Economic report shows housing prices went up in 2017 and senior population grew
Homer housing prices went up in 2017. That’s according to the 2018 Homer Situations and Prospects Summary Report, which came out earlier this month. The report documents economic development and demographic changes in 2017.
Tim Dillon is the executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, which produced the report, and he said the need for housing stood out.
“The demand for houses is still very, very high,” he said. “Although in 2017, they didn't see quite the number of houses built as in years past, but over half of the houses on the Kenai Peninsula were built in Homer.”
According to the report, the average sale price of a home in Homer increased nearly 10 percent last year compared to 2016. The average number of days homes spent on the market dropped by over 100 days. He says the quality of living in Homer is likely driving people’s desire to settle here.
But that wasn’t the only category that saw a significant change. There was also some shift in age demographics. The number of people ages 65 to 79 years old grew by over 200 people from 2013 to 2017.
“We’re all getting older, and it’s just really neat that people in Homer, they've decided, hey, I'm not going to move to the Lower 48 for my retirement,” he said. “The city of Homer has what I want for me to be able to have an enjoyable a senior life.”
Dillon notes that the state and borough’s senior tax exemptions may be drawing older people to the peninsula.
When it comes to the economy, he said there are some good signs. Median family income is slightly higher in Homer than it is in other parts of the peninsula while the median household income is comparable to neighboring communities.
Dillon said gross sales in industries such as construction contracting and health care saw an uptick in 2017 but fishing industry earnings in Homer were flat.
However, Dillon says the marine trade industry shows promise.
“The community of Homer is ready to explode with when it comes to marine trades.... and some of the different pieces that your ports and harbor commissioner is looking at into the future, how you can continue to grow the harbor, I think is just fantastic," he said.
Dillon and other business experts will be in Homer in January to give out more information on trends during an industry outlook forum.