Spring starts early in the Anchorage real estate market. I don't go on vacation at this time of year: too many clients need me to do something for them. The light levels are coming up, temperatures rise, and there's lots to do. It's Rondy time!
Consider pending sales reported to Alaska MLS Inc at the end of January. An uptake of about 50 from the holidays. At 200 deals waiting to close, it's about the same as this time last year, before some people started trash talking real estate.
New listings start coming to market now. In most market segments you see about half the inventory consists of properties left over from last year with extended market times. That inventory is aging in place with only the best values in any market segment attracting buyers. The average market time of all homes for sale is 125 days in the Anchorage bowl, 131 in Eagle River.
The other half of the inventory are today's sellers. They come to market mindful of what failed for others last year. They price to beat the competition and create a spring sale. There were 956 homes for sale at the end of January, up from 880 a year ago and about the same number as the 1990 "normal" decade.
Mixed in with the stale inventory, however, are some of the best buys to be found at this time of year. I tell sellers that if they don't secure a sale in 90 days or less they will get less for their homes later. The flip side, for buyers, is to be sure to consider tired old listings: some of those sellers who were in denial may be ready to give up and sell now for a fair price.
Institutional owners such as relocation companies and banks that have acquired foreclosed inventory have scattered offerings. An Associated Press business writer reported last week that foreclosure sales are only 0.6% of total sales in Alaska last year, down from 0.7% in 2006 and compared with 4.7% nationally. I market REO (foreclosure) inventory for Alaska's largest lenders; my workload in this area has increased, but it isn't a flood.
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