Mat-Su Residential Market Trends
It looks like we wound up 2016 with a slightly lower sales volume and a small increase in the sales price of the average valley home sold this year. The median sales price was $248,000 for 2016. When compared to the median price of $240,000 12 months ago, that’s a 3% increase.
Residential home sales volume for 2016 is down about 2.5%. By the end of 2015 1882 homes had changed hands. This year 1,792 have been sold, a decrease in the number of home sales of 5% for 2016 compared to last year.
National home sales volumes have been climbing around 5% a year since 2012 and I expect that trend to continue. The mean average home sales price in the lower 48 has now surpassed prices of the pre-recession boom days and some locations are now seeing increase of more than 10% a year.
But Alaska usually doesn’t follow the real estate trends of the lower 48. If we happen to shadow outside real estate prices it’s usually not for the same reasons that drive their market.
Alaska’s oil industry is what drives our state. We are beginning to experience a shift in the market due to the decline in oil prices. I’m optimistic the downward trend will be temporary as oil prices stabilize and the fact Alaska has plentiful energy resources. Alaska also needs to keep spending in check.
Job losses in Alaska for 2016 hit about 2%, around 6800 jobs according to the Alaska Department of Labor. The forecast for 2017 is an additional loss of 7500 jobs, just over 2%. The health care industry remains strong with an increase in overall jobs with the prediction that most segments of the market will experience decline for 2017. I like to put things perspective though and focus on 2% versus 7000, meaning the prediction is 98% of the workforce will remain employed in Alaska.