Multi-family developments outpace single family homes in Santa Fe - Albuquerque Journal

Multi-family developments outpace single family homes in Santa Fe

A home for sale in the Las Soleras area in Santa Fe, Monday April 26, 2021. The city’s median home price hit a high at $428,500 over the last decade, according to a new report from the Santa Fe Association of Realtors.  (Eddie Moore/Journal)

SANTA FE – Multi-family developments outpaced single family construction in Santa Fe over the last three years “largely in part to Santa Fe City efforts to modify inclusionary zoning requirements for developers allowing a ‘fee-in-lieu’ of building affordable rental units and other flexible options,” according to a synopsis of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors report released Monday.

Land sales in the city and county increased by 6% in 2020 “likely due to the impact of the pandemic with government shutdowns and accompanying business slowdown,” the report noted. Land sales were up in the county but declined by 10% in the city.

The city has an ongoing affordable housing crunch, emphasized in recent city elections. Total housing units in the city went up from 1,717 in 2006-09 to 2,533 units in 2018-20, or by about a “remarkable” 47.5%, the report said.

There are a greater number of owner-occupied housing units in the county than the city, the report reflects. Within Santa Fe 64.9% of homes are owner-occupied while 35% are renter-occupied and about 71.4% of homes in the county are occupied by their owners.

While the state overall lost population, the report states, Santa Fe gained 2,850 people from 2015-19, “from both domestic and international areas.”

“Santa Fe remains attractive to retirees and remote workers who come to the region to enjoy its climate, outdoor amenities, cultural attractions, art and history.”

Median household income increased by a greater amount in Santa Fe versus the state overall, 1.2% to .37%.

“Santa Fe City’s living wage law indexed to consumer price increases likely contributes to the overall higher wages in the area,” the report said.

During the last three years increased federal funding at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the “lack of housing options in Los Alamos County has led to a growing number of LANL workers buying or renting properties in Santa Fe.”

A number of factors drove home prices higher in 2020, including buyer demand, market pressures and “historically low inventories.”

The city “median home price hit a high at $428,500” over the last decade “with 998 units sold in 2020.” In the county the “median price increased by five percent from the prior year to $575,153 with over 840 homes sold.”

There was “a significant reduction of lower-priced properties below $250,000” with 55 sales in that category.

At $350,001 and above, sales were up in all categories.

The market for high end single family homes, those priced over $750,001, comprised “the largest range of home sales reported,” according to the study.

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