High prices, low inventory pricing some locals out of Girdwood

High prices, low inventory pricing some locals out of Girdwood
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 5:50 PM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Skyrocketing homes prices, lack of inventory, and the popularity of short-term rentals is pricing some Girdwood residents out of the market.

The housing market in Girdwood has exploded since COVID-19, and some are concerned about the impact it’s going to have on local businesses who are already dealing with worker shortages.

Before COVID-19, the median price of a home in Girdwood was around $370,000. Now it has nearly doubled with prices in the range of $600,000, according to Glacier City Realty broker Sam Daniel. He said the market is unprecedented for him.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve seen in the last 25 years,” Daniel said.

Girdwood Board of Supervisors Co-Chair Mike Edgington attributes the skyrocketing prices to lack of inventory, and the emergence of short-term rentals in resort towns since COVID-19, with people being able to work remotely. He said right now 20% of the homes in Girdwood are short-term rentals.

“That puts a lot of pressure on rental and long-term rental properties, so it’s very hard for people who work here to find places unless they can afford to buy,” Edgington said.

He adds that many employers have expressed frustration about the housing problem impacting their recruiting and retainment of employees.

“We also have a problem with people who have lived here for many years but have rental properties where maybe the house they’re in gets turned into a short-term rental and lose that housing option,” Edgington said. “And it’s very hard to find another, so people leave the community.”

To address the issue, he said the board of supervisors is looking to start a permitting process on short-term rentals, so they can see how many there are in each neighborhood.

“Then we’ll see what happens after that,” Edgington said.

He is also watching closely what happens with the Anchorage Assembly’s proposed tax exemption of accessory dwelling units, which proponents think will increase housing inventory.

“In a community like Girdwood, it’s very likely to just lead to more short-term rentals, and doesn’t actually help the housing situation at all,” Edgington said.

He added that at this time, Girdwood is not looking at limiting or prohibiting short-term rentals, and they are also looking at what other resort cities have done to better manage those kinds of rentals.

Copyright 2022 KTUU. All rights reserved.