ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - For some people, owning a home is part of living the "American dream," but that's been tough to do these days because of the bad economy.
Jim Folkman, the Executive Vice President of the Home Association of Builders says things are looking up.
"We have seen a bit of a turnaround in terms of housing permits, but even at that level, this year even at that level we're still quite a bit behind where we were say in 2005."
At the height of the housing boom, 9,000 homes were built in the Albuquerque area. Contrast that to last year, when just 1,200 were built. Builders say signs that the economy could be on the rebound are laying a good foundation for more affordable homes.
Home builders like Steven Nakamura, President of Rachel Matthews Homes says those conditions are happening now in Albuqueruqe. "There's so many quality houses out there right now in the City of Albuquerque in the $150,000 to $300,000 range that the consumer right now can get so much more than they could've even five years ago."
For example, builders tell News 13 that some middle income families could pay under $1,000 a month for a 1,500 square foot home that's in the $190,000 range.
To make homes more affordable during these bad economic times, builders had to change their way thinking.
"What's happening now is that people are realizing that they don't need some of the amenities that were in some of those homes," says Nakamura. "They don't need media rooms, they don't need 5,000 square foot homes, they just need protection for their families from the elements and that's the way the market has shifted."
A big key to it all are low interest rates, but that too could change.
"We don't know what's going to happen in September," says Nakamura. "Those interest rates could start going back up and again, I feel now is a great time for people to go out and look at houses."
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