The last year of the decade was one of the busiest for New Mexico real estate agents and homebuyers, according to new numbers from the New Mexico Association of Realtors.
Through November, the most recent month that statewide home data is available, 23,328 home sales closed in 2019 in the Land of Enchantment, well behind last year’s record-breaking total but ahead of every other annual total since 2008, when the association began keeping track of the numbers.
Paul Wilson, 2019 association president, attributed the statewide growth to low interest rates and a statewide economy that has stabilized in recent years, two factors that have given potential buyers more confidence as they look to leave the rental pool or upgrade to a larger home. Wilson said he expects more of the same for 2020.
“We’re just really excited about the future and what the future holds for New Mexico,” he said.
While the number of homes sold in New Mexico dropped slightly from 2018 to 2019, the average price of those homes continued to grow. Statewide, the median home price stood at $216,000 through November, up 8% from $200,000 at the same point in 2018.
The statewide data mirror the trend in Bernalillo County, where the numbers have been trending up for several years thanks to an improving local economy. Through November, home prices in New Mexico’s most populous county posted an identical 8% increase to the state overall.
While Wilson acknowledged that each region of New Mexico is different, he noted that several of the state’s larger metro areas are struggling with a shortage of entry-level and mid-market homes. With fewer affordable homes on the market, the price of the remaining homes has grown in places like Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces.
While there are new houses under construction in these cities, Wilson said they’re mostly at or near the upper end of the market. He attributed the shortage in new affordable housing to a drop in the number of subcontractors since the recession and the rising cost of land.
“We want our builders to be making money,” Wilson said.
In Santa Fe County, the most expensive county on the list, the median home price rose from $370,000 through November 2018 to $385,000 over the same period in 2019. The median price in Doña Ana County rose from $184,357 last year to $188,900 through November.
Southeast New Mexico, in the midst of an oil and gas boom, saw a big jump in median home prices. The median price in Eddy County jumped nearly 20% in 12 months, from $199,250 in 2018 to $237,500 currently. Lea County jumped from $165,500 to $185,000 over the same period.
For a full list of New Mexico home prices and sales by county, visit www.nmrealtor.com/2019-housing-trends.