With an increasing supply and signs of decreasing demand, the Rio Rancho housing market could officially become a buyers’ market.
The number of new listings in the city increased 22 percent, from 267 in April 2013 to 325 in April 2014, according to a report released Monday by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.
It has been four years since the number of new listings exceeded 300 in a single month, according to data on the GAAR website.
The number of total active listings in Rio Rancho hit 723 last month, up from 623 in February and 635 in March. One year ago, total inventory stood at 669.
Over the last six years, local Realtor Mark Fiedler said, the local inventory of homes for sale in Rio Rancho has gone down fairly consistently. In the last year, he has seen that figure level off and start going back up again.
Pending sales fell 41 percent, from 278 in April 2013 to 164 in April 2014.
The monthly numbers of new listings and pending sales are no longer following each other closely, which would indicate a relative equilibrium, as they did for most of 2012 and 2013. That means the local inventory could continue to rise.
Fiedler predicted the decline in pending sales would drive down the number of closed sales next month. He said he has seen a lot of people waiting to buy, despite affordable interest rates. Sometimes, he sees a prospective buyer visit a home in person for every 100 who view the property online.
The median sales price is moving in opposite directions in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. Since the start of the year, the price in Albuquerque has risen from $171,000 to $181,000, while the price in Rio Rancho has fallen from $162,518 to $149,900.
Fielder said location matters. Sellers and buyers should pay attention to the patterns in particular neighborhoods and subdivisions. Prices have risen overall in the metro area, he said, but he has noticed a slight decline in Rio Rancho.
Since the summer of 2007, prices are down 17 percent in Albuquerque and 22 percent in Rio Rancho.
“We haven’t hit the bottom on prices yet,” Fiedler added.
The average days on the market in Rio Rancho decreased 24 percent, from 84 in April 2013 to 64 in April 2014. Homes usually sell faster in Albuquerque, but that was not the case last month. Over the last year, the average days on the market in Albuquerque increased from 64 in April 2013 to 69 in April 2014.
Homes are selling most rapidly in the central part of the city, between Northern and Southern boulevards. At least 40 of the 135 completed sales in April occurred there.
A year ago, given the number of closed sales and total active homes, it would have taken 5.07 months to clear the local inventory. Last month, it would have taken 5.36 months.
When it takes more than six months for the typical home to sell, most Realtors would call that a buyers’ market.
Rio Rancho Observer—Sterling Fluharty graphics