Most Expensive Places To Live In Idaho For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Idaho that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Idaho.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Idaho does this very well. Families love the Gem State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Idaho that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Idaho for 2020.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Idaho? That would be Star.
the 2014-2018 American Community Survey for the 33 places in Idaho with more than 5,000 people.

What's the most expensive place to live in Idaho? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Star is the most expensive place to live in Idaho.

So hopefully Payette (the cheapest place to live in Idaho) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Idaho and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Idaho For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,495
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.9x (5th most expensive)
More on Star: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Star comes in at $54,386 and the median home value is $258,100 for 2020.

Sandpoint, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,144
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.3x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 42.5x (1st most expensive)
More on Sandpoint: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sandpoint is the largest town in, and the county seat of, Bonner County, Idaho, United States. Its population was 7,365 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Sandpoint comes in at $41,385 and the median home value is $220,700 for 2020.

Rexburg, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,957
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.7x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 42.8x (2nd most expensive)
More on Rexburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rexburg is a city in Madison County, Idaho, United States. The population was 25,484 at the 2010 census, up from 17,257 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Madison County and its largest city. Rexburg is the principal city of the Rexburg, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Fremont and Madison Counties. The city is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho, a private institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The median income in Rexburg comes in at $29,910 and the median home value is $199,800 for 2020.

Hailey, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,259
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.4x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.2x (18th most expensive)
More on Hailey: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hailey is a city in and the county seat of Blaine County, in the Wood River Valley of the central part of the U.S. state of Idaho.

The city is named after John Hailey, a two-time Congressional delegate from the Idaho Territory.

The median income in Hailey comes in at $47,288 and the median home value is $348,200 for 2020.

Moscow, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 25,174
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.8x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.4x (12th most expensive)
More on Moscow: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Moscow is a city in northern Idaho along the state border with Washington, with a population of 23,800 at the 2010 census. The county seat and largest city of Latah County, Moscow is the home of the University of Idaho, the state's land grant institution and primary research university, as well as the home of New Saint Andrews College, a Christian liberal arts college.

The median income in Moscow comes in at $38,533 and the median home value is $224,400 for 2020.

Hayden, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,380
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.4x (10th most expensive)
More on Hayden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hayden is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. Located in the northern portion of the state, it is a suburb of nearby Coeur d'Alene and its population was 13,294 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Hayden comes in at $55,173 and the median home value is $241,100 for 2020.

Coeur D

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 49,609
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.8x (6th most expensive)
More on Coeur D'alene: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coeur d'Alene KOR d-LAYN) is the largest city and county seat of Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. It is the principal city of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of Coeur d'Alene was 44,137. The city is a satellite city of Spokane, which is located about 30 miles to the west, in the state of Washington. The two cities are the key components of the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene Combined Statistical Area, of which Coeur d'Alene is the third-largest city. Coeur d'Alene is the largest city in northern Idaho Panhandle. The city is situated on the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene, 25 miles in length. Locally, Coeur d'Alene is known as the "Lake City", or simply called by its initials: "CDA".

The median income in Coeur D'alene comes in at $48,893 and the median home value is $211,200 for 2020.

Garden City, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,743
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.3x (16th most expensive)
More on Garden City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Garden City comes in at $46,311 and the median home value is $213,200 for 2020.

Post Falls, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 31,945
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.7x (11th most expensive)
More on Post Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Post Falls is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, between Coeur d'Alene and Spokane, Washington. It is both a suburb of Coeur d'Alene, to the east; and a bedroom community to Spokane, to the west. The population was 27,574 at the 2010 census, up from 17,247 in 2000 census, making it Idaho's tenth largest city. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 2014 population is 30,123.

The median income in Post Falls comes in at $51,521 and the median home value is $193,000 for 2020.

Boise City, ID

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 224,300
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.4x (20th most expensive)
More on Boise City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Boise ) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River in southwestern Idaho, the population of Boise at the 2010 Census was 205,671, the 99th largest in the United States. Its estimated population in 2016 was 223,154.

The median income in Boise City comes in at $56,798 and the median home value is $230,800 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Gem State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Idaho
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Idaho to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 33 places in Idaho that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Idaho according to the data is Star. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Idaho For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Idaho that have the highest cost of living, with Star ranking as the most expensive city in the Gem State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Idaho according to the data:

  1. Payette
  2. Blackfoot
  3. Rupert

For more Idaho reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Idaho

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Star 4.33 8,495 4.7x 49.9x
2 Sandpoint 4.33 8,144 5.3x 42.5x
3 Rexburg 5.0 27,957 6.7x 42.8x
4 Hailey 7.0 8,259 7.4x 58.2x
5 Moscow 7.33 25,174 5.8x 55.4x
6 Hayden 7.67 14,380 4.4x 53.4x
7 Coeur D'alene 8.33 49,609 4.3x 50.8x
8 Garden City 10.33 11,743 4.6x 57.3x
9 Post Falls 11.67 31,945 3.7x 53.7x
10 Boise City 12.0 224,300 4.1x 62.4x
11 Eagle 13.67 25,075 4.5x 77.4x
12 Meridian 13.67 97,008 3.6x 65.2x
13 Rathdrum 14.67 7,904 3.2x 52.8x
14 Weiser 15.0 5,326 3.8x 45.3x
15 Emmett 15.0 6,670 3.6x 48.8x
16 Nampa 15.33 91,663 3.3x 51.1x
17 Lewiston 19.33 32,604 3.4x 72.1x
18 Kuna 19.33 18,445 2.7x 55.6x
19 Twin Falls 19.33 48,225 3.2x 61.6x
20 Jerome 20.67 11,503 2.9x 51.5x
21 Middleton 21.0 7,115 3.4x 72.5x
22 Fruitland 21.33 5,192 2.9x 57.9x
23 Caldwell 22.0 53,205 2.9x 56.2x
24 Idaho Falls 22.33 60,147 3.0x 67.5x
25 Pocatello 22.33 55,162 3.2x 67.9x
26 Ammon 23.0 15,403 2.9x 73.1x
27 Preston 24.67 5,311 3.1x 73.5x
28 Mountain Home 25.33 13,998 2.8x 63.5x
29 Chubbuck 25.33 14,728 2.7x 69.8x
30 Burley 26.33 10,373 2.8x 63.8x
31 Rupert 26.67 5,782 2.7x 56.4x
32 Blackfoot 27.0 11,854 2.9x 71.2x
33 Payette 29.67 7,394 2.1x 66.6x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.