It is no secret that housing in Anchorage is tight. Whether you are looking to rent or purchase, your options are often very limited. A household must earn more than $50,000 a year to be able to afford to rent the average two-bedroom apartment in Anchorage. For many, this is not a reality.
The housing market for those looking to purchase a home in Anchorage is also tricky. Individuals and families who have outgrown smaller apartments and homes are having a hard time being able to afford the next step up in housing. In Anchorage, the average sale price of homes is rising. In 2013, the average single home sold for $346,977. This is 7.8 percent higher than the average price in 2012. The average in Anchorage is much higher than the national average, which was $211,312 in 2012.
The McDowell Group has estimated that Anchorage will need 18,200 new homes in the next 20 years to accommodate the projected population growth. Due to the geography of the municipality, there is not enough land for nearly 50 percent of the new homes needed. Zoning regulations will have to be altered to allow for higher density neighborhoods to fill the housing gap.
Multifamily rental units are another way to help supply housing. It is an expensive venture for a developer and Weidner Apartment Homes is leading the way in this type of development in Anchorage. Weidner Apartment Homes plans to expand its Country Lane Apartments and add 250 units to the midtown location. This will be Weidner’s first new development in years and will bring new units to Weidner, whose current units are 97 percent occupied. This is a small step in the right direction for people looking for rental property in Anchorage.
These are only a couple potential solutions to the housing problem in Anchorage. It is becoming harder for companies to attract and retain qualified workers because of the high cost of housing in Anchorage. Lack of affordable housing affects everyone and can be addressed if we all work together to find viable solutions.