January 2018 Market Report

No Lag in Demand for Homes in Ada County

Last January, we discussed the effects of a historic snowfall on Ada County’s real estate market, which is quite different from recent stories about the mild winter helping boost new construction.

But despite builders being able to work when they normally cannot, it hasn’t been enough to push new inventory higher than it was last year. Homeowners are also not listing quickly enough to raise existing inventory levels, reasons for which are discussed in BRR’s 2017 year-end market report.

Surprisingly, pending sales (a measure of home buyer demand) were up 32.7% year-over-year, even as the supply of homes was down:

Key Metrics January 2017 January 2018 YOY % Chg
Inventory 1,425 1,213 -14.9%
Pending Sales 1,037 1,376 +32.7%
Difference 388 -163

 

When looking at these numbers, we see there were more pending sales in January 2018 than the number of homes for sale, both in the existing and new construction segments (figures above are combined).

This happened in early 2017, as well, and can occur because homes usually don’t close in the same month they are listed since it can take 30-90 days to do so after an offer is accepted.  So, when inventory is very low, there can be more homes under contract or pending, than available for purchase.

It’s remarkable that we’re seeing pending sales outpace inventory for new construction, too, especially considering the weather has been more favorable for building this winter. These numbers further reinforce the tremendous growth and demand for housing in our area.

The result of this very low supply compared to the very high demand, is that the Ada County median sales price hit a new record high of $279,900 in January 2018, up 16.8% from January 2017.

 

Demand and Supply Pressures Impacting Gem County Home Prices

In January 2018, there were 42 homes under contract in Gem County, up 7.7% from January 2017. That left 47 homes available for sale at the end of January, up 11.9% from the same month last year.

Pending sales (or homes under contract) measures buyer demand, while inventory (or homes for sale) measures supply. The relationship between these two metrics is reported as Months Supply of Inventory (or MSI), which was at 2.2 months in January 2018.

A balanced market—not favoring buyers or sellers—is typically when MSI is between 4-6 months of supply. MSI below four months is usually more favorable to sellers, while MSI above six months is usually more favorable to buyers.

Because buyer demand is outpacing supply, as shown through the low MSI calculation, home prices are rising in Gem County. Due to the smaller number of transactions that occur in the area, we use a rolling 12-month median sales price, to get a better idea of the overall trends.

Based on data between February 2017 and January 2018, the median sales price for Gem County was $183,350, an increase of 10.1% over the same period last year.

Additional information about trends within the Boise region, by price point, by existing and new construction, and by neighborhood, are now available in the January 2018 Ada County, Canyon County, and Gem County and City Data Market Reports. This includes an explanation of the metrics and notes on data sources and methodology.

Download the latest market snapshot graphics for Ada CountyCanyon County, and Gem County:

ADA Snapshot - January 18     CANYON Snapshot - January 18     GEM Snapshot - January 18

 

Download print quality snapshot graphics for Ada CountyCanyon County, and Gem County.

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This report is provided by Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR), a 501(c)6 trade association, representing more than 4,400 real estate professionals throughout the Boise region, with a focus on Ada and Gem counties. Established in 1920, BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in the state of Idaho, helping members achieve real estate success through ethics, professionalism, and connections. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Intermountain MLS (IMLS) and the REALTORS® Community Foundation.

The data reported is based primarily on the public statistics provided by the IMLS, available at: intermountainmls.com/Statistics/Static.aspx. These statistics are based upon information secured by the agent from the owner or their representative. The accuracy of this information, while deemed reliable, has not been verified and is not guaranteed. These statistics are not intended to represent the total number of properties sold in the counties or cities during the specified time period. The IMLS and BRR provide these statistics for purposes of general market analysis but make no representations as to past or future performance.

The term “single-family homes” includes detached single-family homes with or without acreage, as classified in the IMLS. These numbers do not include activity for mobile homes, condominiums, townhomes, land, commercial, or multi-family properties (like apartment buildings).

If you are a consumer, please contact a REALTOR® to get the most current and accurate information specific to your situation.

BRR Supports Emmett and West Ada School Bonds and Levies

BRR Supports Local Schools graphicBoise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) has endorsed the Emmett Independent School District’s $20.4 million bond measure, as well as West Ada School District’s $95 million bond and two-year supplemental levy of $14 million.

“REALTORS® don’t just help you buy and sell your home — we actively work to build strong neighborhoods and cities, and an integral part of that is supporting our children’s educational needs as our communities grow,” said Gary Salisbury, 2018 President of Boise Regional REALTORS® and senior sales consultant with Equity Northwest Real Estate. “We have a history of supporting our local school initiatives and we’re proud to stand with families and other local leaders in support of properly funding schools.”

Salisbury added: “The Boise Regional REALTORS® enthusiastically endorse the Emmett Independent and West Ada School Districts in their upcoming bond and levy initiatives and encourage our members and the public to vote ‘Yes’ on March 13th.”

“The Emmett Independent School District bond would fund necessary remodels and repairs to a number of our schools without raising taxes,” added John Evans, BRR Director and associate broker/co-owner of Evans Realty, LLC. “Our community provided valuable input for this bond proposal and is invested in our kids’ education. We feel like this is a win-win, and hope that the bond will pass without difficulty.”

“My kids attend West Ada schools, as do the kids of many of my clients,” said Carey Farmer, Past President of BRR and associate broker with Group One Sotheby’s International Realty. “With four of five West Ada high schools currently at or above capacity, we must pass this bond to continue providing quality educational opportunities and accommodate future growth.”

Additional information on these bond and levy initiatives can be found by visiting www.emmettschools.org/domain/536 and www.westada.org/Page/52751.

Questions or comments may be directed to Soren Dorius, Director of Government Affairs for Boise Regional REALTORS®, at soren@boirealtors.com or 208-947-7237.

 

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Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR), a 501(c)6 trade association, represents more than 4,400 real estate professionals throughout the Boise region. Established in 1920, BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in the state of Idaho, helping members achieve real estate success through ethics, professionalism, and connections. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, the Intermountain MLS (IMLS) and the REALTORS® Community Foundation. Visit boirealtors.com, intermountainmls.com, and brrfoundation.org for more information.

 

2017 Residential Real Estate Market Report

Slide1

For the past few months (and years), we’ve been focusing on the causes and effects of low inventory in our local housing market… and for good reason.

December 2017 marked 39 consecutive months of year-over-year declines in the number of existing homes for sale in Ada County, going back to October 2014.

Metrics Ada Existing
Oct-14 Dec-17 % Change
Inventory (Supply) 1,702 537 -68.4%
Closed Sales (Demand) 542 588 +8.5%%
Months Supply of Inventory 3.2 0.9 -71.8%

 

Inventory of existing homes in Ada County was at 1,702 in October 2014 and at a record-low 537 in December 2017, a decrease of 68.4%. In comparison, there were 542 closed sales in October 2014 versus 588 in December 2017, a modest increase of 8.5%.

Looking at months supply of existing inventory — which takes the number of homes for sale divided by the average number of sales by month — there were 3.2 months in October 2014 in Ada County compared to less than one month in December 2017, a drop of 71.8%. (A balanced market — not favoring buyers or sellers — is typically between 4-6 months supply of inventory.)

Our past reports have looked at why there’s so much demand for housing — growing population due to economic opportunities, out-of-state buyers moving in, and Millennials (a huge population group) “aging into” homeownership — but what’s been more difficult, is understanding the supply side pressures and why homeowners aren’t selling when the market is seemingly in their favor.

Digging deeper into the data for existing inventory, we noticed that just as Ada County’s existing inventory had been declining for the past 39 months, so had existing inventory in Canyon County and Gem County.

So, what happened in October 2014 — or leading up to it — that has homeowners throughout the Boise region staying put?

We’ve identified three potential data-driven explanations — Retirees, Boomerang Buyers, and Housing Affordability — and another more psychological explanation — a feeling of opportunity, whether it be an opportunity to be part of the growth the Boise region is experiencing, or the opportunity to wait and sell when we reach a new market peak. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.


Retirees

Our region’s population is growing, and as shared in previous reports, it’s one of the main reasons demand for housing has increased. But if we look at population by age, the share of our population that has grown the most is adults between 55-74 years old, based on U.S. Census data available starting in 2009:

County 16 to 19
Years Old
20 to 24
Years Old
25 to 44
Years Old
45 to 54
Years Old
55 to 64
Years Old
65 to 74
Years Old
75 Years
Old +
Ada 2.5% 1.3% 0.8% 1.3% 4.7% 8.0% 3.1%
Canyon 2.4% 1.9% 0.8% 1.9% 4.3% 7.1% 1.9%
Gem 1.3% -0.5% -1.1% -0.6% 2.8% 5.1% 1.5%

 

These percentages reflect current residents from the Baby Boomer generation who are nearing retirement and aging into these categories. But they also support what we hear anecdotally from REALTORS® who have clients moving here from out of state to retire, or, are planning to retire in the next few years and purchasing a retirement home here now.

This makes sense as Boise and Meridian, in particular, have been named as best places to live, to retire, to do pretty much anything, mostly because the region boasts many of the amenities today’s retirees are looking for… college town, culture, great downtown, affordability, and access to quality healthcare.

When people purchase retirement homes, they buy with the plan to stay, and those who move into our area to retire don’t typically have another home to sell here. These two factors further constrict the inventory of homes for sale in the existing/resale segment.


Boomerang Buyers

More than 50% of the homes sold in Ada County in 2010 and 2011 were distressed in some way (foreclosure, short sale, bank-owned, or HUD owned). That number fell to 30.8% in 2012 and dropped to 14.1% in 2013. In contrast, the share of distressed home sales was just 1.2% in 2017.

Slide11

For those homeowners who lost their home during the Great Recession, it would take a few years to rebuild the credit and financial resources necessary to buy again. 2013 and 2014 is when we started to see “boomerang buyers” — referring to people who lost homes to foreclosures or short sales — “coming back” to the market. Boomerang buyers purchase homes from available inventory, but would not have an existing house to sell, further constricting existing inventory levels.

Additionally, once back into a home, it’s unlikely these boomerang buyers would look to sell again soon after, due to the enormous emotional toll a foreclosure or short sale can take on a family. And for some, the run-up in local home prices could feel like history repeating, so they may prefer to stay in place than risk moving up to another potentially unaffordable mortgage.

Related to this… many of the homes lost to foreclosures and short sales in 2010 and 2011 were picked up by investors who often turned them into rental properties that they’ve held on to ever since. And why not? The average monthly rent for a single-family home in Ada County grew 41.3% between 2012 and 2017, an increase of nearly $406 per month, according to analysis of data from the Southwest Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. These rentals represent thousands of homes that potentially would have been listed (and then counted as existing inventory) had the Great Recession never occurred.

Housing Affordability

Those who purchased a home at the previous high mark in 2006, saw their equity fall 45-56% through 2011. By 2014, prices were recovering, but most were still 15-26% below peak prices.

During that time, many would-be sellers didn’t have the equity to sell and move up, keeping them in place and holding back existing/resale inventory. Comparing 2006 to today’s median sales prices, homeowners are just now seeing prices 7-13% higher after more than a decade of recovery.

In contrast, those who purchased at the bottom of the market in 2011, have seen home prices grow 108-158% throughout the region. On the sell side, they likely have equity to roll into a new home, and those who can move up in price point or purchase new construction may be pleasantly surprised at the inventory available.

However, today’s prices could be out of reach for some, especially when compared to income changes over the same period. Between 2011 and 2017, the median family income for Ada County was up 7.2% but fell 4.5% for Canyon County and 8.9% for Gem County.

Looking more closely at Ada County, the following chart shows a decline in affordability, based on the median price of existing homes, 30-year fixed mortgage rates, and median family incomes, combined to form a Housing Affordability Index rating (also referred to as “HAI”):

Slide14

That said, our market is affordable when compared to the U.S. overall, and to nearby higher priced markets — which is where much of our population growth is coming from. To new residents, prices for new or existing homes seem quite reasonable.

Slide15

Yet while the actual median sales price continues trending upwards — putting major pressure on affordability — the rate at which it does so has been slowing down. Think of it like driving your car up a hill: as the road gets steeper, the speed at which you drive decreases. You’re still gaining ground, just not as quickly.

Slide17

Year-over-year price gains began falling in mid-2006 through the end of 2009, with fluctuations through 2011. Year-over-year price gains grew consistently through 2012, led by low mortgage rates and more sales at higher price points.

Slowing price increases could be an early indicator of the market coming back into balance, but as long as consumer demand outpaces the number of homes for sale, that low supply vs. high demand relationship should keep actual prices moving up.

Opportunity to be part of the Growth… or to Cash Out

As noted with retirees, people are finding out what a great place the Boise region is, and they want to be here. The “Second Annual Treasure Valley Survey” from Boise State University indicated that current residents enjoy the quality of life, thriving economy, and neighborhood safety. There is growing excitement and interest in the area, and perhaps people don’t want to miss out by leaving.

So, what’s generated all this buzz about our region and Boise in particular?

According to this Marketplace article from February 2013, Boise’s growth was being driven by “a diversified economy fueled by low-interest rates, high technology, and local talent.”

This Washington Times article from March 2014, further points out, that as the Boise Centre made plans for expansion, hoteliers took notice and made their own plans to build. We’ve seen the results of that with many hotels opening in 2017, including three just in downtown Boise, The Inn at 500 Capitol, Hyatt Place, and Residence Inn. In addition, plans were being made for Simplot’s new downtown headquarters, renovations were underway on The Owyhee, and a remodel of the Riverside Hotel was in the works.

2014 was also when a very visible improvement happened in downtown Boise: “The Pit” was finally filled in. After sitting vacant for more than 25 years, 8th and Main was completed, bringing with it businesses, energy, and excitement.

And what about all of those “top ten” lists that highlight Boise, Meridian, and Idaho? Does that national attention have an impact on our growth? According to Clark Krause, Executive Director of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP), it absolutely does: “We win and lose by rankings.”

Clearly, the growth we’ve seen since 2014 — when we began seeing year-over-year declines in existing inventory — not only encouraged people to move here but for those who already lived here, to stay and be part of the opportunities being created, seemingly, every day.

On the other hand, when any market is on an upward swing, there’s a natural inclination to want to “time the market” and cash out near the peak. We’ve heard from some REALTORS® that they have would-be sellers, both homeowners and investors, that are holding on to their properties see just how far prices may climb before listing.

A recent (and very informal) poll of Boise Regional REALTORS®’ Board of Directors found that the primary reasons their clients listed a property were reactionary, done because of a work transfer, change in family circumstances, or investors selling residential properties to free up cash for land or commercial purchases. In contrast, the top reasons their clients bought a home were all “because they wanted to.” Out-of-state buyers moving for lifestyle reasons or to purchase a retirement home (supporting the research on retirees), or, moving to Idaho to be near family.

The combined impact of boomerang buyers coming back, investors and retirees purchasing and holding properties, affordability keeping people in place, as well as the potential opportunities that come from recent growth, seem to be primary reasons we are experiencing historically low levels of existing inventory.

These may also be some of the reasons behind the low inventory nationally. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports that today, people are staying in their homes for a median of 10 years versus a 6-year median in 2012. It’s difficult to free up existing inventory, particularly entry-level properties, when homeowners aren’t moving — whatever their reason.

The excitement over these opportunities may be held in check by the “cautious optimism” sentiment we’ve been hearing about our market throughout the recovery and into 2018. It appears people aren’t going to let themselves get too comfortable or overconfident just in case the market shifts.

That said, many economic and demographic factors seem to be working in our favor — specifically record high sales volume and low unemployment — leading to confidence from out-of-state investors that some predict will go on for the next few years.

In early 2017, the Idaho Statesman reported that Idaho led the country in job growth and one of the lowest unemployment rates. Based on the most recent stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of November 2017, Idaho had just 2.9% unemployment, Ada County was at 2.8% (down 17.6% from November 2016), Canyon was at 3.3% (down 19.5% year-over-year), and Gem County was at 3.5% unemployment (down 16.7% year-over-year).

Then in November 2017, Ada County home sales surpassed the $3 billion-mark for the first time. The year ended with each county experiencing record high sold volume — Ada County’s 2017 sold volume was $3.3 billion, Canyon County reached $944.6 million, and Gem County ended the year at $66.5 million.

What are economists predicting for 2018?

For the U.S. overall, REALTOR.com expects continued price growth, persistence inventory shortages, and increasing mortgage interest rates. An article from Forbes.com echoed much of the same, but in addition, predicted that in more costly markets, renting may become much more affordable than buying.

Locally, purchasing may still be better, but it all depends on location, income, and housing needs. Looking at Ada County, for example, the average monthly rent for a single-family home in Ada County last year was $1,170, based on data from the Southwest Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers.

In comparison, a monthly mortgage payment (principal and interest only) for an existing home at the median price in Ada County would be approximately $900 per month. This is based on BRR’s housing affordability index calculations, using data as of December 2017.

The major unknown is how the new tax reform will truly impact the economy, and in turn, the housing market. The National Association of REALTORS® has put out a guide for homeowners’ reference, and we’ll continue to watch and report on its effect on our local economy throughout the year.

Want more stats? Have questions?

Visit boirealtors.com for our market reports, released monthly on or after the 12th calendar day. Contact Boise Regional REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer, Breanna Vanstrom, at 208-947-7228 or breanna@boirealtors.com for assistance with these stats or any other association program. Visit our website to learn more about our data sources, methodology, and how to properly cite this data.

Here is a printable, shareable infographic summarizing the 2017  Residential Real Estate Market Report.

2017 Residential Real Estate Market Report Infographic

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This report is provided by Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR), a 501(c)6 trade association, representing more than 4,400 real estate professionals throughout the Boise region. Established in 1920, BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in the state of Idaho, helping members achieve real estate success through ethics, professionalism, and connections. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Intermountain MLS (IMLS) and the REALTORS® Community Foundation.

The data reported is based primarily on the public statistics provided by the IMLS, available at: intermountainmls.com/Statistics/Static.aspx. These statistics are based upon information secured by the agent from the owner or their representative. The accuracy of this information, while deemed reliable, has not been verified and is not guaranteed. These statistics are not intended to represent the total number of properties sold in the counties or cities during the specified time period. The IMLS and BRR provide these statistics for purposes of general market analysis but make no representations as to past or future performance.

The term “single-family homes” includes detached single-family homes with or without acreage, as classified in the IMLS. These numbers do not include activity for mobile homes, condominiums, townhomes, land, commercial, or multi-family properties (like apartment buildings).

If you are a consumer, please contact a REALTOR® to get the most current and accurate information specific to your situation.

More New Construction Homes Available Than Existing in Ada County

Ada County hit another record low for inventory in December 2017, with just 1,391 homes for sale — a 6.6% drop from December 2016. While we’ve discussed the lack of inventory at length in our previous market reports, a new twist on the inventory shortage showed up in the December 2017 numbers…

There were 317 more new homes for sale in Ada County in December 2017 than existing homes. The actual numbers reported for Ada County were 854 new homes, compared to 537 existing homes on the market in December 2017.

Looking back at the year, there were five months that this happened, but December 2017 had the largest spread. (We saw this once in December 2016, but never before then in our ten-year data set.)

As reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), we need builders to bring more product online to pull us out of our local – and nationwide – inventory shortage, so an increase in new construction is welcomed.

But some question if this strategy could lead to another wave of overbuilding like we saw in the mid-2000s. At that time, new construction was more speculative, which led to more new houses than there was demand. Today’s new construction inventory levels are much more in line with buyer demand for new homes, which has increased with the Boise region’s population growth.

The Months Supply of Inventory figures for new construction in Ada County over the past 4-5 years indicate a general balance between supply and buyer demand. In December 2017, the months supply of new homes was at 4.1 months. A balanced market—not favoring buyers or sellers—is typically between 4-6 months of supply.

December 2017 Chart

That’s a good starting point for builders, as they’re not too far behind demand right now. Although, we did see the months supply of new homes dip below 4.0 months last summer, so the more product that can get started now, the better.

A mix of price points among newly constructed homes will also be necessary, but that’s proved difficult with the rising cost of land, labor, and materials. This was evident in December 2017, as Ada County’s median sales price for new homes saw a record high of $361,030, up 13.5% from December 2016. (In comparison, the median sales price of existing homes in Ada County was at $254,250 in December 2017.)

Additional information about trends within Ada County as well as Canyon County, by price point, by existing and new construction, and by neighborhood, are now available in the December 2017 Market Report. This includes an explanation of the metrics and notes on data sources and methodology.

Download the latest market snapshot graphics for Ada County, Canyon County, and Gem County:

ADA Snapshot - December 17   CANYON Snapshot - December 17    GEM Snapshot - December 17

Download print quality snapshot graphics for Ada County, Canyon County, and Gem County.

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This report is provided Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR). BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in Idaho, with over 4,300 members and two wholly-owned subsidiaries — the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (IMLS) and the Boise Regional REALTORS® Foundation. This report is based primarily on the public statistics provided by the IMLS, available at: intermountainmls.com/Statistics/Static.aspx. These statistics are based upon information secured by the agent from the owner or their representative. The accuracy of this information, while deemed reliable, has not been verified and is not guaranteed. These statistics are not intended to represent the total number of properties sold in the counties or cities during the specified time period. The IMLS and BRR provide these statistics for purposes of general market analysis but make no representations as to past or future performance. || The term “single-family homes” includes detached single-family homes with or without acreage, as classified in the IMLS. These numbers do not include activity for mobile homes, condominiums, townhomes, land, commercial, or multi-family properties (like apartment buildings). If you are a consumer, please contact a REALTOR® to get the most current and accurate information specific to your situation.

 

A Look Back at 2017

2017 was a great year for Boise Regional REALTORS®! We’d like to take a moment to highlight just a few of the association’s accomplishments in the past year.

In anticipation of the new year, we’d like to raise a toast to you, the REALTOR®, for your excellent service to clients, advocacy efforts, and volunteer hours that continually show our community that the value of a REALTOR® goes well beyond a smooth transaction. Thank you for your membership and involvement! Wishing all of our members happiness, health, and business success in 2018.

59 Minute Meeting Recap: Transportation

Mathew Stoll, Executive Director at Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS), addressing the crowd.

Mathew Stoll, Executive Director of Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS), addressing the crowd.

Thank you to everyone who attended our fourth and final 59 Minute Meeting for 2017! We had a packed room of BRR members who listened and participated in an interesting discussion about the future of transportation in our area. Our panel of experts included Amy Revis, District Engineer Idaho Transportation Department (ITD); Mathew Stoll, Executive Director of Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS); and Bruce Wong, Director of the Ada County Highway District (ACHD).

Our speakers highlighted how these organizations are working together to prepare for the transportation needs of the Boise region’s growing population, estimated to exceed one million people by 2036, while continuing to maintain current infrastructure and address safety issues.

Amy Revis, District Engineer Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), talks transportation at BRR.

Amy Revis, District Engineer Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), talks transportation at BRR.

Each speaker noted how Idaho’s leaders are not meeting funding requirements for current maintenance needs, let alone the new projects and expansions needed to support projected growth. During the Q & A portion of the meeting, they answered questions regarding safety, public transit, and ways to advocate for additional transportation funding.

REALTOR® advocacy efforts will play a crucial part in working with our elected leaders to ensure that our growth is well planned and adequately funded. Learn about the role of RPAC and how it enables us to elect leaders who understand the importance of properly funding transportation and other community needs.

Bruce Wong, Director of the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) discusses a charity event put on by ACHD.

Bruce Wong, Director of the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) discusses a charity event.

Thank you for attending, and look for information about our next 59 Minute Meeting in the coming months!

We are Grateful!

Every day in November leading up to Thanksgiving, BRR shared something that we’re grateful for. Thank YOU for making BRR great!

Compiled graphic

1. We are grateful for our amazing REALTOR® members!
2. We are grateful for our incredible Affiliate members!
3. We are grateful for the BRR Foundation and the good work they do We are grateful for the community!
4. We are grateful for our members who advocate on behalf of private property rights!
5. We are grateful for those who participate in service projects, like Paint the Town!
6. We are grateful for our talented and qualified instructors that teach at BRR!
7. We are grateful for our politically active members who ensure that REALTORS® have a voice!
8. We are grateful for the Code of Ethics and professional standards!
9. We are grateful for our annual sponsors who make so much of what happens at BRR possible!
10. We are grateful for those who invest in RPAC and protect access to homeownership!
11. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our community by helping with Rake Up Boise!
12. We are grateful for members who find great deals at the BRR REALTOR® Store!
13. We are grateful for real estate professionals who work together in the best interest of the public.
14. We are grateful for our event sponsors, who make great events like the REALTOR® Awards Gala possible!
15. We are grateful for the IMLS and the valuable tools they provide members!
16. We are grateful for our members who financially support the BRR Foundation, making grants to deserving, local non-profits possible!
17. We are grateful for BRR YPN and the fun events they plan We are grateful for members all year round! 
18. We are grateful for our members who volunteer in the community!
19. We are grateful for our members who earn CE at BRR!
20. We are grateful for our committees and the many ways they serve members!
21. We are grateful for the new friendships We are grateful forged in BRR committees and leadership!
22. We are grateful for coffee… and the fact it’s free at BRR!
23. We are grateful for the opportunity to do business in such a great community!
24. Our President and Directors share what they are grateful for.

NAR Conference Report — November 2017

Experiences and highlights from the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago ranged from BRR President Katrina Wehr graduating from NAR’s Leadership Academy, to BRR Director of Government Affairs Soren Dorius presenting to two national committees, not to mention NAR Director Carey Farmer being recognized as Idaho REALTOR® of the year, committee work, roundtables, educational sessions, and the NAR board meeting. BRR attendees had much to share and even more to bring back to our association.

Notes, session takeaways, and ideas from BRR attendees:

NAR Director Carey Farmer

  • Encourage your clients to register with realtor, a platform for current and prospective homeowners to voice their opinion on NAR policy issues, similar to the REALTOR® Action Center for NAR members.
  • Speaking of the REALTOR® Action Center, please encourage five colleagues to text “Realtor” or “Action” to 30466, to download the app and respond to the current (and future!) calls for action quickly and easily.
  • Save the date for upcoming NAR Conferences… 2018 Legislative Meetings & Expo — May 14-19 in Washington, D.C., and 2018 REALTORS® Conference — November 2-5 in Boston!

 BRR President Katrina Wehr

  • Leadership Academy — I was pleased to participate in the 2017 NARLA class, and a great opportunity to learn about the inner workings of NAR and build lasting relationships with my classmates. I’m sure I’ll gain personal and professional benefits from that for years to come! Kit Fitzgerald is the chair in 2018 and it will be the first year of their partnership with REALTOR® University. Applications for 2018 are now closed but here’s the link if you’re interested in the future: realtor/programs/leadership-academy.
  • The Hub — For those serving on NAR committees, communication will now run through “The Hub.” From their website: “It’s a private, secure location where committee members can network and collaborate with each other year-round and have anytime access to those discussions via a computer or mobile device.”

BRR President-Elect Gary Salisbury

  • Large Board Forum — Two major topics were “coming soon” rules and professionalism. On the first topic, many boards were unsure how to approach the coming soon issue and look to MLSs like ours as an example, but may encourage NAR to create guidance or policy for consistency. Regarding professionalism, the consensus was that it’s the broker or team leader’s responsibility.
  • Charitable Foundation Idea Exchange — There were some productive discussions around the purpose of foundations, grant applications, fundraising, events and ideas for communicating the value year-round.
  • On a personal note, a very stirring moment for me was when, James Cornelison, who sings for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team lead us in the Star-Spangled Banner at the general session. Very powerful!

BRR Vice President Phil Mount

  • The roundtable discussions I attended noted a lot of problems similar sized associations have that simply are not issues for us. Lots of associations are in highly competitive markets and can’t do much to improve services and are having trouble with CORE standards, or are dealing with mergers of equally sized boards.
  • Professional standards is of concern to most everyone. One association now has a two day long new agent orientation!  (Content includes ethics and mandated classes.)  Some associations have fairly hefty fines and onerous reviews of even relatively minor infractions.  And in Ontario, Canada the process for getting licensed takes 6 months and lots of money, including a $2,000 member initiation fee to join the association. (As a result, they have far fewer licensed agents.)
  • I was surprised to see some local associations have a Leadership Academy for their Board members and committee Chairs & Vice Chairs. One is 13 weeks long, meeting every other week and includes media training from a local TV Anchor, and with Fire Departments, Police Departments and City council & highway district meetings. (Similar to the Leadership Boise program.) I think we could leverage some of this without a formal structure.
  • Advocacy will become a growing part of NAR, with proposed dues increases to fund expanded grants and initiatives. So great to see BRR as a model for how that gets done, and recognized for our efforts.
  • After listening to Lawrence Yun, I am cautiously optimistic about the next year. The outcome of the tax bill will certainly have an impact, but household formation is increasing and population is growing. Demand is there, we just need to ensure affordability is maintained. This is where advocacy becomes such an essential part of what we do going forward.

BRR Chief Executive Officer Breanna Vanstrom

  • Eight (8) BRR members were approved for NAR Emeritus status, recognizing 40 years of continuous membership! Those members will be announced and recognized in early 2018.
  • As a member of the Membership Policy and Board Jurisdiction Committee, we recommended that the Board approve a change in the bylaws approval process to a compliance certification process. (The Board did approve this for 2018.) This process will also reduce the number of required items that each association must adopt, so BRR’s Bylaws Committee will review that next year. Some of the elements that have been adopted may be moved to a new policy manual.
  • As a member of the Association Executive Young Professionals Network Advisory Board (AE YPN), we discussed career development resources to share with other AEs, especially those that cannot attend national meetings. We also discussed partnerships with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). I will serve as Vice Chair in 2018.
  • As Vice Chair of the Staff Specialist Job Description Work Group, we compiled sample job descriptions to help local and state associations identify responsibilities for nearly 32 positions. These will be uploaded to the REALTOR® Association Resource Exchange (RARE) for AEs to access.

 BRR Director of Events and Community Engagement Shari Fernandez

COMMUNICATIONS

  • From the Consumer Committee: The NAR AdCenter is up and running – members can access the information directly. We will be adding AdCenter to our Content Corner as a resource to members for use in their social media and marketing. We will also work to add some information about how to access the content and highlighting it as a resource.
  • Communication Directors Networking Session is a great resource for staff! Some tips and tools taken away from the meeting include: animation tools, Instagram campaigns, CFA tips, and Fair Housing tools.

FOUNDATION

  • The Minneapolis Association is working to see if they can get a charitable giving module added to RAMCO to be able to track donors and giving. As a RAMCO user we would benefit from this as well.
  • As we grow the Foundation, we need to develop a gift acceptance policy – other foundations have received land donations and other non-monetary items.
  • We can better utilize Idaho Gives Day (May) and our Foundation Engagement Month (Aug or Sep) to increase awareness of matching gifts and volunteer service.

BRR Director of Government Affairs Soren Dorius

  • My first takeaway is the impact we can have on fellow REALTOR® associations (and impact they can have on us) through sharing experiences and collaborating on successful ideas and events. Being asked to present in front of the Smart Growth Advisory Committee, as well as the Issues Mobilization Support Committee, was an incredible opportunity to highlight the great things we are doing at BRR. I was able to share our unique approach to advocacy through the use of REALTOR® Party grants, as well as explain our overall philosophy of putting our money where our mouth is and investing into our communities. This message resonated with fellow REALTORS® from boards all over the country, and allowed us to make an impact. Likewise, I learned a lot about other cool projects other associations have conducted.
  • “The Future of the REALTOR® Party” presidential advisory group (PAG) announced their recommendation for NAR to spend an additional $25 per NAR member per year, that will go directly into strengthening REALTOR® Party tools and resources. If NAR doesn’t find the funds elsewhere, they could look to an increase in membership dues. This is all just a recommendation for now, and the number changes may still occur. They have just asked that we start the conversation about doing this, since there is such a high (and fast growing) demand for REALTOR® Party grants throughout the country. As your GAD, I have found tremendous value in the use of these grants, having received over $76,000 in 2017 alone. I am very intrigued by the idea of strengthening these tools, and look forward to seeing more details in the coming months.

BRR Director of Education Angela Gibson

  • Great ideas from panel discussions to include in BRR professionalism segments and/or panels for new(er) members — How to show a house/open house; Tips for working with Affiliates, Agents, and Clients; Better explain the difference between a Licensed Agent and a REALTOR®; and, How to proper fill out Contracts and Forms.
  • Ways for improved broker engagement or to add to weekly Broker Bulletins — (a) Required training that each Broker must take once every two years that follows NAR bi-annual ethics requirement; (b) Brokers will spend the day at BRR for free or very low cost. The day will start with association update, followed by Ethics course a break for lunch. After lunch there is a broker class, either from NAR or one already approved for CE; and, (c) Roundtables about, What can BRR do for you? Your brokerage? Your new members? Trends/issues you’re dealing with? (Similar to the IR Broker Summits, or maybe in collaboration with them.)

Looking for more information? Below are conference resources provided by NAR for reference and/or download:

Wondering what’s been happening with the National Association of REALTORS® in 2017? This video provides a short overview.

 

Boise Regional REALTORS® Foundation Grants $30,000 to Ada County Non-Profits

The Boise Regional REALTORS® Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) awarded thirteen Ada County nonprofit organizations with grants totaling $30,000 through its annual competitive grant cycle.

Funds for grants are raised throughout the year by members of BRR. The two largest fundraisers include the Give-Back Charity Golf Tournament and an annual online auction.

The mission of the BRR Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the Boise region through housing-related projects and grants. Since its inception in 1995, the BRR Foundation has provided over $1.7 million in grants to qualifying non-profit organizations throughout Ada County.

“Through BRR Foundation, real estate professionals are giving back where they live, work and play,” said Cyndi Elliot, Foundation President and REALTOR® with Group One Sotheby’s International Realty. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to make an impact in our community by supporting these outstanding organizations.”

The 2017 grant recipients are:

Boise Firefighters Local 149 Burnout Fund  ̶  $1,300 to provide fire victims with immediate resources for food, shelter and clothing needs.

Boise Firefighters Local 149 Burnout Fund

Boise Firefighters Local 149 Burnout Fund

 

Boise Rescue Mission/City Light Home for Women & Children  ̶  $2,500 to provide program support for the City Life Home for Women & Children; including the Emergency Services Program, New Life Program, Transitional Housing Program and Children’s Program.

Boise Rescue Mission/City Light Home for Women & Children

Boise Rescue Mission/City Light Home for Women & Children

 

Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity   ̶  $2,000 to assist with construction costs for affordable homes at 46th & Adams in Garden City, Idaho.

Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity

Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity

 

CATCH, Inc. (Charitable Assistance to Community’s Homeless)  ̶   $3,000 to assist families transitioning from homeless shelters into their own homes.

CATCH, Inc. (Charitable Assistance to Community’s Homeless)

CATCH, Inc. (Charitable Assistance to Community’s Homeless)

 

Giraffe Laugh Early Learning Centers   ̶  $2,000 to fund scholarships for children who homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.

Giraffe Laugh Early Learning Centers

Giraffe Laugh Early Learning Centers

 

Good Samaritan League   ̶   $3,000 to remove a large tree on the State Street property.

Good Samaritan League

Good Samaritan League

 

Jesse Tree   ̶   $2,500 to provide rental assistance services in Ada County.

Jesse Tree

Jesse Tree

 

LEAP Charities, Inc.    ̶   $2,500 to help purchase five condominiums for use as refugee transitional housing.

LEAP Charities, Inc.

LEAP Charities, Inc.

 

Life’s Kitchen   ̶   $3,000 to nutritious meals at the Interfaith Sanctuary shelter.

Life’s Kitchen

Life’s Kitchen

 

NeighborWorks   ̶   $2,500 to help fund the Paint the Town program.

NeighborWorks

NeighborWorks

 

The Salvation Army   ̶   $2,000 to support the Finally Home “transition in place” program.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army

 

Women’s and Children’s Alliance   ̶   $2,500 to support emergency and transitional shelters for victims fleeing domestic and/or sexual violence.

Women’s and Children’s Alliance

Women’s and Children’s Alliance

 

West Ada School District   ̶   $1,200 to support the High School + Homeless = Success program which provides a small monthly housing stipend for unaccompanied homeless youth, ages 18-21.

West Ada School District

West Ada School District

 

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Boise Regional REALTORS® (or BRR) represents more than 4,300 real estate professionals throughout the Boise region, providing resources to help members conduct their businesses professionally, ethically, and successfully. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, the Intermountain MLS and the Boise Regional REALTORS® Foundation. Visit boirealtors.com, intermountainmls.com, and boirealtors.com/realtor-foundation/ for more information.