The Albuquerque metro area housing market has continued to show signs of correction, with the latest data pointing to a decrease in closed sales and in the median sales price for single-family detached homes.
The median sales price last month dropped to $316,000 and closed sales stood at 520 — nearly 300 fewer closed sales year over year, according to the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.
Meanwhile, the median sales price came in more than $10,000 less than in December, data shows. The median sales price is also just a 1.9% increase year over year, but still trails the high of last year when the median sales price skyrocketed over the spring, summer and fall.
Since October, the median sales price has continuously decreased — dropping by $19,000 through January.
Carrie Traub, the 2023 GAAR president and owner of Simply Real Estate, told the Journal January tends to be a slower month for the home purchasing market — with kids heading back to school and families still recovering from the holiday season.
But a mix of market uncertainty — including rising prices, high mortgage rates and announcements of mass layoffs — has also likely contributed to a slow January, experts say. While those national factors can’t all be attributed to the state of the local housing market, Traub said some can.
Her business, Simply Real Estate, has also felt some of the cooldown in the market, particularly as it relates to closed sales. She said New Mexico — and especially the metro area — isn’t a very “wealthy place” and said the way sales prices were increasing last year were untenable.
“I’m welcoming the correction,” she said. “The rate we were increasing (in sales prices) was unsustainable.”
But because the metro area has felt a cooldown in recent months in the real estate market doesn’t mean it isn’t hot — or, at least, toasty.
Inventory remains thin — it was 950 last month, thousands short from swinging the market into the buyer’s favor — making bidding wars still a common occurrence. And the number of new listings, which stood at 733 for single-family detached homes, is a 20.5% decrease from the same time last year.
Traub said it is unlikely the metro area sees a median sales price that dips below $300,000, saying home prices in that range are likely to be the new normal.
Mortgage rates, for now, will likely remain above 6%. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate stands at about 6.5% as of Feb. 23, according to Freddie Mac.
But there is a hope from some local and national experts that, come spring, interest rates will dip down into the 5% range — something Traub said could bring prospective buyers back into the market.
“As people start to see interest rates hover around 5%, they will be more likely to pull the trigger (on buying a new home),” Traub said.