The Boise area is known throughout the various consumer goods industries as a unique island. Consumer products are market tested in the Boise area as the city is relatively isolated and has no spill-over from other municipalities. Salt Lake City, the next closest city, is located more than 5 hours away by automobile. Portland is more than 6 hours and Seattle is about 8 hours away. Boise's isolation, in many ways, is a blessing.
Unfortunately, Boise's isolation hasn't entirely protected the region from the weak housing industry. The residential real estate market is soft in Boise also. The entire region in which Boise resides, known as the Treasure Valley, has experienced a slowdown in the housing market, from both the number of units sold, and in the rate of market appreciation.
The region's isolation did delay the market downturn somewhat, however. During 2006, when some of the nation was already experiencing sluggishness in housing, nearly the entire Treasure Valley witnessed a growth in market valuation that had never been seen. Generally, values were increasing 2.5% a month, with some neighborhoods and communities approaching 5% monthly.
As we have all heard, what goes up, must come down. Market values in early 2007 leveled off generally in Treasure Valley, and have started to dip. While there are some neighborhoods that have started to experience a true negative growth in market valuation, most of Treasure Valley has just started to slip. As of early August 2008, none of southwestern Idaho has been listed as a "declining market".
That is not to say that things are rosy. The number of units sold is still weak, and foreclosures are going up. But compared to the markets outside the Treasure Valley, in other national regions, the housing market in southwest Idaho is hanging on.
However, it is my opinion, that the worst is behind us. The Feds are playing with the interest rates to re-energize the economy. President Bush is pushing some bills to rescue homeowners. Fuel prices appear to be slipping. Local housing inventory rates look like they aren't climbing like they have been during the past 12 months.
Keep your chin up.