October 2013 Anchorage Area 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 Anchorage market statistics through October, 2013 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.

First, a little history.  Per our normal seasonal reduction, the number of Anchorage area homes listed for sale in the MLS starting dropping in September, 2012 from last year’s August high, and continued dropping every month until hitting the seasonal low in February, 2013.  Just like clockwork, 2013 single family home for sale inventory hit its high again in August, up 77% from February’s low.  It began its seasonal drop again last month in September, and as of the end of October was down almost 18% from August’s high.  It’s interesting to note that ‘for sale inventory’ was lower every month last year compared to the same month in 2011. We’ve continued that trend in 2013 with lower inventory every month through October, 2013, which is down 10.2% in inventory from October, 2012. We currently have the lowest number of ‘single-family homes’ listed for sale in the MLS since October, 2005. With that said, the number of ‘single family home’ sales listed in the MLS that CLOSED in October was higher this year than any October sales number since 2004.  Just like 10 out of 12 months last year, closed sales are up 9 out of 10 months this year vs. 2012.  Again, it’s the highest number of MLS listed sales for the first 10 months of the year since 2006. The number of pending sales at the end of October dropped from September, so we should see a drop in closed sales in November.  The average sales price year-to-date of $345,174 is up 2.3% to last year, reflecting a mild upward trend. Median sales price is $320,000, up 3.2% from the same time period last year. Homes sold at an average of 46 days on the market, 22% faster than the same period last year. Right now, there is three months or less of homes-for-sale inventory in almost every price range under $500,000! This meets the definition of a very strong, local market with low inventory. Even in the $500,000 to $750,000 range there’s just four months of inventory. In the $500,000 to $750,000 range, it’s almost six months of inventory. It’s a very different market above $750,000 with almost 20 months of inventory in the $750,000 to $1,000,000 range. The higher the price, the more of a buyer’s market it becomes! There are currently 27 homes for sale in the Anchorage area priced above $1,000,000.  10 homes in this range have actually sold in the past 12 months, giving us about two and a half years of inventory!

So, what are all of these numbers telling us? I sound like a broken record, repeating myself every month!!! The short story: Just like all of my other recent reports….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. Today’s rates are still historically very low at 4.25% for 30 year conventional and 3.875% for 30 year FHA and VA.  Keep a close eye on rates if you’re thinking about purchasing a home using a mortgage. Click here to read the mortgage interest rate article I wrote last September. 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.

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