Why Buy Real Estate In The Valley Instead of Anchorage?

You get more house for your money…that’s why!

Anyone who shops homes in Anchorage and then comes out to the Valley can see that there is a significant difference in prices. I thought I would quantify it so that you know how much more of a home you get in the Valley compared to Anchorage.

I narrowed the Valley down to the Wasilla and Palmer core area. This excludes most of the land mass of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough but includes at least 80% of the population. If I would have included the whole borough the contrast would have been even more striking.

Real estate professionals often refer to the “3,2 and 2”. That is a description of the most common house sold. It has three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a 2 car garage. I decided to compare these homes in Anchorage to the Valley.

Below is the chart that shows all the sales on the Alaska MLS system of these homes in the past year.

3 bed, 2 bath
2 car garage
Total Sales
4/11/2008-4/11/2009
Median Price
Wasilla-Palmer249$209,900
Anchorage349$265,000

You will notice that only 100 more of these homes sold in Anchorage even though Anchorage has a population at least 4 times larger than the Palmer/Wasilla core area.

Significantly, the median price of a typical three bedroom home in the Wasilla and Palmer areas is $56,000 less than it’s counterpart in Anchorage. Not only is this true, but the homes in the Valley tend to have more land, are newer, and are more energy efficient.

They have more land because the Wasilla/Palmer area is more rural
so most of the lots are at least 1/2 acre in size. They are newer because the Valley has grown more in population than has Anchorage in the recent past. They are more energy efficient primarily because they are newer. That is not to say that you cannot find newer, energy efficient houses with some land in Anchorage. You can, but if you do you will spend even more for those houses.

I took a look at what would happen if you compared the two locations with a 3,2, and 2 and at least 1/2 acre of land.

Wow!…what a difference that made.
Only 25 homes sold in Anchorage while the Valley sales only went down by 13. In addition, the median price in the Valley rose by only $100 but the price in Anchorage went up by $68,000. Now there is a difference of about $123,000. That is huge.

3 bed, 2 bath
2 car garage
Total Sales
4/11/2008-4/11/2009
Median Price
Wasilla-Palmer236$210,000
Anchorage25$333,000

So if you want at least 1/2 acre of land with your house you will pay dearly for it in Anchorage.

Since 1992 Alaska Housing Finance Corporation<(AHFC), has required new homes that hope to receive financing through them to meet certain energy standards. If you buy a home that does not meet those standards you can work with AHFC to bring improve the energy efficiency. Up to a point AHFC will even pay you to do that.

Most of the homes built since 2000 used good energy efficient building methods.
Of the 349 sold in Anchorage only 25% were built since 2000 while 48% of the houses in Alaska were built since that date. Almost 1/2 of the 3,2,2 homes sold in the valley were built since 2000.

So, to sum it up…

You get a newer, more energy efficient home with more land, for less money, if you buy in the valley as opposed to Anchorage.

Want a list of homes that meet your needs? …just drop me a line on the form below.

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by, and to, the subscribers of Alaska Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (AK MLS, Inc.). AK MLS, Inc. does not guarantee nor is it in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by AK MLS, Inc. is for its own use and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.