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Busy Summer for New Home Communities

by Connie Yoshimura

Finally, after two years from acquisition, the Huffman Timbers new home community is finally open this week with paving installed on Wednesday. Acquired in the summer of 2014, the eight acre plus site went through a rezone from R6 to R1 (single family lots with public water and sewer versus the R6 requirement for well and septic). The developers, of which I am one, also went through a wetlands mitigation process, along with negotiations with the Department of Transportation regarding an access off Huffman Road.  What has emerged is a forty-three lot single family, new home community of two cul-de-sacs with trails at each end leading to the bike path on Huffman Road.  But, after finally receiving the final go ahead to build from the MOA’s private development department last July we had 33 days of consecutive rain, creating cost overruns for dry fill to be put back in the open water/sewer trenches.  The MOA did allow us to work late into the year due to the warm late fall and winter weather which allowed us to complete our deep utilities before Christmas.

So it was a happy and sunny late afternoon last Wednesday, when McKenna’s turquoise trucks (the paving contractor that works like an army regiment) rolled in to pave this new home community in southeast Anchorage at the corner of Huffman Road and Lake Otis.  We’re officially open this Sunday so stop out and visit the three new homes under construction by Hultquist Homes and a new ranch plan by John Hagmeier Homes.  We have lots of new home activities planned in the coming months, so look for us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Gray Hawk, a new home community off East 80th and Sandy Place is looking good with driveways and landscaping now installed.  The new homes have been painted and this small cul-de-sac community is open this weekend as well as a public picnic planned for next Saturday with a bouncy house and free pork or beef quesadillas, potato salad and homemade banana pudding.  Gray Hawk is a people and pet friendly community so please join us next Saturday from 1 to 4 pm for this fun event.

This Sunday I will be doing a live Facebook walk through at H Street. Hultquist Homes has two luxury townhouse style condos for sale.  The curvilinear concrete sidewalks are in; so are the driveways off the paved alley and landscaping is under way.  Join me for a piece of the best chocolate cake from Fire Island Bakery in Anchorage and cold coffee; it’s the latest coffee craze.  Be sure and ask me about other ‘coming soon’ downtown properties, including those on the Park Strip.  South Addition is undergoing an exciting transformation.  And you won’t want to miss out on knowing more about what’s happening in South Addition, home to millennials, downsizers and old-timers.

Anchorage Housing Market Separation: Price Point and Location

by Connie Yoshimura

What’s happening in the Anchorage housing market depends on where you’re looking and what price point. For despite the increase in available homes (current inventory last week after pending sales was 722 compared to 454 for the same week in 2016  according to MLS), some geographical areas have actually had a significant decline on days on the market, indicating there is still a substantial unmet need, particularly under $400,000. One question that is frequently asked to realtors is ‘How long will it take to sell my home?’ and recent MLS statistics indicate a strong market in certain geographical locations. For example, Spenard has had a 31 percent decline in days on the market; Dearmoun Rd to Potter Marsh a 33 percent decline; Abbott Road to Dearmoun Road a 21 percent decline and Seward to Boniface Pkwy a 21 per cent decline. Not including condos or mobile homes but including Chugiak/Eagle River, the overall days on the market has declined six percent from this same time last year to an average of 56 days.

Not unlike the political firestorm whirling around us today, our market is fractured and it is impossible to simply categorize it in general terms. A recent full page colored ad in the Alaska Dispatch News made reference to the 1980’s when homeowners dropped off their keys at local lenders and left town. That sort of rhetoric is irresponsible and could not be farther from the truth regarding our local housing market. There is nothing statistically to indicate the Anchorage housing market is on a precipice of unmitigated disaster.

Our current inventory of available homes is comparable to that of 2010 and 2011 while at the same time our population has increased over the past five years. Over the past five years inventory of available new homes has fallen due over regulation for subdivision development and most recently to snags in building permits created by the implementation of the new Title 21 while at the same time ‘like new’ homes in certain southeast communities owned by relocation companies are competitively priced to move quickly, sometimes as much as a 15 percent disconnect between new and a relocation property. Traditionally, this time of year, military move outs are frequent but any reduction in forces is on an indefinite hold. The inventory in the Eagle River and East Anchorage housing market, affected most by JBER rotations, will tighten up as we move into fall.   

A realistic assessment of value is now the key to a reasonable time on the Anchorage housing market and successful sale. Sellers need to take a long hard look at not what has sold in the past six months but what their competition is today. Then, be prepared to do some negotiating. Simply put, homes that lack showings are over-priced because we still have homes coming on the market that sell within a week, particularly in the most desirable locations.

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Contact Information

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Dwell Realty
561 E. 36th Ave., Suite 200
Anchorage AK 99503