The Top 5 Idaho Cities to Invest in Real Estate

Booming Growth Creates Lucrative Opportunities

As an entrepreneurship consultant, I often advise clients on opportunities to invest in real estate. Lately, several cities in Idaho have caught my attention as offering extremely favorable conditions for real estate investors right now. Fueled by rapid population growth and limited housing inventory, home prices are skyrocketing across key Idaho markets. For investors, this presents a timely chance to capitalize on the state‘s housing boom.

Why Idaho‘s Housing Market Is Red Hot

People from across the country are flocking to Idaho, attracted by the natural beauty, recreational amenities, lack of crowding, and affordability compared to coastal cities. Idaho is the fastest-growing state in the nation. Numerous publications tout Boise as the top place to live. This surge of new residents has put pressure on the housing supply, with home building unable to keep pace with demand. At the same time, interest rates remain at historic lows. This combination of population growth significantly outpacing housing inventory, paired with excellent affordability of financing, has ignited Idaho‘s real estate market. Home prices are skyrocketing as buyers compete for limited listings.

For real estate investors, this presents the perfect environment to maximize returns. With housing supply lagging far behind population growth, home values will continue rising in the near term. Investors who buy rental properties now can expect strong appreciation and rising rents as more people move to the state. By targeting key high-growth areas, real estate investors can achieve outsized profits. Here are five Idaho cities presenting extremely lucrative opportunities right now.

1. Boise

As the vibrant capital and largest metropolitan area, Boise offers perhaps the strongest real estate investment opportunity in the state. Its population jumped 17% over the past decade to 236,310, making it one of the fastest growing mid-sized metro areas nationwide. Already named the most livable city in America multiple times, Boise continues seeing flocks of new residents from pricier areas like California and Washington.

However, housing construction has badly lagged this rapid influx. Boise only approved 4,608 new housing units last year, far below demand. This severe inventory shortage has bid home prices up over 27% in the past year alone. The current median home price sits at $523,760. Apartment rents are also shooting upward in response.

With 300 people moving to Boise weekly on average, this imbalance between housing supply and demand will persist. Employers keep expanding operations as quality of life attracts talent. Micron, Clearwater Analytics, Idaho Power, St. Luke‘s Health System, Idaho Central Credit Union and more plan adding thousands of jobs over the next few years. Since Boise offers the premier combination of amenities and affordability in the region, real estate values should continue rapidly appreciating.

Median Home Price: $523,760, up 27% Year-Over-Year \
5-Year Home Value Forecast: +45.7% (Zillow)

2. Meridian

Part of the Boise metro area, the City of Meridian has charted even faster growth lately. Its population expanded a remarkable 40% over the last decade. Meridian appeals to families with its safe neighborhoods, low crime rates, highly-ranked schools, parks, trails, and recreation center.

Despite adding over 1,300 new homes last year, demand continues significantly outpacing supply. Home prices soared over 30% in Meridian during 2021, reaching a median of $562,182. Its inventory of homes listed for sale plunged to just 20 days‘ supply, signaling a prolonged housing shortage.

With Meridian strategically located near major employers like Micron Technology, Idaho Power, Scentsy, and the Idaho Youth Ranch, demand for its family-friendly lifestyle keeps growing. Recently ranked Idaho‘s best place to live by Money Magazine, Meridian offers investors red-hot conditions for profiting amidst the regional population boom. Its home values should continue rising at double-digit rates in the years ahead.

Median Home Price: $562,182, up 30% Year-Over-Year \
New Housing Units Permitted 2021: 1,329

3. Eagle

The City of Eagle, located just west of Boise, represents another shining star for real estate investors. Although a bit smaller, Eagle shares Meridian‘s desirability for raising families but with a more rural feel. New housing construction fills parcels on Eagle‘s outskirts to accommodate soaring demand.

Like much of the Treasure Valley, home prices galloped ahead here as well. In 2021 the median sales price in Eagle clocked in at $882,155, representing an eye-popping 33% annual increase. And available inventory remains extremely tight, pointing to no near-term relief for buyers or renters.

With the Boise economy thriving, suburban communities endowed with top-tier schools and family amenities like Eagle will keep attracting droves of new residents. Savvy real estate investors can ride this demographic wave by owning rental properties in Eagle and similar bedroom boomtowns adjoining Idaho‘s economic center. Those buying now with long investment horizons will earn substantial returns.

Median Home Price: $882,155, up 33% Year-Over-Year \
New Home Closings 2021: 630, up 23%

{Insert table here with housing permit data for Boise economic region}

4. Idaho Falls

As Idaho‘s third largest metropolitan area, Idaho Falls provides reasonably priced real estate investments combined with quality of life and economic growth. Located on the Snake River Plain with the Rocky Mountains looming in its backdrop, the natural beauty of Idaho Falls proves irresistible for many. It also serves as the commercial hub for Eastern Idaho, with relative affordability attracting both families and retirees.

The region‘s economy sees tailwinds from multiple sectors, including healthcare led by Mountain View Hospital, higher education with Idaho State University‘s satellite campus, food processing, and tourism connected to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Chobani operates the world‘s largest yogurt manufacturing facility here as well. This economic diversity and vitality translates to good job opportunities across industries, which subsequently fuels real estate demand.

Idaho Falls home prices reflect this desirable environment. Its median single-family home price surged 32% last year to $366,779. With its natural beauty and growing job market combined with prices still lagging Boise by around 30%, expect Idaho Falls to keep attracting new residents. Real estate acquired here should deliver appreciating value to investors over coming years.

Median Home Price: $366,779, up 32% Year-Over-Year \
Major Employers: Mountain View Hospital, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho State University-Idaho Falls

5. Twin Falls

Twin Falls presents savvy real estate investors with a hidden gem opportunity. Located on the picturesque Snake River Canyon featuring spectacular waterfalls and multiple recreation areas nearby, Twin Falls boasts superb natural amenities that appeal to nature lovers. Its population grew 12% since 2010 to over 49,000 residents.

Several large food production plants operated by Chobani, Clif Bar, and Glanbia bring jobs to the area. TheMagic Valley Regional Medical Center serves as a major employer as well. Twin Falls‘ economy continues expanding with additional manufacturing, distribution, and professional service employers planning local operations.

Despite prices lagging behind those in Boise or Meridian, home values in Twin Falls are rising swiftly. Its median home price recently hit $358,831, up nearly 40% year-over-year. Yet at under $360k, homes in Twin Falls remain affordable compared to other high-growth areas of Idaho. For real estate investors, this portends outstanding potential to still get in early on a blossoming market positioned for immense growth in the decade ahead.

Median Home Price: $358,831, up 39% Year-Over-Year \
Major Employers: Magic Valley Regional Medical Center, Chobani, Clif Bar, Glanbia

Rapid in-migration by Californians, Washingtonians, and others seeking refuge from crowded, expensive coastal cities continues fueling exceptional home price gains across Idaho. Yet local housing inventory struggles keeping up, with permits for new construction badly lagging actual population growth. This imbalance foreshadows home values galloping ahead for years to come.

The top places highlighted in this report represent where investors can best capitalize on soaring housing demand amidst severely inadequate supply. Yet act fast, because at the blistering pace of appreciation seen over the past year, home prices will soon outrun many investors’ reach. Get positioned in Idaho’s housing market before it becomes the next California.

Disclosure: As an entrepreneurship consultant and real estate investor myself, I advise clients based on my decades of business experience. However I cannot guarantee any specific results. Real estate investing carries risk, so conduct your own due diligence before committing funds.