The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Idaho For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Idaho.

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 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Idaho? That would be Sandpoint.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 33 places in Idaho with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Idaho for 2021:

  1. Sandpoint
  2. Rexburg
  3. Coeur d'Alene
  4. Hayden
  5. Garden City
  6. Star
  7. Moscow
  8. Post Falls
  9. Rathdrum
  10. Hailey

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

So hopefully Burley (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 2021

1. SandpointSandpoint, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,386
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.7x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.5x (2nd most expensive)
More on Sandpoint: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Sandpoint comes in at $43,938 and the median home value is $249,400 for 2021.

2. RexburgRexburg, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 28,414
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.8x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.4x (most expensive)
More on Rexburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Rexburg comes in at $31,128 and the median home value is $211,700 for 2021.

3. Coeur D'aleneCoeur D

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 50,540
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.0x (3rd most expensive)
More on Coeur D'alene: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Coeur D'alene comes in at $51,073 and the median home value is $234,900 for 2021.

4. HaydenHayden, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,698
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.1x (7th most expensive)
More on Hayden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Hayden comes in at $56,930 and the median home value is $256,100 for 2021.

5. Garden CityGarden City, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,819
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.4x (11th most expensive)
More on Garden City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Garden City comes in at $49,318 and the median home value is $238,100 for 2021.

6. Star

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,115
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.1x (13th most expensive)
More on Star: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Star comes in at $65,282 and the median home value is $283,100 for 2021.

7. MoscowMoscow, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 25,319
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.3x (14th most expensive)
More on Moscow: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Moscow comes in at $41,896 and the median home value is $229,900 for 2021.

8. Post FallsPost Falls, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 33,225
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.3x (8th most expensive)
More on Post Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Post Falls comes in at $54,021 and the median home value is $218,100 for 2021.

9. RathdrumRathdrum, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,284
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.9x (9th most expensive)
More on Rathdrum: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Rathdrum comes in at $57,269 and the median home value is $220,900 for 2021.

10. HaileyHailey, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,408
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.2x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 76.2x (3most expensive)
More on Hailey: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Hailey comes in at $51,158 and the median home value is $368,300 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Gem State For 2021

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 2015-2019 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 Sandpoint. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Idaho For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in Idaho that have the highest cost of living, with Sandpoint 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. Burley
  2. Blackfoot
  3. Payette

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 Sandpoint 4.0 8,386 5.7x 45.5x
2 Rexburg 5.33 28,414 6.8x 43.4x
3 Coeur D'alene 6.0 50,540 4.6x 52.0x
4 Hayden 6.67 14,698 4.5x 53.1x
5 Garden City 8.0 11,819 4.8x 54.4x
6 Star 8.33 9,115 4.3x 57.1x
7 Moscow 9.33 25,319 5.5x 57.3x
8 Post Falls 10.33 33,225 4.0x 53.3x
9 Rathdrum 10.67 8,284 3.9x 53.9x
10 Hailey 11.33 8,408 7.2x 76.2x
11 Boise City 12.0 226,115 4.2x 62.7x
12 Meridian 12.67 101,905 3.9x 64.3x
13 Eagle 13.67 26,514 4.6x 81.6x
14 Nampa 14.0 93,952 3.4x 52.8x
15 Kuna 15.0 19,580 3.1x 52.9x
16 Emmett 16.0 6,770 3.6x 52.7x
17 Twin Falls 19.33 48,951 3.2x 62.0x
18 Middleton 19.33 7,556 3.6x 74.4x
19 Caldwell 19.67 54,887 3.1x 55.9x
20 Preston 20.67 5,376 3.5x 73.7x
21 Fruitland 21.33 5,264 3.3x 64.3x
22 Weiser 21.33 5,323 3.2x 54.2x
23 Lewiston 22.33 32,664 3.4x 78.2x
24 Idaho Falls 22.67 61,459 3.1x 68.5x
25 Chubbuck 22.67 14,995 3.0x 70.3x
26 Pocatello 23.67 55,525 3.2x 71.1x
27 Ammon 23.67 15,859 3.0x 74.8x
28 Mountain Home 24.0 14,166 2.9x 62.6x
29 Jerome 24.0 11,653 2.9x 58.0x
30 Rupert 27.0 5,796 2.8x 62.4x
31 Payette 27.67 7,487 2.5x 62.6x
32 Blackfoot 29.0 11,907 2.8x 75.0x
33 Burley 29.33 10,313 2.7x 72.1x

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Need help figuring out where to move? Email YouTube star Nick Johnson at [email protected].

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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.