1st Quarter 2013 (Jan-Mar) 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 analysis of the Anchorage area real estate market for the first three months of 2013.  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 fluctuations, the number of Anchorage area single-family homes listed for sale in the MLS  started dropping last fall from our August, 2012 high, and continued dropping every month through February, 2013.  By February’s end, the number of homes for sale in the Anchorage market was only 45% of the total count for sale in August, 2012.   With that said, our normal rise in ‘for sale inventory’ began last month in March and should continue to grow again through 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, a 22% reduction in February, 2013 vs. 2012, and an 11% reduction in March, 2013 vs. 2012.  We currently have the lowest March ‘single-family for sale inventory’ since March, 2006.  With that said, just like 10 out of 12 months last year, closed sales are up in January, February and March of this year vs. 2012.  YTD, it’s the highest number of sales for the first three months of the year since 2007.   The number of pending sales at the end of March is up over last year as well, so we should be looking pretty good when we get the sales numbers for April of this year as well.

Inventory for Anchorage

Inventory for Anchorage

Volume for Anchorage

Volume for Anchorage

The average sales price YTD is down 1.87% to last year’s final average, but up 3.71% from last year’s YTD number.  This confirms for me that we’re on track to continue seeing appreciation this year, similar to last year when we ended the year with a 4.79% increase in average sales price for single family homes.  In addition, the single family homes that have sold so far YTD averaged 67 days on the market vs. 83 days for the same period last year, close to a 20% reduction.

Average # of Days on the Market for Anchorage Sales

Average # of Days on the Market for Anchorage Sales

Right now, there is less than three months of homes-for-sale inventory in every price range under $400,000.  This meets the definition of a strong, local market with very low inventory under $400,000.  The $400,000 to $500,000 range only has 3.65 months of inventory.  Even in the $500,000 to $750,000 range, there’s just four months of inventory.

Absorption Rate for Anchorage

Absorption Rate for Anchorage

It’s a very different market above $750,000.  Believe it or not, 10% of the homes currently for sale in Anchorage are priced at or above $750,000.  The higher the price, the more of a buyer’s market it becomes.  There are currently 26 homes for sale in the Anchorage area priced above $1,000,000.  Nine homes in this range actually sold last year, along with two so far this year.

The numbers are trending better for condominiums as well.  This is good news because sales were in something of a slump the last couple of years.  YTD, the number of condominiums sold is up 39% over the same period last year!  The YTD average sales price of $192,148 is up 6.44% over the same period last year.  The average ‘on the market’ time period for these sales was 95 days, down almost 13% from last year’s 109 days for the same time period.  Pending sales are up as well, so things continue to look good for the next few months.  Current “for sale” inventory is down almost 8% from the same period last year as well.  It is especially low in the $200,000 to $250,000 range where there is currently less than two months of inventory for sale.  With all of that said, condominium sales vary considerably from complex to complex.  Sales success rates are very dependent upon available financing, i.e., is the complex FHA, VA and/or AHFC approved?  Is the association well-managed with reasonable dues and adequate reserves for future capital expenditures such as roof replacement?  Is the complex in a reasonable location and make for a nice neighborhood?  Is it new, newer or old construction?  Is it apartment style, attached, detached, covered parking, garage, etc?  All of these factors come into play in the condominium sales success formula.

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.  Historically low mortgage interest rates continue to help drive the local market.  Click here to read the Mortgage Interest Rates Update article I wrote six months ago.  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: February, 2013

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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