In January 2023, the Ada County housing market experienced a significant drop in home prices, with a 10.2% year-over-year decrease to $485,000—the lowest level since April 2021. This slowdown in the market can be attributed to a combination of factors, including a seasonal trend of fewer sales and lower appreciation in January, along with purchase decisions made when mortgage rates were at a 20-year high.


The rapid increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve to combat inflation, combined with the fast pace at which mortgage rates increased during the year, also contributed to the decrease in demand for homes. This resulted in a decline in local home sales to multiyear lows.


Days On Market

The time a home stayed on the market also increased to a median of 71 days, compared to 36 days a year ago, indicating a wait-and-see attitude among potential buyers. However, the rapidly decreasing supply of available homes suggests that the spring housing market may experience limited price declines or even a positive turn.



Open-house traffic and inquiries from potential buyers have increased, and local mortgage lenders are reporting a jump in mortgage applications. The number of available homes for sale in Ada County declined to 1,200 at the start of the month, only half of what was seen in September. The months of supply, calculated by how long it would take to sell the current inventory of homes at the current sales pace, dropped to 1.72 in Ada county.



More affordable homes, due to falling prices and lower interest rates, are beginning to attract buyers back into the market. With fewer bidding wars, more homes to choose from, and more time to decide, the current housing market presents much more favorable conditions compared to recent years.


It may seem counterintuitive that home prices are declining while supply is decreasing, but this is a common occurrence in the housing market. Factors such as unemployment rates, income, and affordability have historically influenced home prices. Currently, with low unemployment rates and rising wages, the Federal Reserve has taken an aggressive approach to raising interest rates.


Despite affordability being a challenge, the recent drop in home prices and mortgage rates has led to a nearly 20% decrease in the average monthly payment for buyers. During past housing market slowdowns, potential buyers continued to search for homes until they found a comfortable price. However, the rapid pace of this slowdown has left many buyers unsure of what to do, causing a temporary pause in their search. 


Nevertheless, the desire to buy among this group remains strong, and they are gradually returning to the market. With pent-up demand and tight supply, it is likely that home prices will rise this spring. However, much can happen in the next twelve months, and it is important to monitor the market closely.

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