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Alaska property sales expected to slow, result of COVID-19 pandemic

 (KTUU)
(KTUU) (KTUU)
Published: Apr. 11, 2020 at 6:27 PM AKDT
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Properties are still being purchased in Alaska, according to the Anchorage Board of Realtors. But real estate transactions are expected to slow down as a result of the coronavirus.

Anchorage Board of Realtors President Ava Anderson said in a statement that a decline in real estate transactions is expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the group is working with municipal and state officials to ensure the protection of its members.

A real estate advocate for Roy Briley Real Estate Group, Hilary Lockhart says coronavirus interrupted what was a hot start to 2020.

“Our numbers were looking great,” Lockhart said, “but by May things might look a little different.”

Lockhart reports closed deals in Jan. and Feb. 2020 were 25 percent higher than in 2019. However, that percentage is expected to decrease when transaction numbers for March are released.

Lockhart confirms Anchorage real estate agents are still showing homes, but are doing so either remotely using virtual tours, or by practicing strict sanitation and social distancing guidelines for in-person showings.

Lockhart leads a team of real estate agents in Anchorage. In the last week this team was closing deals on four different properties.

While measured success appears to be happening for Lockhart’s team, some homeowners report buyers have altogether stopped viewing their homes.

"Coronavirus hit, and the showings stopped,” Anchorage homeowner Amanda Tuttle said. “I think people are just hesitant, you know?"

To make matters worse, Tuttle recently became unemployed in a series of layoffs. She now feels a sense of urgency to sell her home and start a new life — actions she says will not be taken until coronavirus loosens its grip.

“I know we’re not the only ones going through this,” Tuttle said. “This is hard on everyone.”

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