Migration from big cities boosts housing prices in smaller markets

After 26 years of living in California, Teresa Jeffry and her family moved to Boise in November 2020. 

"I do think Boise was, you know, a gem that people are finally discovering," Jeffry said.

Jeffry’s job allowed her to work from anywhere. The community in Boise and a lower cost of living were two of the biggest reasons for the move.

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"The people helped to sell us in Boise," Jeffry said. "And then the other thing is, I feel like your money goes a lot further here. So, there’s a sense of accessibility and affordability."

Since the pandemic, more people are moving out of big cities. That’s driving up housing prices in smaller markets like Boise.

"The primary reason for this is that many people from high-cost areas, whether California markets or from Seattle, Portland, are moving into Boise," said National Realtors Association Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.  

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The 10 most overvalued housing markets in the U.S. are in Idaho, Florida and Arizona. This means homes are selling for more than their expected price. Boise is the No. 1 most overvalued market right now.

"Nobody expected what happened in the Boise market from 2020 on," said Realtor Kerri O’Hara.  

O’Hara wasn’t surprised about how expensive Boise homes have become.

"We have not enough supply and a seemingly never-ending amount of demand," O'Hara said. 

This has made it tough on people living in Boise looking to move within the city.

"People now — when they want to either be a move-up buyer or they’re retiring and want to buy a smaller house — that’s become increasingly difficult as well," O'Hara said.