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Juneau remains high on list of least affordable housing

Posted: December 4, 2012 - 12:07am

Its tough to buy a home by oneself in Juneau’s current housing market.

On average it takes more than one-and-a-half incomes to purchase a home in Juneau as of 2011, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

In comparison, the state-wide average is one-and-one-third incomes to buy a home. Alaskans who live in the Mat-Su Valley and work in Anchorage enjoy the most affordable housing at just a sliver over one income needed to afford a home.

Interest rates for home loans in Alaska averaged 4.46 percent in 2011.

Home prices statewide have fallen to levels not seen since 2003, well below the 2007 high of around 1.6 incomes per single family home.

State-wide home prices have leveled out after a steep rise from as early as 2001 through 2006. While homes across Alaska are becoming more affordable compared to wages, and at the same time interest rates have fallen, potential home-buyers face greater hurdles when seeking a loan, Department of Labor Economist Rob Kreiger said in the Department of Labor’s December Economic Trends publication. Many banks require 20 percent down payments or home buyers face mortgage insurance penalties and other added costs.

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