Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Anchorage home and condo values surge 10%

Alaska MLS Inc., (where I was Past President last year) published its annual statistics yesterday. These numbers are widely-quoted because of the size of the database and reliability of information furnished by real estate licensee members statewide. The complete reports can be reviewed from this link.

How much did Anchorage houses go up last year? The MLS report for 3328 reported sales of new and existing homes in 2004 was 10.13%. This closely matches the Assessor's recent report of tax values increasing by 11%. The average closed sale price was $259,883, the first time in history that the average Anchorage home price has topped a quarter million.

The average number of days-on-market was 46, beating the previous low record of 49 in 2002 and only the second time in ten years that homes have sold in less than 50 days. These market-time data includes new construction, which often gets listed when the builder pulls a permit, or even at the design state. Isolating resale homes produces a market time of 34 days, again a 10-year record.

Anchorage home price appreciation has made $300,000 homes worth $400,000 in about 4-5 years. I think of "nicer, more costly" homes starting at $400,000 now. Of all existing home sales in 2000, only 1.6% sold for more than $400,000. By last year, 8.4%, 224 homes sold above that level. From 39 "high-end" sales in 2000 to 224 in 2004 is almost a six-fold increase! The difference in new construction is more pronounced: in 2000 only one in 18 new homes cost over $400,000. By last year one out of every five new homes (not including condos) cost that much.

New condos seem to have hit a value plateau. The surge of site condo building began in 2001 when the number of units quadrupled to the mid-400 level per year. Average prices rose as much as 10.7%, in 2003. Then last year the average price held steady, a 1.3% drop, actually. Meanwhile, existing condo values continue to rise at over 10% per year for over 900 sales per year, including last year's 989 sales, a new record total, with appreciation at 10.1%.

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