Today is the final day of the Spring Preview of Homes. Twenty-seven brand new homes in various stages of construction are open from one to five pm. I encourage all of you, whether you are a buyer looking for a new home, a real estate professional, a homeowner looking for remodeling ideas or a curious neighbor, to support our local home builders by visiting these homes. As these charts demonstrate, Anchorage has a housing crisis. For a city of approximately 298,000 to have less than two hundred new homes built in a year demonstrates a lack of civic responsibility. Not only by its financial institutions who have curtailed lending but also by elected officials who promise stream lining for development and building and have yet to deliver.
This week’s recently released permit figures for the first quarter in 2017 show the trend continues with only 27 new single family permits—one more than in 2016. Only 12 duplex units were permitted in 2017 compared to 14 in 2016 and no multi-family permits have been issued so far this year. While communities and builders in the lower 48 work to catch up with low inventory, Anchorage lags behind the rest of the nation. At this rate, Anchorage is not even replacing the housing units that are destroyed by fire.
Our local home builders, many who are born and raised in Alaska, work year round to create energy efficient new homes in a climate that requires more cost and supervision than in the lower 48. Let’s support them by showing our appreciation of their efforts by taking the time to visit their homes on a sunny afternoon.