AgentMarkets & Economy

Anchorage, Alaska’s housing trifecta

What a growing population and shortage of new construction mean for today's buyers, renters

During the Great Recession when housing prices plummeted across the country and foreclosures sprouted like weeds on vacant lots, Anchorage, Alaska, was a port of calm in the storm. There was a bit of a hit, as housing prices declined by about 15 percent, but that was early in the recession around 2007 and 2008. As for foreclosures, you would have been hard-pressed to find one. At peak, only about 1.5 percent of total inventory had drifted into foreclosure, reported Michael Droege, president-elect of the Alaska Association of Realtors and general manager at Century 21 North Homes Realty. "We are the least foreclosed market in the country." There were good reasons for the stability. Oil is the biggest driver of the state economy, and most of the major oil companies have state headquarters in Anchorage; with two military bases in the region, federal spending remains high; and tourism, which did dip during the recession, remains a bulwark. In addition, Native America...