BY IVANNA C. SUKKAR
3 Cities to Watch
although It dIdn’t completely sIdestep the woes of the lower
48 states, the larg-
est state In the u.s. hasn’t seen housIng-market troubles the sIze of the rest of
There are many reasons for this, including a lower statewide concentration of subprime loans than the
national average and — probably
one of the key factors — an employment picture that is brighter than
most other states.
UNEMPLO YMENT RATES
In fact, 2009 was the first year in the
state’s history that its annual unemployment rate was less than the
nation’s, Alaska Economic Trends reports. It remained lower than the national rate in 2010 and continues to
trend lower as this year progresses.
Mar ’01 ’02
Source: U. S. Department of Labor
’03 ’04 ’05 ’06 ’07
’08 ’09 ’ 10 Mar ’ 11
The capital city and borough area had one of
the lowest unemployment rates in the state
this past February, at 5. 9 percent, according to
Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development data. In February 2010, juneau’s unemployment rate was 7 percent.
Looking regionally, Alaska was the
only state in the northwest that gained jobs last year, according to a U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) report. nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.8 percent in 2010.
Adding to the state’s prosperity, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data, the state’s personal-income rates have increased for eight consecutive quarters. With a 3. 9 percent increase in 2010, Alaska
was the fourth fastest-growing state for personal income and was ranked eighth for per-capita income.
With jobs and housing fundamentals looking up, the Last Frontier may be among the first states to
With 4. 25 percent of its loans overdue, Alaska had the lowest delinquency rate among all states in
the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA’s) national Delinquency Survey this past fourth quarter. In
part, this could be attributed to the lower-than-average concentration of subprime loans in the state.
Of its total loans, 7.2 percent were subprime in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to MBA data,
compared to the national subprime level of 9. 6 percent.
Anchorage Home Sales
The average sales price for new and
existing homes in Alaska’s largest
city increased 3 percent in 2010, according to data from a HUD report.
Sales saw a 4 percent decline in the
year, compared to statewide decrease of 17 percent.
Anchorage is projected to have
the strongest home appreciation
nationally from this past March
through March 2012, a Veros Real
Estate Solutions forecast shows.
The report expects Anchorage
home values to increase 3. 8 percent through next March.
ANCHORAGE SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES
Source: Alaska Multiple Listing Service Inc.
Average sales price($)
’07 ’08 ’09 ’ 10 Feb’ 11
The Alaska Housing Corp. has been promoting
sustainable development, and Fairbanks is at
the forefront of its efforts. This past spring, the
state’s second-largest city was home to several green-building and net-zero-energy home
This island city was the only area in the state
to see an increase in single-family loans from
fourth-quarter 2009 to fourth-quarter ’ 10, according to data from the Alaska Department of
Labor and Workforce Development. Kodiak’s
loan activity increased 8. 5 percent year over year.
WHAT THE LOCALS SAy
According to CoreLogic’s Home Price Index, Alaska homes experienced 1.2 percent appreciation year
over year from February 2010 to February 2011 — the fifth-best increase in home values among all
states. Excluding distressed properties, CoreLogic data show Alaska homes appreciated 3 percent in
that time frame. nationally, homes, including distressed properties, depreciated by 6. 7 percent from
February ’ 10 to February ’ 11.
“In Anchorage, home values and job creation are
still fairly static. If someone applies for a loan and
has clean credit, chances are they can get approved. But I’m a little bit bearish on the next five
to 10 years. The price point for first-time or second-time buyers is staying strong, but some of the high-end real estate has seen a 30 percent or so drop in
value. I don’t think Alaska is going to come out of
this recession unscathed.”
— CHARLES PRESTON
FINANCE MANAGER, MCKINLEy MOR TGAGE CO.
Ivanna C. Sukkar is the editor of Scotsman Guide. Reach her at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
sources: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Alaska
Economic Trends, Alaska Housing Corp., Alaska Multiple Listing Service Inc.,
Anchorage Daily Ne ws, CoreLogic, Mortgage Bankers Association, U. S. Bureau
of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,
U. S. Department of Labor, Veros Real Estate Solutions