I have to admit that when it’s been time for me to take a break from my real estate activities, I’ve always gotten on a plane—New York, LA, Hawaii, D.C., the Nile, China, Tibet, St. Petersburg -you get the drift. But now due to the corona virus, I’ve had to curtain my travels and so last weekend, I headed to Talkeetna!
And now I’m finally falling in love with Alaska. It’s a big state and I’ve got lots of exploring to do. Yes, I have been to Prudhoe Bay, Seward, Big Lake, waited tables in Fairbanks when I first arrived here almost 40 years ago and sold real estate in Dutch Harbor. But, I’ve never been to Homer or Kodiak and can’t remember the last time I was in Kenai or Soldotna. Although I have caught silvers out of Resurrection Bay, I have never hiked Flat Top.
Anchorage has always been a place where I have just worked. What I love about real estate is there is always a back story of why people buy and sell homes at a particular time in their life and as a writer that has always interested me as much as the design of the kitchen and master bath.
Now, the Covid 19 pandemic has added yet another reason for buying and selling and you may be surprised by some of the recent statistics. June single family inventory in the MOA was the lowest in eight years with 648 homes available, excluding condos and mobile homes. June sold units jumped to 265, up from 197 in May but still the lowest of closed sales since 2012. Total sales volume jumped the first half of the year by 7.43 % but keep in mind half of those sales was before the pandemic and the hunker down order. Nevertheless, you might be surprised to know that two $1 million homes on the hillside pended last week. This week there is only a 2.5 month supply of single family homes inventory, inclusive of all price ranges. So the single family home market is very stable with some homes in popular geographical areas selling within a handful of days. That’s not the situation in the condo market where the covid-19 pandemic is being felt the hardest. All total, the condo market has had a 16.38% decline in units sold during the past six months and I expect that decline in to further slide in the second half of the year.
Low mortgage rates is without question the primary motivator for local buyers and a benefit to sellers by creating value stability. In summary the pandemic has had only a spotty and marginal negative impact on the local housing market but the true impact of the pandemic won’t be felt until the fourth quarter. Right now, we still have a half tank of gas. I’m not sure how long it will last.