Monday Market Memo for 3-24-2008

Wasilla Real Estate News market statistics for the week of March 17–24, 2008.  These statistics are for Palmer, Wasilla and the rest of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

We are watching the spring inventory rise. If everything remains normal the inventory will continue to rise through April and into May when it will level out.  This is the time people are selling their homes to make changes in the summer. 

It is a great time for buyers because they have more choices of properties. 

Average Price DOM
New 52 $262,302 .
Total Active 731 278,239 146
Pending 32 $200,380 79
Closed 20 191,349 113

So far, the market seems similar to last year.  There are a few changes however. 

It is taking longer to sell a house.  Last year the average days on the market was about 100 days for the Total Active and about 80 or so for the houses that sold.   This indicates that we still have an oversupply on the market.

The average sales price remains about the same as last year, with just a slight increase.  There is about a 2% increase across the board, but the higher priced homes are not seeing any appreciation at all. 

It’s important to watch the new house prices.  There still are a few daring builders building spec homes.  These builders know that they have to build a quality home for the money and it needs to compete very aggressively with the 2–4 year old homes on the market. 

Nick Fonov just finished this very nice home in Heritage Farms Subdivision.  It sold within a week after it was finished.  He produces a very high quality home for the price that competes very well with existing construction.  This 1900 square foot ranch sold for close to the asking price of $285,000. 

He is finishing another similar home in Serendipity Subdivision on Fortune Circle.  It should be done by the end of April. 

Other builders are still building and selling spec homes.  Jess Hall continues to do well in his developments and a few others are also selling new construction homes on speculation. 

But this is not a time when any builder can just throw up a structure and expect to make a large profit on everything they build.  Care must be taken with the quality and the costs.  Buyers have plenty of alternatives with homes that are only 2–3 years old.