Monday Morning Market Memo 3-31-2008

Wasilla Real Estate News market statistics for Wasilla, Palmer, Big Lake, Houston, Sutton, Talkeetna, Willow and every other little community in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

This update is for the week of March 24–31, 2008.

Although the statistics include the whole borough, about 80% of the real estate activity occurs in the Palmer-Wasilla Core area.  This is the area that is driving the market for the Mat-Su Valley

There were 60 new listings this week.  That is the largest amount so far this year.  We should continue to have a high volume of new listings come on the market throughout the spring.

Average Price DOM
New 60 $261,539 .
Total Active 745 279,743 144
Pending 30 $207,394 82
Closed 22 208,090 138

The market has definitely picked up.  While the pendings and sales are a little higher than they were last month, the activity on showings and offers seems to be quite a bit higher. 

Right now, there still seems to be a reality gap between buyers and sellers.  I think that many on both sides are not understanding the reality of the market.  

Many sellers are not pricing their home to sell.  They are still in the mentality of a sellers market where a rising tide lifts all ships and even if you are overpriced, the market will eventually catch up.  Read yesterday’s post here.

But there are a lot of buyers that are also out in never-never land.  Remember…this is Alaska and you know how the bumper sticker goes.  Just because prices are free-falling in other parts of the country doesn’t mean that is happening here.  Take a look at this Fortune Magazine article about how much they are expected to continue falling in some places.

But prices are not falling here.  In fact at this point the average price is still raising, slowly.  The borough and others feel that the prices rose last year by 2%.  I think this is about right.   So just because prices are dropping dramatically in other parts of the country, it doesn’t mean they are dropping here.  In fact, at this point it appears as if prices will continue to hold steady or raise slightly in the future.

So, between sellers listing their homes at too high a price, and buyers offering too low of a price we are seeing a lot of paperwork flying around before we get the contracts signed off.  Buyers need to shop enough to know the market, and if a house is priced right…just buy it.  If you don’t, someone else will.  

I’m working on the Motivated Sellers list for the week.  It should be out tomorrow. Drop me a line if you want it.