Alaska Housing Market Improves
National Association of Home Builders builder sentiment index rose to a five-year high in June
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans looking to buy a home might be in luck: According to market leaders, confidence among builders continues to rise.
The National Association of Home Builders builder sentiment index rose to a five-year high in June, and local contractors said they’ve seen gradual yet steady growth this year.
“The indicators are actually signed contracts,” said Dave Doolen, president of JADA Construction. ”The last couple years we’ve started the year in the spring with quite a few prospects, but for various reasons they disappear.”
Doolen said the biggest culprits were often banks reluctant to grant credit, but both contractors and customers would take a blow when the contract fell through. Officials with the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation said credit options began shrinking several years ago, and remain a hurdle to potential home buyers despite a strong supply of homes.
Paul Kapansky, a mortgage officer with the corporation, said the tightening of credit requirements effectively took 30 to 40 percent of buyers out of the market.
But despite the credit troubles, all the other market indicators remain strong. Kapansky said interest rates have hit historic lows, Alaska remains in a better economic position than most of the rest of the country and for those able to secure a loan, prices continue to “soften.”