Pandemic boom towns like Boise are starting to go bankrupt, officers say

  • Redfin found that 70% of home sellers in Boise, Idaho lowered their asking prices in July.
  • Housing markets in Boise and other popular places to move to are finally starting to cool.
  • Brokers from seven hotspots have shared the signs of a slowdown they are seeing.

Are pandemic boomtowns finally going bankrupt?

At the very least, they are starting to come back down to earth.

Researchers at Redfin Brokerage found that 70% of home sellers in Boise, Idaho, lowered their asking prices in July — a larger share than in the other 96 cities analyzed. In Denver, just under 60% of homes for sale saw price drops in July.

Boise and Denver are among cities whose populations have jumped during the pandemic as homebuyers flocked to areas with cheaper homes and expansive outdoor spaces. Historically low mortgage rates have made it cheap to borrow money, so buyers have battled it out in bidding wars for a small number of available homes. As a result, house prices have skyrocketed, excluding many residents.

But now those hot housing markets are cooling, according to housing market data and local realtors.

Yes, sellers are reducing their asking prices. But also, there are more houses for sale. They hang around longer in the market before being sold.

A slowdown does not mean that the real estate market will collapse, or even that house prices will fall. It does mean, however, that shoppers in these places finally have more power and can afford to be more selective – choosing not to forego inspections, or simply taking a few extra days to think about the biggest purchase in their life – and always score a lodge.

Real estate agents are on the front line of the cooling of the markets. They see the dynamic between buyers and sellers long before Redfin and other number crunchers aggregate monthly housing market data.

Brokers in seven pandemic boomtowns – Boise; Denver; Oden, Utah; Bozeman, Montana; Nashville, TN; Austin, TX; and Phoenix – shared their first-hand accounts of their local markets cooling.

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