1st Quarter (Jan-Mar) 2014 Anchorage Real Estate Market Report

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 2014.  The area being analyzed is the Municipality of Anchorage, including Eagle River and Chugiak.  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, 2013 high, and continued dropping every month through February, 2014.  By February’s end, the number of homes for sale in the Anchorage market was only 53% of the total count for sale in August, 2013.   Our normal rise in ‘for sale inventory’ began last month in March and will 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 2012, just like it was the year before that.  We’re starting out that way again in 2014 with a 6% reduction in ‘for sale inventory’ in January, 2014 vs. 2013, a 7% reduction in February, 2014 vs. 2013, and an 10% reduction in March, 2014 vs. 2013.  We currently have the lowest March ‘single-family for sale inventory’ since March, 2005.  With that said, closed sales were up in January, down in February and tied in March of this year vs. 2013.  YTD, it’s the second highest number of sales for the first three months of the year out of the past six years.

The average single-family home sales price YTD is up 0.66% to last year’s final average, but up 5.70% from last year’s YTD number.  Median sales price is up 3.91% YTD this year vs. YTD last year as well.  This confirms that we’re on track to continue seeing appreciation this year.  We saw a 2.88% average sales price increase in 2013 and +4.77% in 2012.  In addition, the single family homes that have sold so far YTD averaged 63 days on the market vs. 67 days for the same period last year, a 6% reduction.

March Residential Sales - Average Sales Price(1)

Right now, there is less than three months of homes-for-sale inventory in every price range under $500,000.  This meets the definition of a strong, local market with very low inventory under $500,000.  Even in the $500,000 to $750,000 range, there’s just four and a half months of inventory.  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.  In the $750,000 to $1,000,000 range, there’s 11.3 months of inventory.  There are currently 22 homes for sale in the Anchorage area priced above $1,000,000.  14 homes in this range have sold within the past 12 months, leaving us with 19 months of inventory for those homes priced above $1,000,000.

The statistics for condominiums are very decent.  YTD, the number of condominiums sold is up almost 17% over the same period last year.  The YTD average sales price of $193,730 is up almost one percent over the same period last year.  The average ‘on the market’ time period for sales over the past six months is 67 days.  Pending sales are up almost 20%, so things continue to look good for the next few months.  Current “for sale” inventory is almost exactly what it was this time last year.  Inventory is in the very good range of two to four months for condominiums priced under $400,000.  With all of that said, condominium sales vary considerably from complex to complex.  Sales success rates are very dependent upon available financing and can depend somewhat upon whether or not the condominium complex is 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 does it 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?  For the overall market, the short story is: Just like 2013’s year-end report….inventory is down and sales are doing very well.  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 a while back.  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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