Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anchorage market stable, improving

There have been a few anxious months of speculation about the health of the Anchorage real estate market. Data just out from Anchorge MLS, Inc. suggests our market is healthy and strengthening.

  • The average sales price, just over $326,000, is down only a quarter-percent from the first seven months of last year. Earlier in the year we were seeing a decline closer to a half-percent
  • The number of homes for sale at the end of July has dropped from 1378 last year to 1168 now. That's a 17% reduction in inventory in a year!
  • Total sales are off 10.5% year-to-date. But that's down from the 13% decline that MLS reported for the first five months of this year.
  • The average gap between the price a home was listed for when it sold, and its selling price, narrowed from 2.75% this spring to 2.25% for the year so far at the end of July.
  • The group of homes recently sold that has not closed yet show a market time of only 65 days, about the same as the time it took homes to sell in the first seven months of last year.
  • There is about a five month supply of homes for sale in the average price ranges of $250,000 to $500,000. (Don't think about the three-year supply of the three dozen million-dollar homes for sale!)
  • The average price of condos sold so far this year is up nearly a full percent.

All these indexes are certainly heartening. My anecdotal sense of the market is that sellers have adjusted to a "sideways market". Buyers who have a real housing need, such as new arrivals, are enjoying the benefit of a market that is stable and somewhat predictable, in terms of what they can see and expect. The decline in sales is explained mostly by the local buyer who has been placing too much stock in reports of how awful some hyper-inflated markets Outside have become.

The pessimism of the minority has depressed the number of sales, but not values. Absorption has decreased the number of homes for sale, and market times have decreased, so prices may be headed for positive territory by year's end.

For full property searches, virtual tours and many other Anchorage real estate resources, visit RealS8.com.

1 comment:

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