Why The Boise Bench Is Leading A Surge In Ada County Home Values

Jun 16, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the increase in median home values across Ada County. The county assessor says the pace of growth is sustainable at a little more than 5.6 percent. After the housing market rebounded after the Great Recession, buying a home has become more competitive.

Credit Karina / Flickr Creative Commons

One of the places that's seen a boost in popularity for home buyers — and increased home values because of the competition — is the Boise Bench.

Real estate agent Ron Minegar has been selling homes in the Treasure Valley for a long time. He says over the past few years, he's noticed a surge in home values on the hill south and west of downtown. Minegar says that's because as prices in other parts of Boise have increased, some buyers have been pushed to other areas. As that's happened, the Bench has become an affordable — and even trendy — option.

"It's long been thought of as kind of the stepchild to the North End," says Minegar. "But as North End prices have gone up so high and so steadily for the last 30 years, the Bench is kind of an undiscovered gem."

Minegar says the Bench's central location and proximity to downtown make it a good second choice for people who might prefer to live in the North End but can't afford it. Anecdotally, he says the area is especially popular with first-time homebuyers and single women with professional jobs. He says he's also noticed more people investing in projects to increase the value of their homes, which helps bring up the value of houses in the neighborhood. Minegar says it's normal for a house to sell in just a matter of days on the Bench.

But the broker isn't concerned about any sort of bubble on the Bench. He says Bench home values were low for so long, they're now catching up with the rest of the valley.

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