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Navigating the Current Market

Predictions for 2023 from Real Estate and Construction Professionals

Article by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

A Wall Street Journal article inspired my husband to investigate Boise as a place to live. We moved here almost 16 years ago. People are still coming in droves, but is the market as robust now as it has been? 

Real estate and construction professionals shared their opinions, beginning with Cody Weight of Solitude Homes and the 2023 president of Building Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho. Weight grew up on a construction site, spending summers from the age of 10 alongside his dad, a brick mason, stacking bricks, and shoveling mud. He was introduced to building plans at a young age which laid the foundation for his development into a custom home builder.

 “My dad taught me how to deal with adversity and stick through a task,” he says. Weight’s fascination with watching homes go up on job sites led to an early passion for building homes. 

After moving to Boise in 2004, Weight worked as a superintendent for Clearwater Construction, a general contractor in custom home building. “My brother-in-law, Jared Ramey, who now owns and operates Elevation Homes gave me my start in the business. I’m just amazed by the community, the people, the outdoor opportunities. Just everything about Boise has amazed me.”
        
Weight started his home building business in 2007, and found success and funding through forming good, strong relationships. “Build those relationships of trust,” Weight counsels. “Be known for doing what you say you will do. You are your personal brand, so make sure when people hear your name, they understand what that name means. I can’t emphasize it enough to younger generations to make sure what you say, you’re able to deliver on.” His hard work in building relationships paid off. “My success isn’t really because of me, it’s because of other people,” he says. When he started in 2007, it was just Weight with a handful of contractors and framers. Today, he notes that more than 300 families benefit from every home that Solitude Homes builds. “I want to carefully run my business not only to bless the lives of others … but to continue to provide jobs.”

One place to build relationships is the Building Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho. The organization helps the members, helps the industry, and provides great networking opportunities. “Anybody that’s involved in the construction industry should be involved in that organization,” shares Weight.

Weight points out that the BCA is known for showcasing  top builders during their Ada County Parade of Homes.  

BCA’s members strive for responsible development through effective stewardship of the land.   “It is our strongest desire to help keep homes affordable by monitoring and managing regulatory matters and unnecessary costs that can drive the price of homes higher,” states Weight.

Mike Brown, Owner/ Team Leader, The Mike Brown Group, notes, “There has been a recent downward shift in the market, but context is everything, and the outlier is not where the market is now but rather the drastic upward spike in the market during the pandemic. Inflation directly impacts interest rates, and mortgage interest rates directly impact the real estate market. To know where the market is headed, we need to pay attention to the interest rates, inventory, and the time of year. In the fall, interest rates peaked at just over 7%, and currently, they are in the high 5’s and low 6’s. Inventory is still well below the normal supply, and sellers and buyers are typically less active during winter months. All of these factors contribute to the ebb and flow of real estate.”  

Brown adds, “The pandemic real estate boom gave sellers a false idea of what is normal; by default, it created a new baseline of expectation that is not applicable today. From over-asking price negotiations to the number of days on the market, or lack thereof, the sprint-paced race wasn’t sustainable. Moving forward, exercising patience and working with an experienced REALTOR® who is attuned to the current market are crucial aspects for a successful transaction. For buyers, the market is always fluctuating. There is never a perfect time to purchase a perfect space; there is only the right time that makes sense to the individual buyer.

Just one year ago, home prices were higher, and interest rates were lower, and today, home prices have decreased as interest rates have climbed. The teeter-totter of the ever-shifting market can be difficult to navigate. It’s important to be prepared and work with a trusted REALTOR® that will help find the elusive real estate sweet spot that aligns with a buyer’s unique needs, desires, and budget.”

Kelsey Bates, with Young Group - Engel & Volkers in Sun Valley, observes, “The market has definitely slowed down in terms of quantity of sales, but we are still seeing many properties of all price ranges go under contract. While we don’t see a lot of multiple offer situations, if a property is priced right, it is receiving a lot of attention. If a property is newly remodeled or updated, it is receiving extra attention.  Since the summer, we seem to have plateaued in terms of pricing and activity. Looking ahead, I believe 2023 will be the most ‘normal’ year in real estate that we’ve seen in a long time. We seem to be in this interesting market where rates are up and most people would assume it becomes a buyer’s market, but inventory is still low. Therefore, with the right strategy, it can be beneficial to both buyers and sellers. If a property is priced right, we are still seeing multiple offers, but most listings allow a buyer to take some time, get an inspection, have financing, etc. This year will most likely be slow and steady.”

Bates advises, “If you’re a seller, take your time to get the property ready prior to listing. Work with a REALTOR that has a solid marketing plan. Professional photography, virtual tours, etc. are incredibly important to make sure you receive top dollar. Be careful with pricing. While you don’t want to leave money on the table, overpricing a property more often than not leads to a lower final sales price.” She counsels buyers, “The right time to buy real estate is whenever YOU are ready.”

Stephen Warrington, remodeler and president of Amazing Exteriors in Boise says the Treasure Valley market “has slowed slightly in residential moves, but we have seen a larger difference in new construction plans coming in. Plans usually lag 6 months behind and that being said they can indicate future downturns that haven’t necessarily been noticed due to the longer lead times caused from the pandemic. I think the market will trend down in the first quarter, but as spring and summer approach it may level off or have a small uptick. For sellers, depending on how long they have been there ,their equity should be fully protected and they should still make out well. It just may take a little longer. Buyers can afford to be a little more patient. We aren’t seeing as many investor purchases, flips or rental property purchases and they should have a little more time to look around. Of course, if a great property hits the market and the right buyer comes by it could be gone that day.”

BreAnn Colvin, Regional Sales Manager, Shea Homes® – Trilogy® Valor notes that “the market has shifted towards a correction, which is taking place in markets across the country. It is hard to say where the market is headed but whatever direction it may be, the choice to make a move is an individual one.” Colvin advises sellers to “work with an experienced real estate agent who has sold in your area and can point you in the right direction. They can guide you and answer any questions.” For those who are looking for a home she suggests “Start by finding the area you want to live in. Then research the neighborhoods to find the one that is the right fit for you. Your next step is finding the right floorplan. For buyers interested in a lifestyle-oriented master plan or a 55+ resort community, visit SheaHomes.com/Valor. Download an excellent guide on the homebuying process from our website.”

Justin Reynolds, President, Moderna Design + Build shares, “Interest rates are higher, reducing the number of qualified buyers, however the current level of qualified buyers is healthy. If you’re thinking about selling, listing now is an excellent idea. If inventory remains too low, we’ll end up with another market with increasing prices. Whether you sell high and buy high, or sell and buy in a normal market, the result is the same. The advantage to buying a home now is that there are more choices in every neighborhood and there’s less chance buyers will have to pay over the asking price. Lenders also have multiple programs to help buyers secure the lowest rate.”

Reynolds concludes, “The Treasure Valley is a very desirable place to call home with clean water and clean air. People are in love with the urban-outdoorsy lifestyle. There are few places in the nation where one can ski and golf in the same day, or go white water rafting before an afternoon meeting. The close proximity of commerce and wildlands will continue to attract businesses.”

Idaho has undergone periods of rapid population growth since the late 19th century when thousands of miners flocked to the area. People will continue to move here for the quality of life and opportunities. Real estate and construction professionals are ready to help.

Whether you sell high and buy high, or sell and buy in a normal market, the result is the same.

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