I hate to dwell on statistics, but feel I must correct another set of skewed stats in the news recently. Although I don’t have time to watch TV, I do have a google alert set up to tell me when the term “Wasilla Real Estate” hits the internet.
This piece apparently aired yesterday on KTUU. It talked specifically about the two foreclosures already mentioned in a previous Anchorage Daily News article. I discussed that article here. It’s interesting to see how they used some of the same wrong statistics. I don’t know if they just copied the other reporters numbers are had the same wrong source, but they were both wrong in the same way.
I demonstrated how the averages for Palmer were wrong in yesterdays post. I suspect that the Wasilla numbers were skewed for similar reasons.
KTUU’s piece however added one additional piece of incorrect information. They said that the price drops were for one acre lots. So they said that one acre lots in Palmer dropped from $100,000 to $60,000 and Wasilla one acre lots dropped from $75,000 to $55,000. This is not even close to reality.
To get the same statistics for Palmer, you have search “Palmer” on the MLS which by some glitch includes all vacant land from Cottonwood Shores on Bogard Road, to Chickaloon, to the Knik Glacier. It would take you 40 minutes to drive from Chickaloon or the end of Knik River Road to Palmer. In addition it includes all vacant land. That means parcels over 100 hundred acres that sold for more than two million dollars are included in this average.
If you narrow it down to the immediate Palmer and Wasilla areas by using a borough map search, you will find something completely different. Let’s narrow it down to about one acre lots. The Borough has an ordinance that says you need at least 40,000 square feet of usable land to install your own well and septic system so we will search from 40,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet.
In the Wasilla area in 2006 there were 56 lots that sold for an average price of $53,854. In 2007 so far there have been 41 lot sales for an average price of $44,428.
In Palmer there were only 4 lot sales in 2006 that averaged $49,000. In 2007 there have been 11 lot sales averaging $44,173. In the actual Palmer map area, there are just not very many one acre lot sales. There are more than 70 on the market in Palmer right now so you can see that buyers are obviously balking at the prices.
It is true that the average price for vacant land has fallen. But prices for one acre lots never have averaged $100,000 in Palmer or $75,000 in Wasilla. In fact prices are much lower than that. You can easily find nice 5 acre lots in Wasilla the $100,000 average price quoted for Palmer lots. Here are some of the best lots for sale in Wasilla. Give me a call…I’ll show them to you. My cell number is 907 232–7900