Scenic view of Matanuska-Susitna Valley in Alaska.

Your Guide to Living in Mat-Su

From stunning views of the Alaska Range to world-class salmon fishing, Mat-Su is an amazing place to call home. Here’s our guide to settling down in this beautiful valley.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough, often referred to as the Mat-Su Brough covers an area of about 25,000 square miles with a population of 107,081 according to the 2020 Census. This name comes from the Matanuska and Susitna Rivers, which are contained entirely within the borough and empty in the Cook Inlet, located on the southern border.

While it officially became an Alaska Borough in 1964, the area was first established in the 1930s by homesteaders leading a farming lifestyle. Today, it continues to be one of the few agricultural areas of Alaska.

Matanuska River in Alaska
Luxury living room in Matanuska-Susitna home.

why Live in the Mat-Su Valley

Every inch of the Mat-Su Valley offers breathtaking views and true Alaskan living. However, where you choose to move within the borough depends on your goals, hobbies, and work situation. Each town in Mat-Su offers unique adventures for residents, including fishing, hunting, snowboarding, snowshoeing, hiking, camping, and much more.

There are several cities in the Mat-Su Valley, including:

  • Palmer
  • Wasilla
  • Willow
  • Talkeetna
  • Chickaloon
  • Sutton
  • Glacier View
  • Houston
  • Big Lake

A majority of people in Mat-Su reside in Palmer or Wasilla. Both of these cities are conveniently located less than an hour away from Anchorage, which is where many Mat-Su residents commute to for work. Willow, Talkeetna, and Sutton are a long drive to town, but they are much less populated and offer recreational lodges, multi-acre property lots, and beautiful views of wildlife.

The Mat-Su Housing Market

In addition to being one of the most beautiful, agricultural areas in Alaska, another benefit of moving to Mat-Su is the especially affordable housing market. On average, house prices are as much as 40% lower than homes in Anchorage, offering people who work in the city an affordable place to live if they’re willing to take a longer commute.

The area is also seeing immense growth. Between 2010 and 2020, the population increased by about 20,000 people. While some of this growth is from people moving to Alaska from the lower 48, there has also been a lot of movement from people in other parts of Alaska, such as Anchorage, who want to get out of the city and enjoy more affordable living.