Navigating our Challenging Real Estate Market
Anchorage is experiencing an unprecedented real estate market. The inventory of available homes
remains very low, which makes it difficult to secure a property. Demand continues to exceed the available supply. Many sellers who secured ultra-low interest rates during the pandemic are unwilling to sell their homes. The supply of available new construction properties also remains limited, since most new homes are sold before construction is complete. Available vacant land to build on is scarce and expensive. Local regulations also slow new developments.
As a result, many properties that get listed for sale attract multiple offers, with sales prices often exceeding the listed price. Buyers who are willing to pay over appraised value out of their own pocket by agreeing to “gap” the difference between their offer price and the appraised value are often shown preference.
This leaves buyers with few options other than to be patient and diligent. It’s important to be in a position to act quickly when an attractive new listing becomes available. Your non- contingent lender pre-qualification letter is essential. Having extra cash to cover a possible appraisal gap is a big plus. Some buyers are also offering to pay some of the typical seller closing costs, such as the appraisal fee, to improve their offer.
Modern floor plans make efficient use of square footage, avoiding the wasted space and functional obsolescence found in many older homes. You can focus on the features that you want and need. New homes also utilize the latest energy-efficient features and materials that make your new home more affordable.
Of course, the elephant in the room is interest rates. Most analysts think the current higher mortgage rates are temporary. The Federal Reserve is working diligently to lower inflation. Lower inflation results in lower mortgage rates, so you may be able to refinance to a lower interest rate in the future. If mortgage rates decline, demand for housing will increase, and home prices will continue to increase. Waiting for rates to decline before purchasing a home may not be your best strategy. While current buying conditions may not be ideal, home ownership is always a great investment that will benefit your family in the long run.
RICHARD MANTYLA, NMLS No196418, is an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage loan originator (MLO) at Residential Mortgage. He’s worked as an MLO in Anchorage since 1984. He was one of Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s top closing lenders in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Residential Mortgage, LLC NMLS No167729
100 Calais Drive, Anchorage, AK 99503 | (907) 222-8833