An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New report finds North Idaho is becoming increasingly unaffordable

Coeur d'Alene
Coeur d'Alene
The city of Coeur d'Alene

Housing groups and researchers have analyzed North Idaho’s housing and rental market in a new report released this month. They conclude prices in the last three years have increased to the point that the majority of residents cannot afford homes or rent in their own communities.

Steve Peterson, a University of Idaho clinical professor of economics who helped author the Panhandle Housing Report, says the region’s growth pattern over the last few years has dramatically changed.

“Essentially in less than five years, the housing market in Coeur d'Alene went from largely three quarters affordable to only one quarter affordable," he said.

Peterson says demand for housing far outpaces the supply. He says many locals are priced out by out of state buyers.

According to a survey of realtors the group conducted, more than half of buyers are not local, and about 14% of those buyers are seeking a second home in the region.

Peterson says that, along with impacts to the construction after the great recession, has driven up both rents and real estate values. He says increasing the supply of housing, and potentially diversifying the types available, such as duplexes or attached housing, could offer some relief in the long term.

The full report is available on the Panhandle Affordable Housing Alliance's website.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.