ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - New Mexico is in line with the rest of the country, seeing an upswing in new and existing home sales.
Experts are quick to point out that we are still trying to work our way back to where we were five or six years ago, but things are looking up.
The Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico says it has seen a 20-25 percent increase in new homes compared with last year. They expect to see that growth continue into next year.
Even with that improvement, HBA says it is only building 80 percent of what it was in 2005 and 2006.
In terms of existing home sales, Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors says the metropolitan area has seen its 16th month-over-month increase from last year. There is still a long way to go before they are selling 12,000 homes in the greater metro area like they were back in 2006.
Realtors and home builders are guardedly optimistic about the future.
"Starting homes is tied to job creation and until New Mexico can figure out how to add more jobs, it is going to be a long slow slog out," says Jim Folkman, an executive vice president with HBA.
"I think the interest rates have helped a lot," says Janice McCrary, CEO of Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors. "People believe prices have hit the bottom. They are re-entering the market because they think prices aren't going to get lower."
HBA says most of the growth in new homes is happening in southeast New Mexico, in cities like Hobbs. That is because of a resurgence of the petroleum industry there. More people with jobs means more people can afford to build homes.
Nationally, home-builder confidence jumped in November to its highest level since 2006.
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