These statistics are for the whole Mat-Su Borough. The vast majority of real estate transactions are in the Palmer and Wasilla areas, but this week there is one sale of remote property in the mix.
For the third week in a row, we have sold and pended more homes than were listed. The total listings are now down to 761 which is the lowest listing count in 6 months. I do expect listings to increase in January-May, we will have to see if the sales can keep up with the surge of new listings
The average price for new listings this week demonstrates one of the problems with using averages in statistics. If you have one house price that far exceeds the others, it skews them all.
This is the house that caused them all to tilt upward.
If we take that house out of the mix, the other 14 new listings average $267,767.
The article in the Anchorage Daily News last week about valley real estate used some average prices that do not give a true reading of the real estate picture. The article talked about how the average price for vacant land dropped 40 percent in Palmer.
While the average prices of the parcels sold certainly did drop by that amount, the value for vacant land has not dropped by nearly that amount. The fact is, only 54 parcels sold in Palmer during 2006 and one of the parcels sold for more than two million dollars. That significantly increased the average price for 2006 to $104, 493. We all know that the average price for a vacant lot is much lower than that.
This year 80 parcels were sold with the highest price reaching almost $400,000. The average price for these 80 properties was $62,399. You can see where the ADN got the lower average prices. But this doesn’t mean the the value for individual properties has decreased at all.
In fact, I have had a hard time proving that prices are decreasing. The only way to prove this is to show matched pairs. A property needs to have been purchased in the last few years and then sold again for less than it was purchased for to prove price reductions. So far, the vast majority of the properties sold this year went for more than the price for which they were purchased. That certainly doesn’t prove that prices are decreasing.