We have been eagerly awaiting the latest Albuquerque area real estate market overview, just published by the Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS® (GAAR).
The chief reason for our eagerness was to see if the rises in mortgage rates since the election had negatively affected the generally upward path of our local markets.
We're very pleased to report that the opposite has in fact happened and December was yet another remarkably successful month locally.
Median detached home price rose by 8.6% year on year to $190,000, while average detached home price increased by 7.5% ($222,115) for the same period.
Closed sales were actually up on both October and November and better by 3.6% compared with December 2015. Pending sales did show a very slight fall compared to November, however they were a massive 36.3% improvement on the same period last year. It also now takes about five fewer days to sell a home than it did at the end of last year.
The positivity was reflected in an end of year press release by GAAR 2017 president Don Martindell, who said: “The overwhelming feeling about prospects in Central New Mexico’s residential real estate for the immediate future is optimism. Local real estate professionals are letting us know they are as busy as ever. There are certainly challenges in this market, like continued low inventory and higher competition for those fewer properties, but opportunities abound for creative and diligent people prepared to put in the time and effort.”
And inventory most definitely continues to be a major concern, with last month seeing a 20.9% fall in inventory of detached homes, in comparison with the end of 2015.
Indeed inventory at year end was at a significant multi-year low. It was positive, however, to note that new listings were at least up by 5.6% on a year ago.
However a far more drastic return of home sellers is needed to really turn around what is a difficult current situation.
While sellers can rejoice that they have a lot less competition and that asking prices are very robust right now, there's no question that market growth will be difficult to sustain at the current level if there are fewer and fewer homes to choose from.
All that having being said, December is, of course, traditionally a month when inventory is at its lowest due to sellers, mistakenly, withdrawing from the market for the holidays. Anyone who did so this year might perhaps reflect on a missed opportunity, given how strong sales and prices were at the turn of the year.
January, therefore, will hopefully show more noticeable signs of a significant return of sellers. Let's not forget that, even though mortgage rates have arguably experienced a long overdue market correction, there has been a rally in stocks since November and there's better overall optimism in the forward direction of the economy, together with low unemployment in the Albuquerque metro region. All these important factors help to create a very promising environment for people to consider selling and moving to another home.
Why not contact us today for an informal discussion of your real estate plans for 2017.