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. The following is my analysis of Anchorage market statistics through the end of March, 2016 for single-family homes and condominiums.
Statistics for the first quarter of 2016 show that we continue to have a strong Anchorage area single family home sales market in the price range up to $500,000. Although there are currently approximately 30% more homes for sale than this time last year, there’s still only 3.1 months of inventory for sale under $400,000, 4.1 months in the $400,000 to $500,000 range and 5.6 months of inventory in the $500,000 to $750,000 range. That meets the definition of a strong seller’s market up to $500,000 and a normal market in the $500,000 to $750,000 range. It’s still a buyer’s market above $750,000 with 10.7 months of inventory in the $750,000 to $1,000,000 range and 23 months of inventory above $1,000,000. Although the number of sales in all price ranges in January were down 17% from last year, February and March were down less than 1% from the number of sales in their respective months last year. Overall year to date, the number of sales is down 6% to the 1st quarter last year. The average year to date sale took 60 days, and sold at an average sales price just a half percentage point less than the same period last year. The average single family home sales price for the first quarter of 2016 is $351,197, vs. the 2015 1st quarter average of $352,965. The charts below spell this information out in more detail. The 1st quarter just gives us a three month snapshot. Statistics can vary considerably month to month, but by mid-summer we’ll have a strong picture of how the year will end.
There are currently 13% more condominiums for sale than this time last year. Inventory for sale is still within a strong, normal range of 3.9 months at current sales rates. With that said, numbers can vary considerably in different price ranges, such as 1.8 months of inventory in the $150,000-$169,999 range and 7.4 months in the $300,000 to $399,000 range. Although inventory is up 13% year to date, the number of sales are down only 2% and the average sales price is up 0.5% to the same period last year. Average sales price year to date is $208,615, vs. last year’s $207,667 for the same time period. The average time on the market is 66 days vs. 63 days for the same period last year. These numbers tell that so far, aside from a climb in the inventory, things continue to proceed similar to last year. They’re just taking a tiny bit more time to sell.
An item that I continue to watch closely is mortgage interest rates. Current rates for 30 year fixed rate conventional mortgages are 3.625%. 30 year FHA & VA mortgages are at 3.25%. Last year at this time, rates were also at 3.625% for 30 year conventional loans. In April, 2014 they were at 4.375% and in April, 2013 they were at 3.5% for 30 year conventionals. I foresee rates going higher over the next several years, but I’ve been saying that over the past couple of years as well. Bottom line, current interest rates are very low and have a positive impact on the market. I can’t make a future rate forecast due to the numerous unforeseeable financial, political and world event factors that can impact rates. It’s even more interesting this year due to the political arena surrounding our presidential election. Rates may remain stable for a while, but I definitely foresee them going up sometime in the future. This concludes my first quarter analysis.
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