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Alaskanomics's Blog July 16, 20103


Yesterday’s Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s “Make it Monday” forum was titled A Good Home is Hard to Find. Bill Popp, President of Anchorage Economic Development Council, began the panel discussion by discussing the current economic conditions in Anchorage, including Anchorage’s ranking in the annual Cost of Living Index. Out of 307 cities in the national survey, Anchorage ranks 20th in both cost of living and cost of housing.  

Art Clark, Vice President of Real Estate Brokers of Alaska, continued with the historical trends for home prices and numbers of listings. The average number of homes listed in a year is lower than it was in 1995, and the average list price has doubled during that same time period.

Jerry Weaver, community development director for the Municipality of Anchorage, and Daniel Delfino, with Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, concluded the discussion by noting that Anchorage has a strong rental market, but new construction of unrestricted multi-family rental housing is relatively modest.

The Anchorage Housing Market Analysis shows that there is not enough buildable land to accommodate future housing demand (2010-2030) under historical development patterns, current land-use policies and development options. It also notes that building mid-rise residential and mid-rise mixed-use rental development is not financially feasible in current market conditions. The full report, written by the McDowell Group and ECONorthwest can be found at http://www.muni.org/Departments/OCPD/Planning/Documents/Anchorage%20Housing%20Market%20Analysis%20Summary%20Report.pdf

The panel agreed that Anchorage is facing a significant challenge for affordable housing and that there is no easy answer. Not only is there a problem, but the outlook is getting worse and housing affordability impacts overall economic growth and business opportunities. Luncheon attendees were asked to become more educated about the problem; become involved in potential solutions, work to collaborate with others and join the conversation to bring light to the challenge of affordable housing in Anchorage.

The slides from Monday’s presentation can be found at http://prezi.com/_mfpwboermpx/make-it-monday-a-good-home-is-hard-to-find/


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