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 September, 2016 for single-family homes and condominiums.
Statistics for the first nine months of 2016 show that we continue to have a good Anchorage area real estate market for single family homes in the price range up to $750,000. This is true even though there are currently approximately 14% more homes for sale than this time last year. With that said, there’s less than 3.9 months of inventory for sale under $500,000 and 5.4 months of inventory in the $500,000 to $750,000 range. That meets the definition of a seller’s market up to $500,000 and a normal market in the $500,000 to $750,000 range. It’s also a reflection of the fact that we’re beginning our annual movement into the slower winter real estate season. It’s still a buyer’s market above $750,000 with 8.4 months of inventory in the $750,000 to $1,000,000 range and 31 months of inventory above $1,000,000.
The number of homes sold in all price ranges in January were down 17% from last year. February and March were down less than 1% from their respective months in the previous year. April was down 9%. May was down 5%. June was down 9%. July was down 4%. August was up 16% and September was down 11% from each of their respective months last year. Overall year to date, the number of homes sold is down 3.86% to the same period last year. The average marketing time (listing to accepted offer) has taken 48 days year-to-date. That’s about 6% slower than last year, but still a good number. These homes are also selling at an average sales price very close to last year…..down just less than 1%. The average single family home sales price for the first nine months of 2016 was $365,467, vs. the 2015 first nine month average of $369,047.
Bottom line, the number of homes sold year-to-date and their average sales price are down somewhat from the same period last year, but up from the same period in 2014. The charts below spell out some of this information out in more detail. Statistics can vary considerably month to month, but overall it gives us a pretty good picture of how things are currently looking.
There are currently 30% more condominiums for sale than this time last year and the number of sales YTD are down 10% from the same period last year. With that said, current inventory for sale is still within the normal range of 4.85 months at current sales rates. However, inventory numbers can vary considerably in different price ranges, such as 2.9 months of inventory in the $150,000-$170,000 range and 8.75 months in the $300,000 to $400,000 range and 11.1 months in the $500,000+ range. The average condominium sales price year-to-date is $211,276, vs. last year’s $211,901 for the same time period. Therefore, the average YTD sales price is down, but less than a half percent to the same period last year. The average time on the market is 57 days vs. 59 days for the same period last year. These numbers tell that so far, there’s been a climb in inventory and sales are down somewhat from last year, but condominiums are not really taking any more time to sell and sales prices are hanging in there.
An item that I continue to watch closely is mortgage interest rates. Current rates for 30 year fixed rate conventional mortgages are 3.5%. 30 year FHA & VA mortgages are at 3.25%. That’s historically very low! Bottom line, current interest rates are very low and have a positive impact on the market. Here’s an example of the difference in monthly principle and interest payments for a $300,000 mortgage at 3.25% and 5.25%: 3.25% monthly P&I pymt – $1,305.62 5.25% monthly P&I pymt – $1,656.61. That’s a difference of $350/month for 30 years. It definitely adds up over time! 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 2016 YTD analysis.
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