February 2013 Anchorage Real Estate Market Activity Update

The Alaska MLS compiles statistical information regarding local real estate sales activity on a monthly basis and makes it available to real estate licensees by the 15th of the following month.  Therefore, you should see monthly market updates on this site by the middle of following month.

The following is my quick analysis of February, 2013 Anchorage market statistics for single-family homes only.  View my quarterly reports for condominium sales and additional local market information.  The information or data used in this publication is copyrighted by AK MLS, Inc. and no portion may be reproduced, redistributed or retransmitted without the express permission of AK MLS, Inc.  Further, AK MLS, Inc. does not warrant the accuracy of the information or data contained herein.

Per our normal seasonal reduction, the number of Anchorage area homes listed for sale in the MLS  starting dropping in September, 2012 from the year’s high in August, and continued dropping every month through January, 2013.  By the close of January, 2013, the number of homes for sale in the Anchorage market was only 55% of the number for sale in August, 2012.   We actually saw another slight drop in February, but we should see our ‘for sale inventory’ flatten out and begin to grow next month again until August of this year.  It’s interesting to note that ‘for sale inventory’ was lower every month last year compared to the same month in 2011.  We’re starting out that way again in 2013 with a 20% reduction in ‘for sale inventory’ in January, 2013 vs. 2012 and a 22% reduction in February, 2013 vs. 2012.  Just like last month, we currently have the lowest February ‘single-family for sale inventory’ since February, 2005.  With that said, just like 10 out of 12 months last year, closed sales are up in January and February of this year vs. 2012.  YTD, it’s the highest number of sales for the first two months of the year since 2008.   The number of pending sales at the end of February is up over last year, so we should be looking pretty good in March as well.  The average sales price YTD is down 4.88% to last year.  I have to tell you however, that this is a direct reflection of more first time buyers purchasing in the below average price range right now.  It is in no way an indicator of market value reductions in the below $400,000 range.  On the contrary, we’re seeing some sales price appreciation in that range.   Right now, there is less than three months of homes-for-sale inventory in every price range under $500,000, except for the $180,000-$200,000 range!  This meets the definition of a strong, local market with low inventory in some price ranges, especially under $350,000.  Even in the $500,000 to $750,000 range, there’s just four months of inventory.  It’s a very different market above $750,000.  The higher the price, the more of a buyer’s market it becomes.  There are currently 23 homes for sale in the Anchorage area priced above $1,000,000.  Nine homes in this range actually sold last year, along with one so far this year.

So, what are all of these numbers telling us?  The short story: Just like 2012’s year-end report….inventory is down and sales are up.  That’s all good!  As a result, we have a strong single-family home market in the Anchorage area under $500,000.  Low mortgage interest rates continue to help drive the local market.  Rates are up .25%-.375% from the Mortgage Interest Rates Update article I wrote almost five months ago, but still historically very low.  Click here to read that article.  Click on “Links of Interest” on the Menu Bar above to get to current mortgage interest rate links for purchase or refinance.  Be aware that the quoted rates are predicated upon top credit scores as well as other factors, and associated fees can vary somewhat from lender to lender.

The following are links to previous Anchorage Area Real Estate Market Activity Reports:

Anchorage Area: January, 2013

Anchorage Area: 2012 Year End Report

Anchorage Area: November, 2012

Anchorage Area: October, 2012

Anchorage Area Third Quarter 2012

Anchorage Area: August, 2012

Anchorage Area: July, 2012

Anchorage Area: Mid-Year 2012 (14 page PDF format will open in separate window)

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