Fewer homes, higher prices around NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s housing market started 2018 like it was still 2017 — with higher prices and fewer homes for sale in most of the state’s largest counties.

Despite the limited inventory, single-family home sales in January were up 15 percent to 1,509 sales compared with the same period last year. The median price jumped 4.1 percent to $190,000, according to the Realtors Association of New Mexico.

Nearly half of those transactions were in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties.

As in 2017, a lack of inventory continued to be the dominant theme as the year began, especially in metro Albuquerque. There were 2,671 detached homes for sale in January, down 27 percent from January 2017 and the lowest inventory for January since 2006, according to Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.

RANM said January 2018 active listings statewide for the month totaled 7,424 residences. The trade association, representing 6,000 members, didn’t have comparable data for January 2017.

Statewide, home sales during the month resulted in a volume of $346.6 million, a 5 percent rise from January 2017’s figure of $327.6 million, said the association.

The National Association of Realtors expects that the mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage will rise to 4.4 percent in 2018 from 3.9 percent in the last quarter of 2017.

It’s estimated that, on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, each half-point uptick adds about $100 to the monthly payment.

“Rates are still historically low, and the recent increase should not discourage people from buying a house,” said Connie Hettinga, RANM president.

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