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Housing Forecast for 2015

by Eric Bushnell

In January 2014 I wrote a blog on 2012 with a forecast for 2014.  Here is how it started:

"Turbulence on the horizon…

Today is January 18th, 2013, what will 2013 bring? Many people are saying that 2013 will be a great year. I believe that we will good times and slow times in the coming year. 2012 saw growth in the number of homes sold in the Anchorage and Eagle River markets. The Mat-Su Valley was closer to flat, with gains in some areas and losses in other. Most will agree that the average home value increased between 1.5-3.5%...” for the whole article click here!

2014 started out pretty slow and then gained speed through the summer months; however the total number of homes sold in the Anchorage and Eagle River markets appears to be lower than 2012.  The Mat-Su Valley, Palmer and Wasilla, saw an increase in sales by approximately 18% through the first three quarters of the year.  Still waiting to see the final numbers to see if this sales trend was able to sustain the pace.  New construction in Anchorage and Eagle River was down this year as less homes were built.

2015

So let’s start with new construction.  There will be less building sites available this year, and building prices will be higher.  Keeping this in mind, it is safe to say that there will be fewer choices to be had within the Anchorage bowl.  In the Mat-Su I anticipate new home sales to be about the same as 2014.  The valley will continue to be a bargain compared to Anchorage; newer homes and in most cases more affordable.  Land is less expensive in the valley.  Average cost per acre is about $55,000 and in Anchorage the average .25 acre lot is $140,000 or more.  The valley is home to more contractors.  This naturally leads to more competition than in Anchorage, and competition leads to lower prices.  The bargain will be in the valley in 2015.

Existing home sales will most likely remain fairly stable in the Anchorage market, and we should see a minor increase in prices.  Interest rates remain low which allows home prices to raise.  If we see an increase in interest rates we may see an eventual drop in existing home prices.  New homes will remain higher.  The valley is expecting growth this year similar to last year’s numbers.  Why?

Low gasoline prices fuel development in the Valley.  It's that simple.  There is more to this equation.  Business owners look to the valley for their workers.  If you're going to start a business this year the Mat-Su Valley is the place to do it.  There are more available workers, and according to the State of Alaska, the workers are more dependable.  There is talent available in the valley.

2015 is set to be a good year.  Yes, there is the head winds of a new governor, and the low oil prices.  These factors are also key contributors to the growth of the valley.  The Mat-su School district is more nimble than its Anchorage counterpart.  Their also our biggest employer, with growth comes more children.  This adds more schools and more jobs.  

There is also one other piece to the puzzle, TAXES!  Many Mat-Su communities already have taxes in place and pay their way.  Anchorage will feel some pain in this area, as much of the Municipality's income comes from the State of Alaska.  With lower oil prices there will be budget issues.  The Mat-Su borough should be able to deal with these budget shortfalls better than the Municipality of Anchorage.  

Now is a great time to invest in rental properties.  National home ownership rates are about 62%.  That means that 38% of your neighbors are potential renters.  Not everyone wants to own a home.  Some people would prefer that you take care of the home.  When there is economic uncertainty people don't take risks. Now is the time to take advantage of low interest rates, and high rental rates.

If you would like more information about the real estate market you can call me at 907-360-7471.  I would also be available to speak to any group that would like a speaker on this topic.

Happy New Year, see you in 2015!

Spring Cleaning

by Eric Bushnell

Spring Cleaning is here. Spring is here and the snow is finally on its way out. Now is the time to check your properties for winter damage and get them ready for the Spring selling season. Here is a list of quick Spring cleaning to do to get your properties in tip-top shape:

  • Take a look at the roof – Roofs take a beating during the heavy rain, snow and ice of winter. Check the roof to look for any loose, buckling, cracking or missing shingles and get them replaced right away. Taking care of these now could avoid costly roof repairs later on down the road.
  • Check the plumbing – Make sure no pipes are leaking or were damaged during the winter season. Check faucets to make sure they aren’t dripping and check around pipes for any signs of dampness or previous leaks that could indicate water damage. Don’t forget to also check outside faucets for damage.
  • Get the fireplace cleaned and inspect the outside of the chimney for any winter damage.
  • Get debris out of your gutters.  Clean out all the leaves and make sure the gutters are clear and able to flow cleanly.
  • Clean and repair screens.  You want those windows to look nice when your clients are doing walk throughs and checking out the great views around the house.
  • Touch up cracked and peeling paint. Doing touch ups is fairly inexpensive and can go a long way in making a property look more appealing.
  • Rake up dead leaves and mow the lawn. We all know how important curb appeal is when attracting clients so make sure the yard is tidy.

Would you like to see all the new listings in Eagle River? Click here http://www.leerealtyalaska.com/New-Listings-in-Eagle-River-AK

Would you like to see all the new listings in the Mat-su Valley?  Click here http://www.leerealtyalaska.com/New-Listings-in-Wasilla-Alaska

Eagle River Market update for the week of Dec 5th-12th.

by Eric Bushnell

The winter selling season is in full swing and we have entered the holiday season.  These two factors are showing in the current Eagle River real estate market activity.

Here in Eagle River the market activity* was consistent for this time of year. 

  • There were just 3 new homes listed
  • 5 homes pended(accepted offers)
  • 2 homes closed (completed escrow contract)

The current number of existing homes available in Eagle River is dwindling, and in now down to just 59.  there are several new homes under construction however the few under construction will probably not be available until the January/February time frame. 

Information received from The Chugiak/Eagle River Chamber of Commerce shows local military personnel currently deployed returning in January.  There is also word that a new Battalion is being formed at Fort Richardson.  This could increase the population by as many as 5500 persons (not including families).  Current base housing availability is about 1200 units.  Not enough to accommodate the expected growth.

Housing availability in Eagle River will continue to be tight for the next 4-6 months.  Potential buyers may find themselves competing with other buyers for the best homes.  For helpful tips you may want to read the following report, "Eight Insiders tips for Home Buyers". 

 

*Based on information from AK MLS, Inc. for the period (date) through (date) but not compiled or published by AK MLS, Inc. Data maintained by AK MLS, Inc. may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. 

Eagle River Market Report

by Eric Bushnell

I was very surprised this morning when I reviewed the current homes listed for sale in Eagle River.  The number of homes has been slowly diminishing as we moved into the fall selling season, which is reverse of what we normally see. 

If you are looking for a home; the number of home you could visit got much smaller this week: 

  • Only 91 homes are on the market available for sale. 
  • There a few new homes being built, but not the number need to keep the market balanced. 
  • This last week there was only one new home listed for sale and 7 homes went under contract.

Several homes left the market; at least one was a higher priced home and there is very few buyers above the $700,000 mark.  These sellers are waiting for spring.

Good news out there about the First Time Home buyers tax credit:

  • It appears that Congress is about to pass some type of extension that may allow you to purchase a new home and receive the credit, as long as you buy a house before next April. 
  • There appears to be two versions of the bill, one in the Senate and one in the House. 
  • They will need to get together and come up with something they both agree on. 
  • It does appear that they may have a meeting of the minds before Thanksgiving.

From what I see there are more people moving to Eagle River in the coming months.  My estimate is 35-50 new families are currently on their way to Alaska and will be in in January and February.  You might want to sell your home and move into something more fitting for you. 

I have two websites that can assist you. 

For Sellers- www.ValueMyAlaskanHome.com

For Buyers- www.EagleRiverHomesforSale.com

Feel free to comment ont his post here or text me at 907-360-7471.

Eagle River Market update 10.22.2009

by Eric Bushnell

As we get closer to December there seems to be less and less inventory (homes for sale).  Usually this time of year the number of homes on the market is climbing.  There should be more homes on the market, but there isn't.  If you're a buyer looking for a home, I know you must be frustrated.

In Eagle River there was just 141 homes at the beginning of the week.  I just ran a search and there is just 121 homes plus another 15 homes marketed as to be built.  Here is a link to the search Eagle_River_Home_Search.

The number of condominiums available is 31.  This offers some alternatives to those of you desperately looking for a new home.  Don't be discourage, be ready.  Keep an eye on the market, get pre-qualified with a lender you trust.  I suggest visiting www.LendAlaska.com. This is Aaron Gray's website, Aaron is a great loan originator with Homestate Mortgage. 

If you have the right information than buying a house can be very easy, not stress free, but easy.

Hang in there.

Eagle River Mortgage rates update

by Eric Bushnell

This week local interest rates have dropped below the 5% mark.  Local lenders have been advertising better rates for a 30 year or 15 year fixed rate mortgage this week than what we've seen in the last 3 to 4 months.

If you have been thinking about purchasing now would be an opportune time.  If you are thinking about refinancing, now is definitely a good time.

There are several good mortgage companies here in Eagle River.  You should use the company and loan originator that you feel is listening to your concerns.  I would recommend Aaron Gray with Homestate Mortgage. Homestate Mortgage is an affiliate of Prudential Jack White/Vista Real Estate.  However, I make the recommendation because Aaron does a good job, and knows what he is talking about.

I like to work with professionals, and Aaron Gray is one.  Please keep in mind that since interest rates are lower Aaron is going to be very busy.  Please be patient and I think you will come to the same conclusion I have.  He's good and knows his job.

You can contact Aaron Gray at 907-689-6456 to ask questions.

You can always contact me at 907-360-7471 with any questions. 

Aaron C. Gray

Senior Loan Originator / Branch Manager -- License AK#190243

Homestate Mortgage Company -- License AK#189191

16635 Centerfield Drive, Suite #100

Eagle River, AK  99577

www.homestatemtg.com

Direct:  907-689-6456

Eagle River Real Estate Market update 9/18/2009

by Eric Bushnell

What's happening in our market this week?

The weather in South Central Alaska has continued to be mild and with very little rain.  A nice fall, with lots of color in the hills.  As you all know I was not here last week, but I did review the number for the area and I think that many people were out enjoying the extended Labor Day weekend.  Here is a breakdown of what happened.

Eleven (11) new homes came onto the market, six (6) homes went under contract (pending), and eleven (11) homes transferred title (closed).

This weeks feels about the same, although I do not think there will be as many new listings.  The rental market also continues to be very tight, with a very limited supply of homes to choose from.  Current inventory in Eagle River of homes for sale is just 164.  At the end of August there was 184 homes available, and last year at the end of August there was 221 homes available.  This places limitations on perspective buyers.  When you extract the un-built new homes it leaves just 133 homes across all price ranges.

If you are thinking about selling a home, now would be a great time.  Make sure that your home is in excellent condition and it will most likely sell quickly when price accurately.


If you have not signed up to receive new listings updates please visit www.eagleriverhomesforsale.com.  You will receive updates for Homes, land, and recreational property based on the selections of your choosing.

Eagle River Market update July 16, 2009

by Eric Bushnell

Here is a brief over view of the Eagle River Real Estate Market.  In the last week we experienced some very nice weather, and the annual bear Paw festival was underway.  What we saw was a slow down in sales as well as new listings on the market as people took time out to have fun. 

The overall inventory levels fell slightly as fewer homes came on the market and nine homes closed successfully.  there have been several pending properties this week and I see many Realtors out showing property. 

The strongest sales activity has been under $350,000.  However, I have seen several buyers looking at homes in the upper $400,000.

Interest rates continue to be steady, ranging from 4.75% for 15 year mortgage to 5.375% for a 30 year mortgage.  Please contact Aaron Gray at Homestate Mortgage, (907) 689-6456, for more information on available rates and programs.

The Eagle River real estate market continues to hold steady.  Please fill free to make comments, or call me at (907) 360-7471 with questions.

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

Contact Information

Lee Realty, LLC
Lee Realty, LLC.
5050 Dunbar Drive #F
Wasilla AK 99654
Office: 907-376-0119
Fax: (907) 376-4039

 

 

 

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