Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
After a few months of lackluster growth at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, metro Albuquerque’s home prices soared to their highest point in at least a decade in July.
According to the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors’ monthly housing report, the median sales price for a detached single-family house reached $251,000, an 8.3% increase since last July. The mean sales price increased 9.4%, to $289,677, according to the report.
Kent Cravens, CEO of the realtors’ association, said the median price was the highest since at least 2008, due to low inventory, low mortgage rates and a possible influx of new out-of-state buyers.
“People are showing up to the market with money,” Cravens said.
Albuquerque home prices grew slowly during the spring, as the pandemic may have prompted some buyers and sellers to be more cautious than they might have been under normal circumstances. However, Cravens said demand has picked up as the weather has warmed. Some 1,471 home sales closed in Albuquerque in July, with an additional 1,495 sales pending. Both totals represented jumps of more than 20% compared to July 2019, according to the report.
This, in turn, has pushed already low levels of inventory even lower. In July, homes spent an average of just 26 days on the market, down from 33 a year prior. The inventory of homes on the market dropped nearly 54% compared to last July.
“It’s all putting upward pressure on pricing,” Cravens said.
Cravens added that buyers moving to New Mexico from other parts of the country may be a contributing factor as well. While New Mexico hasn’t grown as quickly as its western neighbors Arizona, Colorado and Texas, it fared well in a recent survey tracking the percentage of moves made into each state.
In 2019, 59% of New Mexico’s moves were inbound, which ranked fourth in the nation, according to an annual study released by Atlas Van Lines earlier this year.
Cravens added that the pandemic and widespread social unrest may exacerbate that trend. Albuquerque, with its relatively low costs, could be an appealing option for buyers looking to flee expensive coastal cities.
“It’s gonna get down to two things: economics and quality of life,” Cravens said.