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Boise, Idaho, Feels the Growing Pains of a Surging Population

Locals cope with rising home prices, traffic; ‘You have to plan ahead for restaurant reservations now’

BOISE, Idaho—Laura Johansen has always loved the easiness of life in her hometown: The first-rate hiking and rafting a short drive from her front door. The quick commute to her job at a local hospital. The affordability.

But when Ms. Johansen, who was renting her home, decided to buy a house earlier this year, the Idaho native was shocked. The median price of a single-family home in Boise’s Ada County had shot up to almost $300,000, well-above the $200,000 homes she was eyeing when she first considered homeownership two years ago.

“It does make it tough on locals like us,” said the 57-year-old administrative assistant.

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