Mat-Su Valley real estate remains stable despite recession

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PALMER (KTUU) Despite two years of economic recession, Alaska’s real estate market remains relatively stable.

“Nobody wants the economy to be bad, but you've got to have a house, you've got to move, you've got to work, you've got to take care of business,” said Eric Bushnell, President Elect of the Valley Board of Realtors. “You just live, so you buy and sell homes."

Unlike the crippling recession in the 1980's, today's real estate market has been steady, and there’s no better evidence of that, than the Mat-Su Valley, where new home construction continues to far outpace Anchorage despite new construction being down roughly 20%.

“Last time we were just building like crazy,” said Neal Fried, Economist, Alaska Dept. of Labor. “That didn’t happen this time, even leading up to it, our recession, we were not building very much.”

So far in 2017, according to the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, 144 new homes have sold in the Mat-Su Valley with another 94 pending, that’s compared to 60 in Anchorage with 44 pending.

“The valley is growing up,” said Bushnell. “It's a more mature real estate market. It's very steady, we see a lot more commercial growth out here right now. People are moving to the valley because it's a good place to live."

In 2017, Bushnell says the median high end home in the Mat-Su Valley costs about $581,000, which is about .5% lower than the pre-recession average. According to the Mat-Su Borough Assessments Department, the average value of homes has risen in the borough from $209,165 in 2010 to $242,780 in 2017.