Forecasting The Future For Anchorage Housing The Knowns And Unknowns

Dated: 12/30/2014

Views: 1557


As 2014 draws to a close it seems to be yet again time for an in depth forecast about Anchorage, Alaska’s housing outlook for 2015. The prediction game is going strong everywhere else this week, with print and online journalists and TV talking heads interviewing experts and each other about what to expect in the coming year. Some make noteworthy predictions—but more seem to be doing their best to sound authoritative while remaining vague enough to avoid being proved wrong. 
 
Last year, after delving into the Anchorage housing outlook to come up with predictions, the one I put at the top of my list was a forecast that mortgage interest rates would soon be climbing. That was safe—rates had been so low for so long, history told us they had to rise, didn’t it? Besides, all the experts agreed.What then happened in 2014 explains why financial prospectuses tend to footnote projections with sentences like “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” Rates did rise; but then sank again. In Anchorage along we got as low as 3.375% for some lucky home buyers!  So this year, it’s probably a better idea to shelve the crystal ball in favor of laying out some hard factors of what we do and don’t know—factors that should influence the direction of Anchorage's housing trends for the coming year. 
Mortgage rates will rise (because they have to, right?) This one only seems to be a reliable projection. At this point, a 30-year mortgage is actually lower than it was a year ago. It is thought that foreign influences (uncertainty in Europe; economic weakness in the Far East) are what have held down U.S. housing financing rates. If that’s true—and since no one can say with any certainty what to expect from events overseas—mortgage rates and their influence on Anchorage housing activity should more accurately be placed in the don’t know column. 
So will Anchorage housing prices and sales activity rise in the coming year? We do know that the public opinion polling data supports that likelihood. Consumer confidence is building, possibly because of a brightening employment picture (not to mention last week’s record-breaking Santa Claus rally and other strong economic news). In fact, real estate mega site Trulia reports that their samples tell them “consumers expect 2015 to be better, especially for selling a home.” 
Economists agree. Fortune.com says that economists are “nearly unanimous in predicting that home values would continue to rise” and that “surveys of homeowner sentiment suggest that more of them will look to sell their homes” in the coming year. If you are leaning in that direction yourself, there’s one factor we know for sure: We at Alaska Real Estate Group will be standing by in 2015, ready to put all of our resources and experience to work for your Anchorage home sale!

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