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Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Reach

Home Mortgage Rates in Alaska

The median national average for owner-occupied homes is $144,200. The average in Alaska is $119,600, making Alaska's home prices 7.1% below average at the end of 2009. Fortunately, this shouldn't be too worrying since price averages fluctuate.

Alaska Real Estate

Metropolitan Areas

AK Rank US Rank Metropolitan Area 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △
1 133 Anchorage 402,557 380,821 21,736 5.71%
2 381 Fairbanks 100,605 97,581 3,024 3.10%
3 794 Juneau 32,468 31,275 1,193 3.81%
4 930 Ketchikan 13,746 13,477 269 2.00%

Most Popular & Fastest Growing City: Anchorage

Anchorage is Alaska's most popular and fastest growing city-borough. Slightly less than 280,000 residents were estimated to live there in 2008, more than 40 percent of the state's total population. The National Civic League has named Anchorage the All-America City four times, in 1956, 1965, 1984/85, and 2002.

Alaskan tourists often choose Anchorage as the initial stop on their vacation because of the large population and convenient location. Tourists can head south to the Kenai Peninsula, a popular fishing location, or north to other heavily toured locations such as Fairbanks and Denali National Park.

Moose.

Why Anchorage?

Anchorage has grown 2% since 2008 and 12% since 2000, but why? Most likely because Alaska's oil, gas and mining sectors continue to employ. The health and education services in Anchorage have also seen steady growth, even in the recession.

Cities with available jobs are attractive to people looking to move, which explains not only Anchorage's growth, but the next two cities as well.

Anchorage Skyline at Night.

Second Most Popular City: Fairbanks

The largest city in the interior region of Alaska is Fairbanks. Fairbanks is home to the oldest college in the state, the University of Alaska Fairbanks. More than 300,000 people tour Fairbanks each summer. Mining is a significant part of their economy, with the gold mine of Fort Knox producing 1,200 ounces per day and providing jobs to tens of thousands of people.

Third Most Popular City: Juneau

Juneau is the capital of Alaska and the third most populated city. The primary employer in Juneau is government. This includes the state and federal government, municipal government (harbors, the local hospital and airport, and the school district), and the University of Alaska Southeast. Offices in state government and indirect economic impact of those offices compose roughly one quarter of Juneau's economy.

Alaska Census Data

According to the United States census an estimated 741,894 people live in the state of Alaska. The state has 663,268 mi² of area, which gave it a population density of 1.12 per mi². Here is a list of cities & municipalities with more than 500 residents, with their estimated population as of June 2016 & the 2010 United States Census.

All table columns are sortable. Click on the column headers to sort by that column. Click again to sort low to high. Cities with higher levels of population growth typically see the increased demand drive faster real estate price appreciation.

Rank Geography Borough / Census Area 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △ Land mi² Density Class Incorporated
1 Anchorage Anchorage 298,192 291,826 6,366 2.18% 1,704.68 174.93 Unified Home Rule 1975
2 Fairbanks  Fairbanks North Star 32,751 31,535 1,216 3.86% 31.69 1,033.48 Home Rule 1903
3 Juneau  Juneau 32,468 31,275 1,193 3.81% 2,701.93 12.02 Unified Home Rule 1970
4 Sitka  Sitka 8,830 8,881 -51 -0.57% 2,870.34 3.08 Unified Home Rule 1971
5 Ketchikan  Ketchikan Gateway 8,208 8,050 158 1.96% 4.35 1,886.90 Home Rule 1900
6 Wasilla  Matanuska-Susitna 9,748 7,831 1,917 24.48% 12.38 787.40 First Class 1974
7 Kenai  Kenai Peninsula 7,745 7,100 645 9.08% 28.59 270.90 Home Rule 1960
8 Kodiak  Kodiak Island 6,191 6,130 61 1.00% 3.49 1,773.93 Home Rule 1940
9 Bethel  Bethel (CA) 6,378 6,080 298 4.90% 43.18 147.71 Second Class 1957
10 Palmer  Matanuska-Susitna 7,000 5,937 1,063 17.90% 5.15 1,359.22 Home Rule 1951
11 Homer  Kenai Peninsula 5,631 5,003 628 12.55% 13.83 407.16 First Class 1964
12 Unalaska  Aleutians West (CA) 4,437 4,376 61 1.39% 111.78 39.69 First Class 1942
13 Barrow  North Slope 4,335 4,212 123 2.92% 18.84 230.10 First Class 1959
14 Soldotna  Kenai Peninsula 4,617 4,163 454 10.91% 6.90 669.13 First Class 1967
15 Valdez  Valdez-Cordova (CA) 3,862 3,976 -114 -2.87% 216.24 17.86 Home Rule 1901
16 Nome  Nome (CA) 3,797 3,598 199 5.53% 12.63 300.63 First Class 1901
17 Kotzebue  Northwest Arctic 3,245 3,201 44 1.37% 26.92 120.54 Second Class 1958
18 Seward  Kenai Peninsula 2,787 2,693 94 3.49% 14.11 197.52 Home Rule 1912
19 Wrangell  Wrangell 2,411 2,369 42 1.77% 2,541.48 0.95 Unified Home Rule 2008
20 Dillingham  Dillingham (CA) 2,364 2,329 35 1.50% 33.57 70.42 First Class 1963
21 Cordova  Valdez-Cordova (CA) 2,205 2,239 -34 -1.52% 59.97 36.77 Home Rule 1909
22 North Pole  Fairbanks North Star 2,232 2,117 115 5.43% 4.17 535.25 Home Rule 1953
23 Houston  Matanuska-Susitna 2,290 1,912 378 19.77% 22.40 102.23 Second Class 1966
24 Craig  Prince of Wales-Hyder (CA) 1,231 1,201 30 2.50% 7.20 170.97 First Class 1922
25 Hooper Bay  Kusilvak (CA) 1,180 1,093 87 7.96% 8.22 143.55 Second Class 1966
26 Akutan  Aleutians East 1,036 1,027 9 0.88% 13.83 74.91 Second Class 1979
27 Sand Point Aleutians East 1,044 976 68 6.97% 126.8 8.23 First Class 1966
28 Delta Junction Southeast Fairbanks (CA) 934 958 -24 -2.51% 57 16.39 Second Class 1960
29 Chevak Kusilvak (CA) 1,049 938 111 11.83% 947.5 1.11 Second Class 1967
30 King Cove Aleutians East 989 938 51 5.44% 36.5 27.10 First Class 1947
31 Selawik Northwest Arctic 849 829 20 2.41% 282.9 3.00 Second Class 1977
32 Togiak Dillingham (CA) 855 817 38 4.65% 18.4 46.47 Second Class 1969
33 Mountain Village Kusilvak (CA) 851 813 38 4.67% 179.1 4.75 Second Class 1967
34 Emmonak Kusilvak (CA) 804 762 42 5.51% 99.3 8.10 Second Class 1964
35 Hoonah Hoonah-Angoon (CA) 745 760 -15 -1.97% 126.5 5.89 First Class 1946
36 Klawock Prince of Wales-Hyder (CA) 796 755 41 5.43% 980.5 0.81 First Class 1929
37 Kwethluk Bethel (CA) 753 721 32 4.44% 71.7 10.50 Second Class 1975
38 Unalakleet Nome (CA) 708 688 20 2.91% 189.5 3.74 Second Class 1974
39 Gambell Nome (CA) 701 681 20 2.94% 62.5 11.22 Second Class 1963
40 Alakanuk Kusilvak (CA) 750 677 73 10.78% 22.9 32.75 Second Class 1969
41 Point Hope North Slope 692 674 18 2.67% 139.8 4.95 Second Class 1966
42 Savoonga Nome (CA) 705 671 34 5.07% 110 6.41 Second Class 1969
43 Quinhagak Bethel (CA) 699 669 30 4.48% 153.1 4.57 Second Class 1975
44 Noorvik Northwest Arctic 686 668 18 2.69% 710.6 0.97 Second Class 1964
45 Toksook Bay Bethel (CA) 657 590 67 11.36% 18.1 36.30 Second Class 1972
46 Fort Yukon Yukon-Koyukuk (CA) 554 583 -29 -4.97% 80.4 6.89 Second Class 1959
47 Kotlik Kusilvak (CA) 620 577 43 7.45% 152.6 4.06 Second Class 1970
48 Pilot Station Kusilvak (CA) 607 568 39 6.87% 336.1 1.81 Second Class 1969
49 Shishmaref Nome (CA) 614 563 51 9.06% 253.6 2.42 Second Class 1969
50 Kake Petersburg (CA) 563 557 6 1.08% 62.2 9.05 First Class 1952
51 Wainwright North Slope 573 556 17 3.06% 17.94 31.94 Second Class 1962
52 Stebbins Nome (CA) 572 556 16 2.88% 36.37 15.73 Second Class 1969
53 New Stuyahok Dillingham (CA) 516 510 6 1.18% 15.7 32.87 Second Class 1972
54 St. Mary's Kusilvak (CA) 550 507 43 8.48% 11.4 48.25 First Class 1967
55 Aniak Bethel (CA) 543 501 42 8.38% 78 6.96 Second Class 1972
56 Nunapitchuk Bethel (CA) 526 496 30 6.05% 66.5 7.91 Second Class 1969
57 Saint Paul Aleutians West (CA) 519 479 40 8.35% 11.9 43.61 Second Class 1971
58 Scammon Bay Kusilvak (CA) 519 474 45 9.49% 764.5 0.68 Second Class 1967

Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: May 2017.

Types of Alaska Mortgage

The mortgages rates in Alaska are slightly below the national average, though that can change quite quickly.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages

A fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) may appeal to Alaskan borrowers who don't want to deal with potentially rising payments and interest rates. Since these things don't change on a fixed-rate mortgage, the borrowers are able to plan and budget long-term. If market interest rates decline significantly, refinancing might be a desirable option. Most fixed-rate mortgages are paid off in 30 years, but 20, 40 and other term lengths are available.

As of 2017 Alaska has a conforming loan limit of $636,150 for single unit homes. The limit is as follows for 2, 3 and 4-unit homes: $814,500, $984,525, and $1,223,475

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) Programs

  • (Tax Exempt) AHFC First Time Home-Buyer: The AHFC offers a lower interest rate to first time homebuyers. Eligibility requires that the borrower has not owned a home in the past three years.
  • (Taxable) First Time Home-Buyer: The AHFC offers a reduced interest rate to borrowers without the acquisition cost limits, income limits or recapture provisions of the tax-exempt program.
  • (VMP) AHFC Veterans Mortgage Program: Eligible veterans can acquire financing at lower interest rates. Eligibility requires that the veteran was not discharged from active duty service more than 25 years prior to the application date.
  • AHFC Rural Owner-Occupied Loan Program: This program offers financing to construct, purchase or renovate owner-occupied homes in small communities.

Natural Disasters

Standard homeowner's insurance policies typically cover damages from most natural disasters other than earthquakes & flooding damage. Homeowners can buy earthquake & flood insurance policies to augment their basic homeowner's insurance policies.

Hail & tornadoes are quite uncommon, but many other hazards exist across the state.

  • Cyclones: In November of 2011 & 2014 a Bearing Sea cyclones hit Alaska. The 2011 storm was believed to wash a person out to sea, while the 2014 storm struck the Aleuthian Islands with gale-force winds.
  • Hurricanes & Typhoons: Since 1978 a typhoon and four former hurricanes (which were lower strenght storms when they struck Alaska)have hit the state. Most of the state has a very low risk of hurricane storm surge, however Kenai Peninsula has a moderate risk & Juneau has a high risk.
  • Wildfires: The lush forests running across the state are afertile grounds for wildfires. In 2004 over 6,6 million acres were burned across the state from 701 fires. While these fires burn a lot of land, the statewide wildfire risk is considered low to homeowners since most people live along the coastal areas distanced from the lush forests.
  • Snowstorms: Fierce snowstorms can drop a foot or more of snow in a single day across key parts of the state including Anchorage.
  • Earthquakes: Since 1906 Alaska has had about a dozen major earthquakes with a magnitude above 7.0. Over half of these earthquakes have also caused tsunamis or megasunamies. Earthquakes happen quite regularly across the Aleutian islands and strong earthquakes have hit as far inland as Denali National Park. Other than the Northern Slope, Dillingham county along with Wrangell Citty and Borough most of the state has a moderate to very high risk earthquake risk. You can learn more about earthquake risk across the state here.
  • Tsunamis: The southern coast of the state running out from the easternmost point on through the Aleutian Islands has a significant tsunami risk.
  • Volcanoes: A chain of volcanoes is what helped create the thousands of islands extending from the Southwest of the state. Volcanic activity can be tracked at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.
  • Landslides: Other natural disasters also often lead to landslides.
  • Flooding: there have been many significant floods across the state. Some of these are the result of other natural disasters, while snowmelt, dam breaks & levee failurs also pose significant risk. The flooding risk across much of the state is considered to be very low. However the risk in Nome is very high, while the risk is considered moderate in the following areas: Matanuska-Susitna, Kenai Peninsula & Juneau.

You can find more information about the above risks on the US Geological Survey website.

Alaska Foreclosure Process

Alaskan lenders are allowed to foreclose on mortgages and deeds of trust in default using a non-judicial or judicial foreclosure process. The length of the process varies depending on the method used, but it's typically 3 months.

Judicial Foreclosure

In this type of foreclosure, the lender files a lawsuit to acquire a court order to foreclose. After the court declares a foreclosure, the home will be auctioned to the highest bidder. This method of foreclosure has become more popular since the late 1980s, when lenders discovered that they frequently foreclosed on property worth much less than the amount owed.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure

This type of foreclosure is used when a “power of sale” clause exists in the deed of trust or mortgage. A “power of sale” clause means the borrow pre-authorized the property sale to pay off the loan balance if they default. This gives the lender or their representative, sometimes referred to as a trustee, the power to sell the property.

If the mortgage or deed of trust specifies a time, place and terms of the sale, that procedure must be followed unless it doesn't meet the minimum protection laws in Alaska. The foreclosure is carried out as follows:

The representative/trustee must record a notice of default in the recording district no less than 30 days after the default and no less than 3 months before the sale.

The notice of default must state the borrower’s name, describe the property, the borrower’s default, total amount the borrower owes, the book and page the deed is recorded, and the representative/trustee's wish to sell. Additionally, it must state the place, time and date of the sale.

Within 10 days, the representative/trustee must mail a copy of the very same notice of default by certified mail to the last known address of the borrower, in addition to anyone whose claim or lien on the property in question appears on the record or is known to either the trustee or any occupant. It is acceptable for the trustee to have the notice of default delivered personally.

The borrower can immediately stop the sale at any time by paying the sum equal to the missed payments plus attorney's fees. The lender cannot require the borrower to pay off the entire loan, only the attorney's fees and missed payments. If the lender has recorded a notice of default twice before, the lender is free to refuse the borrower's money and proceed with the sale.

The sale of the property must be a public auction held at the front door of the courthouse of the superior court in the judicial district the property is located. The representative/trustee must sell to the highest and best bidder. The lender is free to bid at the auction.

The representative/trustee can postpone the sale of any portion of the property by writing a signed request to the conductor of the sale, complete with a stated date and hour. It must be publicly announced that the sale has been postponed, and take place at the original location.