Idaho has two of America’s fastest-growing cities. You’ll never guess who isn’t one. - East Idaho News
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Idaho has two of America’s fastest-growing cities. You’ll never guess who isn’t one.

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The price of housing in Ada and Canyon counties continues to climb at record levels. Cash buyers outmaneuver those who need a bank loan, with many buyers coming from California, Oregon and Washington. Some forego inspections and appraisals. | BY ALYSSA HODENFIELD

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) – If you’ve lived in Idaho for more than 5 minutes, you’ve heard exasperated comments from Boiseans worried about the area’s incessant growth. “There’s no more room!” they vent.

Turns out they might have a point.

In a new study from personal finance website WalletHub, Idaho has two of “2020’s Fastest-Growing Cities in America” — two in the top 10, to be precise. Unsurprisingly, they’re both in the booming Treasure Valley.

But something that might give you pause — or at least make you pause, while you’re shoving that “For Sale” sign into your lawn?

Boise, our state’s mega-popular capital, is not one of them.

The No. 3 fastest-growing city in the United States is Meridian, according to the list. Nampa is 10th.

Boise is waaaaay down the list — at No. 156. Right after Carlsbad, California.

How can this be?

It’s important to note that WalletHub’s ranking was not based solely on population growth, although it was included. The study used 17 metrics, focusing on economic growth.

But like some frustrated natives are saying, maybe Boise’s low finish is because there’s simply no more room?

Until developers figure out how to build more skinnies in neighborhoods or jam in more construction on what’s left of “rural” Hill Road, Boise proper feels like it’s running out of space. Newcomers fleeing California or moving here from other states are finding potential homes west of Boise instead — both in Ada and in Canyon counties.

Not that Meridian is more fun than Boise when it comes to hunting for real estate. House prices are nuts everywhere.


“Looking to buy a home in Ada County?” the Idaho Statesman wrote Tuesday. “Good luck.”

“Out-of-state buyers flush with cash are outmaneuvering Idahoans who need a bank loan,” according to this horror story of an article. “By offering cash, they cut down the time it takes to close a deal from a month to one week. Some buyers are dispensing with inspections and appraisals to speed up the process, and they’re coughing up nonrefundable deposits to win over sellers. Meanwhile, the number of houses listed for sale is still dwindling.”

Good times. But, hey, at least Boise isn’t growing very fast, right?

That’s Meridian’s cross to bear. Of the fastest growers in the U.S, only two cities ranked higher: Fort Myers, Florida, at No. 1, and Bend, Oregon, at No. 2. (Been to Bend lately? Yeah, that ranking definitely seems warranted.)

Bottom line, Idaho? Meridian and Nampa are gettin’ slammed with more population, more traffic, more development and more business.

Boiseans, on the other hand? We’ll just chill here in our slow little village with super-sky-high home prices.

Kind of makes you wonder what a place in Carlsbad is going for nowadays, right?

Here’s a hint. Yank that “For Sale” sign if you were planning to make bank selling your Boise house and moving there.