Here are the numbers for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough for the past week. It looks like closings are still healthy and all the other numbers are down a little. That includes new listings and total listings. It appears that we may be slowly moving into the winter market.
Often, we notice a slight bump in pendings during October. That is when the Permanent Fund Dividends come in. Sometimes people use this money for the little extra that they need for closing costs or down payments. We will be watching for that this year.
I spent some time today trying to find matched pairs to determine if the prices are rising or falling. Without matched pairs we are left dealing with averages. I did find a few matched pairs that indicate to me that prices are pretty steady. I would say that if you bought a house last year and it is in exactly the same condition this year your value is within 2% of your purchase price.
If you have to sell it one year later, don’t expect to make a profit. In fact, after closing costs and Realtor fees you will probably have to write a check at closing. That is why we generally advise people NOT to buy unless they are planning to live in the house for a few years. That advise didn’t hold during recent years of faster than normal appreciation but it is now back.
If you are only planning to live in your house for a year or two, you should rent instead of buy. The caveat to that is to buy a fixer upper into which you can sweat equity. That assumes you have the skills and the time to do the work.