keller Williams Realty East Idaho.

Cardon explained that in July for homes in Jefferson, Bonneville and Bingham counties, the average number of days on the market was 13.

“It was bananas. So it was very fast, but the average since the start of the year, we are at 21 days, ”she said.

Statistically, the number of real estate sales in Bonneville County hasn’t changed too much between last year and this year.

From January to July, the number of homes sold in 2020 was 1,202 and in 2021, there were 1,013 homes sold. But the prices have increased considerably. The average price shows an increase of 35.8%. In 2020, the average price of a home was $ 266,773 and in 2021 $ 362,511.

According to a press release from the National Association of Realtors, persistently low housing inventories, combined with record mortgage rates that are boosting housing demand, have led to an increase in the median selling prices of existing single-family homes in all of the 183 , except one. markets measured during part of 2021.

The median selling price of existing single-family homes rose 22.9% nationally to $ 357,900, an increase of $ 66,800 from a year ago.

Nationally, twelve metropolitan areas saw price increases of more than 30% from a year ago, including the Boise-Nampa area which was 41%.

“A lot of people worry that it’s a bubble and they’re going to wait until the prices go down and they’re going to rent until then. (But) now is the time to sell and buy, it really, really is. With everyone worrying about it, housing will always increase. Now is just not the time to jump into the water without a guide, ”Cardon said.

The homebuilders market

It is also a difficult situation to build houses. Construction rates have been on a gradual slope, which has created challenges for larger development opportunities. A recent survey found that many current builders are on the waiting list.

“I can talk to people looking for a new build and right now everyone is full. If you are looking to do a custom build, you probably have at least a year to start your home. The biggest challenge is of course the supply chain, ”Cardon said.

EastIdahoNews.com attempted to contact several home builders in eastern Idaho, many of them unable to return calls and receptionists saying they were too busy to be interviewed.

Bryson Higley, owner of Fall Creek Homes, said his company builds about 65 homes a year and has already seen significant changes in the housing market.

“We don’t think we’re going to build more houses that we’ve built over the past few years just because of subcontractors, labor and material shortages. It just makes it harder to build a house. There has been a strong demand for housing. We have not been able to pre-sell any homes. It was different. We can’t control the house prices so we were forced to go to a specific house builder, that way when I sell those houses I will know what they cost to build. So we don’t list our homes until they’re almost finished, ”he said.

New development under construction in Ammon, EastIdahoNews.com

A specific house is a new, ready-to-move-in house built by home builders. These are homes that are built before a buyer makes a purchase.

Higley says they have received several price increases for most of the components that go on a home like windows, woodwork and concrete.

“Typically you get an increase per year from a vendor and then you can budget for the year. We got four or five increases from suppliers. It’s not just the wood that has increased, it’s everything in the house that has been significantly increased, ”he said.

He explained that there are material shortages nationwide and he has never seen prices fluctuate the way they have.

“Even though I wanted to build more houses, there is not enough contract labor in this city for builders to meet the demand they had last year,” he said. Higley said.

As for Alee, she says ultimately, she is grateful that she was able to find a place to live amid the hardships she has experienced in the housing market.

“It’s hard, it’s crazy. Being married as long as we have been, we vowed never to go back to live in an apartment, but we literally had no choice, ”she said.


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