Home prices steady, but inventory up 10 percent vs. last year

Friday, July 22, 2016 - 09:33
  • Home prices in the first six months of 2016 are nearly equal to last year, though down about 1.2 percent. Inventory of homes for sale has jumped by nearly 10 percent, while homes sold has declined by 8.2 percent compared to 2015. Photo by Suzanne Ashe of the Star

While the state of the state economy is still forefront on the minds of most Alaskans, some may be wondering whether summer 2016 is a good time to buy or sell.

The Star took a look at the numbers for the first six months of the Chugiak-Eagle River real estate market compared to the previous four years; no great fluctuations have taken hold although the trends may now be favoring buyers.

How it breaks down

According to Alaska Multiple Listing Service, between Jan. 1 and June 30 in 2012 there were 510 homes listed, 248 sold with an average of 73 days on the market and an average closing price of $339,662.

The number of home listed and sold in 2013 for the same amount of time went; with 534 listed and 301 sold. The number of days on the market went down with an average of 56. The average closing price was $342,283.

The numbers for 2014, according to MLS, had another uptick in houses listed with 572, but only 260 sold with an average of 57 days on the markets. The average closing price was $355,942.

In 2015 the number of homes listed dipped to 516 with 291 sold and an average of 49 days on the market, the lowest in this comparison. The average closing price was $368,797.

For the first half of 2016, there were 567 homes listed, 267 sold at an average of 50 days on the market. The average closing price so far this year is $364,143.

Is it a buyers’ market, or a sellers’ market?

All of the listings in the Chugiak-Eagle River area that The Star looked at had an average falling under $500,000. Inventory is up by nearly 10 percent while homes sold in the first six months are down 8.2 percent. Days on the market are nearly equal to last year, although the average closing price has dipped by about 1.2 percent.

Army National Guard Lt. Col. Ruth Anne Cresenzo at JBER said she feels everyone is nervous about the future of oil prices, the state of the economy in Alaska and the future of the Permanent Fund Dividend. She told The Star that homeowners, including her, are afraid their home values will drop and those who are currently renting are afraid to buy.

But more encouraging words come from Bill Popp, President and CEO, Anchorage Economic Development Corp.: “It’s important that anyone thinking of buying or selling a home know that the Municipality of Anchorage market remains relatively stable. Total listings in Anchorage, while up in the last three months, are still at levels well within the 10-year historical range. In the last four years, it’s been a strong seller’s market in the Municipality, though that trend seems to be softening a little in the first half of 2016. Any decision to buy or sell a home in 2016 should be based on your family’s needs and what you can afford.”

Renea Miller supplied the MLS numbers for this story. She is a realtor for Century 21 Greatland Branch in Eagle River and can be reached at 907-575-1700.

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