Pocatello has much to offer, especially in the realm of real estate investment. Currently, Idaho’s 6th largest city, Pocatello has been an important gateway to the West since the days of the Oregon trail, back when the nearby Portneuf Gap was a major travel artery. Today, Pocatello is the first major city north of the Utah border, just an hour and a half from Tremonton, Utah, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the Gate City.
Pocatello is home to Idaho State University, which is not only the city’s largest employer, but also provides a constant flow of visitors and college students engaging in the local economy. Pocatello offers business and outdoor recreational opportunities due to its close proximity to Bridger-Teton National Forest and Yellowstone National Park. There is also a strong sense of community, as the residents who live there say they are “Proud to be Pocatello.”
Pocatello By The Numbers
Pocatello is a young, thriving city where its residents are growing wealthier year after year. Pocatello has a population of 58,602 people with a median age of 32.5 and a median household income of $46,617. Between 2018 and 2019, the median household income increased by 5.54%.
As for real estate assets, in March 2021, the median property value in Pocatello was $299,000, with a year-over-year upward trend of over 13%. The homeownership rate overall for Pocatello is around 62%.
The 2020 Growth Rate was 1.13%, and the growth from 2010 to 2020 was 8.01%.
Affordability and Bang for your Buck
Multiple sources see Pocatello as a growing market, with regards to both employment and real estate. Pocatello is rated to have a cost of living index of 86.3, compared to the national average of 100. The median house price in this city is just $299,000, making it an affordable place to find a home. Furthermore, the state of Idaho does not have local taxes. All of these factors make it a prime opportunity for a real estate investment.
Business and Career
Despite the affordability of the Pocatello area, there are numerous metrics by which it’s considered a great place to do business. Pocatello has appeared on the Forbes List of Best Places for Small Businesses and Careers more than once, most recently at the 11th place spot in 2019. Forbes noted impressive factors such as the cost of living falling far below the national average, low unemployment, and job growth.
In addition, according to the 2020 Pocatello City financial report, the largest employers are, in order: Idaho State University, School District 25, Portneuf Medical Center, and the Idaho Central Credit Union. Combined, these four employers are responsible for more than 7,250 jobs.
Other employers include the Onsemi manufacturing facility and a recently opened FBI data center.
The diverse and stable employment outlook for Pocatello is another major factor in its favorability for real estate investment.
Getting Around and Recreation
Pocatello is served by Pocatello Regional Airport, which is approximately 15 miles from downtown, is the junction point of two major interstates, and has a robust public transit system.
Residents can boast of many local attractions, including major hiking trails in nearby parks, a historic downtown district, and quirky locations such as the Museum of Clean, a state zoo, and a model railroad and historical society.
The things to do in Pocatello have landed it on another “Best of” list in recent years, being included in Northwest Travel and Life Magazine’s 2019 “52 best getaways.”
Quality of Life
Smile City - Like a lot of midwestern cities, Pocatello can have long winters. The winter of 1948 was particularly cold, snowy, and dark, so the mayor at the time, George Phillips, passed an ordinance against frowning in Pocatello! Anyone found guilty of frowning in town today is unlikely to be prosecuted, but the cheerful intention of the ordinance continues in Pocatello’s nickname of Smile City.
Less congestion - The amenities of city living often come with a major drawback: traffic. City dwellers tolerate hours every week, losing precious time while adding to the local pollution and noise. Not so in Pocatello! In fact, the average commute for residents of Pocatello is a breezy 17.2 minutes, compared to the national average of 27.6 minutes, with those amounts being even higher in major cities.
Best of both worlds - The COVID-19 pandemic has shown businesses across the country that they can find the best workers anywhere thanks to remote work. The increased mobility has been great for workers, too, as they can settle in smaller cities like Pocatello and enjoy the perks of quieter living while working a remote job.
Retirees - It’s always a great sign when people choose a city to spend their golden years. Pocatello is popular with baby boomers and other retirees who come to enjoy the reasonable cost of living and access to the great outdoors. The whole city, including real estate investors, benefit from this influx of the population with leisure time and disposable income.
Idaho: The Gem State
Pocatello is part of a thriving state in the American West. Idaho has been ranked by SmartAsset as the #2 best state for the middle class due to its job growth, homeownership rate, income levels, and the #2 best state for homeowners due to a rising value per square foot and low property taxes.
In 2018, Idaho was ranked #12 in Kiplinger’s economic outlook for the 50 states. Once again the main factors in this ranking included growing population, low cost of living, and state-wide federal employers U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Labor Management, Bureau of Reclamation, in addition to Pocatello’s Federal Bureau of Investigation office.
The state regularly draws out-of-state investors, along with increased construction of homes, as well as retail and industrial spaces. Local investors are welcome as well! A real estate property in Pocatello is an opportunity not to be missed. Get in touch with the experts at Rooftop Rentals today to learn how to make your move!