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Housing posts a good first quarter in NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There’s plenty to like in New Mexico’s first-quarter housing report, especially one noteworthy indicator, according to a county-by-county report released Tuesday by the Realtors Association of New Mexico.

Housing sales went up 7 percent statewide year-over-year, with 3,949 properties sold in the first three months of 2016, compared to 3,686 in 2015, said RANM.

“There’s more good news for sellers too,” said Pat Fell, 2016 the association president. Median prices continue to rise. The 2016 first-quarter median was $175,000, compared to  $169,300 last year. Median price indicates half the properties sold for more, half for less.

“A rise in the number of sales and a rise in median price means the total volume for January through March 2016 is also higher than 2015,” added M. Steven Anaya,  the association CEO. The year’s first-quarter volume of $866.9 million is the first time volume has been over $800 million since RANM started keeping statistical information in 2008.

The state’s most populous counties showed the greatest activity.

Leading the way in terms of volume was Bernalillo County, which posted 1,537 sales in the first quarter, up 16.2 percent from last year when the number was 1,323 homes. Sandoval County was No. 2 with 439 homes sold in the first quarter, up 2.1 percent from last year when 430 homes were sold.

Statewide, March 2016 sales numbers (1,620) reflect the beginning of the spring buying season, with a 36 percent increase statewide over February sales (1,186), according to the association.

Bernalillo County registered 647 of these home sales, in March up 39.4 percent from February number of 464 homes.  Sandoval County recorded 190 transactions, up 58.3 percent from February’s number of 120 homes.

Buyers are discovering rising rents and continued low mortgage rates are making this a good time to buy, according to the association.  Freddie Mac’s last week’s 3.58 percent average fixed-mortgage rate was the lowest mark since May, 2013.

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