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New Mexico housing market sets record

New Mexico’s housing market continues to set records and continues to buck national trends, according to November numbers.

Connie Hettinga, New Mexico Association of Realtors president, said the 2,613 in sales reported to the association for last month is over 30 percent higher than sales recorded in the past five Novembers.

Hettinga said in a phone interview that those numbers do not account for other times of the year when the market tends to be even stronger.

The latest figure brings 2018 year-to-date sales to 29,595 — 7,000 more sales than those reported for all of 2017.

November’s median sales price in the state was $208,000, while the year-to-date median has been $200,000 for six consecutive months, association CEO M. Steven Anaya said. Median price indicates that half sold for a higher price and half sold for a lower price.

Nationwide, home sales increased in November for the second straight month, but sales plummeted 7 percent from a year ago amid growing affordability pressures.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales of existing homes rose 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.32 million last month. But higher mortgage rates have caused sales over the past 12 months to plunge at the steepest pace since May 2011, when the real estate sector was still in the grips of the housing bust.

The national association has predicted that nationwide, 2018 will show a 3 percent decrease in sales compared to 2017.

“Obviously, New Mexico is an exception to national trends,” the association said in a news release. “The state’s economy continues to perform well, with an increase in oil and gas markets and employment in many areas.”