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Test Your 2017 Real Estate Market Knowledge

by Connie Yoshimura

Every year, every month, every week and every day brings new information and challenges to our local real estate market.  Test your real estate knowledge by taking this quiz.  You might be surprised by the answers!

 

1. How many single family building permits were issued in Jan/Feb 2017?

A.   6       B.  16      

C.   36     D.  56

 

2. How many duplex units were issued?

A.   24     B.   34     

C.   14     D.   4

 

3. How many multi-family units were permitted?

A.  0     B.  30     C.  40      

D.  More than 50

 

4. Based upon your answer, would you categorize the residential permits as an increase, decrease or about the same as YTD 2016?

A.  Same   B. Increase

C.  Slight Decrease

 

5. Inclusive of all price ranges, this past week how many single family homes were for sale in Anchorage?

A.  787     B.  687   

C.  587     D.  387

 

6. This number is an increase or decrease from the same week in 2016?

A.   Increase by 100     

B.   Decrease by 100         

C.   Stayed the same

7. Comparing YTD 2017 to 2016 days on the market have increased or decreased?

A.  Increased by 21%      

B.  Decreased by 21%        

C.  Stayed the same

 

8.  Have the number of closed sales increased or decreased when comparing YTD 2017 to 2016?

A.  Decreased by 5%       

B.  Increased by 5%      

C.  Decreased by 9%       

D.  Increased by 9%

 

9. How many homes over $600,000 have a pending sale YTD?

A.  9        B.  19       

C.  29      D.  39

 10. Low residential inventory is creating stability in the market.

A.   True        B.  False

 

11. Fear of higher mortgage rates is a primary motivator for buyers at this time.

A.   True       B.  False

 

12. What is the average sales price of a condo YTD in 2017?

A.  $192,000     B.  $202,000     

C.  $212,000     D.  $222,000

 

13. Have condo sales increased or decreased YTD when compared to last year?

A.  Increased   by 24%      

B.  Decreased by 24%     

C.  Stayed the same

 

14. How many years has Dwell Realty been in business?

A.  4 years       B.  8 years        

C.  10 years

 

15. Where does Dwell Realty rank in sales volume 2017?

A.  Top 10 brokerages          

B.  Top 20 brokerages        

C.  Top 50 brokerages


Thanks for taking this quiz and for supporting Dwell Realty. We are only four years old this month and rank number six amongst all the brokerages in the state of Alaska. We appreciate your business.


Answer Key

1. A   2. D   3. A   4. C   5. D   6. B   7. B   8. D   9. C   10. A   11. A   12. B   13. B   14. A   15. A

Take a Trip Around the U.S. Housing Market

by Connie Yoshimura

It’s cold and windy and although spring is just around the corner, it doesn’t really feel like it so let’s take a break from our local housing market and head down south to see how the rest of the country is fairing when it comes to home values and appreciation. It’s hard for Alaskans to get anywhere in the lower 48 without going through Seattle which has a hot housing market. Prices in Seattle rose 12% last year. The average price of a home is $410,000 thanks to growth in population and jobs. According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, “Builders aren’t able to keep up, which is why home prices have increased rapidly and rental demand will be strong.” This same sentiment is echoed by Hultquist Homes, which is headquartered in Anchorage, and has new homes going up in Sunrise Meadows in Kent, Willow Place in Auburn and Brook Tree Estates in Carnation.

Further south, Phoenix and its outlining communities, is a popular second home destination for Alaskans. Home prices gained 7% in Phoenix last year and job growth was 1.8%. In general, the population growth in Arizona grew 5.7% from 2012 to 2015. My Japanese-American family lives in a suburb of Phoenix and I should have bought a new condo for $32,000 during the last real estate recession but I didn’t. Oh, well.  

Due to our oil industry, we have a lot of transplanted Texans in Alaska and many of them buy homes after they recover from the sticker shock of our prices. In Dallas, homes are considered undervalued compared to historic averages and local income. The average price of a Dallas home is $233,000 compared to Anchorage’s $364,000. No wonder some recent transplants are looking at townhouses and condos in Anchorage rather than the 2,400 square foot single family home. Forbes projects a 9% annual home price gain for Dallas, propelled by population growth and a 3.9% gain in jobs last year. Fort Worth, Texas, has an average price of $206,000 and gained 9% in value in 2016. Both cities are considered good markets for investing in residential real estate. 

So now let’s head southeast to Orlando, Florida, where the International Builder’s Show has set up their annual convention for 2017-2019. The average sales price in Orlando is just $219,000 where in West Palm Beach, Florida, it is a robust $313,000. All of Florida, including Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach, is most likely going to benefit from appreciation because of its high profile and headline grabbing second home citizen.

Back home in Alaska, we have an active and flat market with little or no appreciation in 2016 and none projected for 2017. Interest rates took a bump up this past week to 4.35% for a 30 year fixed rate. Many buyers are headed towards a 15 year amortization or higher down payments to offset the increased interest charges. Inventory remains at historic lows and resale properties in good condition are hard to find. New construction remains damped down as developers and builders continue to struggle with the new Title 21 Regulations. Despite all that, I’m always glad when the plane lands in Anchorage, despite the sometimes bumpy descent. Outside is nice but it’s not home.  

The Millennials Are Anchorage's Home Buyers

by Connie Yoshimura

According to an article in last week’s online Builder Magazine, Zillow has reported that nearly 42% of all home buyers are millennials, defined as people between the ages of 18 to 34. These first time home buyers still believe in the American Dream of home ownership and consider owning a home a good financial investment. Their average age when buying a home is 33, compared to 29 a generation ago. But, we can say with confidence, they have finally arrived in the home buying market.

So are these ‘millies’, as I like to call them, responsible for the fast paced Anchorage residential market we are currently experiencing? That could very well be for despite all the doom and gloom coming out of Juneau, MLS reports that for the first thirty days in 2017, Anchorage single family sales were the highest in five years. According to a 2014 population census, this age group is even larger than Alaska’s ‘boomers’ population. As our Alaskan ‘boomers’ struggle to decide where to live and in what type of housing, it appears the ‘millies’ are picking up the slack.       

What’s also interesting about the Zillow report is that 42% of these homebuyers prefer to live in the suburbs while only 33% want to live in an urban area and 20% in a rural area. This holds true in Anchorage where single family homes between $300,000 to $400,000 sometimes sell in just a handful of days. Locally, these ‘millie’ buyers seem to prefer to live on a dedicated public street, serviced by public water and sewer. These homes are similar to the residential environment where their grandparents lived. So the idea of an ‘urban’ lifestyle for this emerging market may not hold up although they do have an interest in townhouse style living which may be driven, in part, by a more affordable price.  

Like all buyers, locally and nationally, these buyers want an upscale home environment with as much square footage as they can afford. And they’re quick to make a decision once they find their ‘dream’ home on their app. If they can find it, they prefer a new home, or at least one that has been recently remodeled with solid surface countertops and upscale appliances. So, welcome the ‘millies’ to our market!    

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Dwell Realty
3230 C Street Suite 100
Anchorage AK 99503
907-646-3600