Coming Real Estate Trends in 2019

Although we Alaskans  still like to think we’re different than our cousins in the lower 48, there are some housing trends and economic factors that will affect even us in Alaska as we move forward into 2019 from rising  mortgage interest rates to the color of bathroom fixtures in new homes. After almost forty years listing, selling and developing residential real estate in Anchorage, I’ve lived and worked through almost every imaginable trend both positive and negative.  Just imagine selling a home with a mortgage interest rate at 15.75 % in the early l980’s.  Yes, people do buy homes at that rate because people buy homes not because of the interest rate but because of personal factors like marriage, births, divorce, death and job change. Just imagine that Anchorage once built over 6,000 housing units in one year which was more than the city of Phoenix where I am writing this column from, visiting with my Japanese-American family for Thanksgiving dinner. Then, imagine when you could buy a Foxwood condo for $29,000 just by putting it on your credit card. Now, they are worth $132,000 and I sure wish I would have bought one then!  I know one builder who told me he wished he had kept every home he had ever built.  And I know another builder who did keep a percentage of them and did very well when he sold them off several years later.

So moving forward into 2019, you can expect to pay more for a mortgage.  Interest rates will push to 5% plus but hopefully will not hit 6%.  Home owners who bought or refinanced at 3.25% will be smug that they hit the market right. But who can really complain  when it’s three times less than 15.75%?  Labor shortages, rising material costs thanks to tariffs on soft wood from Canada and steel and sheetrock from China, will push new home costs up as well as rising regulatory costs—a national trend, not just a local one we all bemoan that no organization or elected official can seem to do anything about. And don’t forget about those rising interest rates.  Most speculative building and development rates have already hit 6% and will keep rising in 2019, another factor that will increase the cost of a new home.

Now, about the color of those bathroom fixtures.  Remember turquoise, gold and gray?  Yes, I said grey.  Regardless of how you spell it, grey is out  whether its on the walls or the stand alone tub.  If you have grey in your home and are fighting our dark winters, turn it into grayish by  adding some white pillow accents, painting a wall white, and increasing the wattage of your lighting.  Natural wood is back in 2019, whether it’s a fireplace mantle, a beam or cherry cabinets.  And that kitchen island which is at the center of all Thanksgiving dinners?  It’s big and bold with a quartz waterfall.  The stove top and sink returns to their rightful place along a wall.

Now, I’m off to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner with my multi-generational/cultural American made family and I hope you have all had a Happy Thanksgiving Dinner with your family and friends.

Author: Connie Yoshimura

Connie Yoshimura, owner/broker of Dwell Realty, has over 30 years of residential real estate experience with an exemplary track record of excellent customer service and extensive community knowledge in Anchorage and Eagle River. Connie has built a solid reputation in the real estate community and she was the number one individual realtor according to MLS in 2015. Connie served as the Chair of Planning and Zoning Commission for the Municipality of Anchorage and she has ample experience on developing communities from the ground up, including such popular neighborhoods in Southport and southeast Anchorage. Her avocation is playwriting and she has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Her plays have received productions and/or staged readings in Los Angeles, New York City, Oklahoma City and her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska where she resides with her husband, Ric Davidge, project manager for CY Investments, LLC and two poodles, Peaches and Hapa. Connie is a popular real estate columnist and her articles appear in Alaska Journal of Commerce, Alaska Dispatch News, and Homes and Land Magazines. She was featured in Anchorage’s Centennial book on Anchorage by Charles Wohlforth. If you’re interested about real estate in Anchorage and Eagle River, you could read her latest blogs at Connie is proud to have helped thousands of buyers and sellers through the challenging process of marketing, negotiating, and closing on their homes. She looks forward to assisting you with your home buying and selling needs. She is also available as a residential land development consultant. You may contact her at or call her at 907-646-3670 (Office) or 907-229-2703 (Cell). My Listings

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