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This study conducts a thorough analysis of the current housing inventory in Idaho Falls and Bonneville County and produces estimates of housing units necessary to accommodate the number of households expected to reside in the county over the next five years (2018-2023). The research gathered extensive housing data from multiple publicly-available sources for the period beginning 2010. Primary findings are summarized by employment and income, future housing needs assessment (household forecast and additional needs analysis), current housing inventory and home values and prices.

First, both employment and median household income have been improving. Second, the number of households is forecasted to keep growing. The county currently has 41,652 units and will need to have 42,726 units by 2023 according to the forecast from the decennial census data or 40,517 units according to the forecast from the American Community Survey (ACS) data. Does the county have enough units in stock? The answer is yes and no. While short of the demand measured with the decennial census based forecast by 1,074 units, the level of housing units (41,652) appears sufficient when compared with the ACS-based forecast (40,517). It should be noted that a decision regarding whether the supply is enough to meet the demand should take into consideration other significant factors that reflect the preferences of individual households (e.g., size, facilities, neighborhoods, distance to work place, etc.). A separately conducted needs analysis confirms a growing need for housing units (p. 10). Third, the analysis of the current housing inventory shows that the total number of housing units has been increasing - more units were occupied (92.34%) and less units were vacant (7.65%) in 2016. The homeowner vacancy rate dropped in 2016 to 0.1%, suggesting that the home sales market was very tight. Most new residential construction is for those who want to own. Nonetheless, a substantial number of new apartments were built in 2015 and 2017. Lastly, price indexes of owner homes display an upward movement in recent years, as do rent prices.


This report was prepared by Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University and commissioned by the City of Idaho Falls in partnership with the following entities: Eastern Idaho Homebuilders Association, The Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors, and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association.