ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Local realtors say they’re coming out of a brief slump caused by COVID-19. The year 2020 is a strong seller’s market, and one realtor says coronavirus is actually attracting people to New Mexico.
Realtor Dario Gonzales says he’s had non-stop business since the Governor announced her phase-in plan, and he explains a lot of his clients are moving from out of state to try to avoid the virus.
“I think it gives them a lot of peace of mind when they’re here. There’s a lot more space, what you can buy in terms of a lot size, and the space between neighbors, it’s provided them with peace of mind,” said Gonzales.
He says people are so eager to move here some will take a virtual tour of a home and make an offer before seeing it in person. He says often times, these buyers are coming from larger metropolitan areas, because they’re attracted to New Mexico’s open spaces, smaller population, and how the state is responding to the pandemic.
That comes as no surprise to Nancy Owen Lewis, author of Chasing the Cure in New Mexico: Tuberculosis and the Quest for Health, a book that dives into why New Mexico was a hot spot to move during the tuberculosis outbreak in 1870.
“I think it’s had that reputation for a long time of being a very theraputic climate, a safe haven,” said Owen Lewis. She says people moved here during the T-B outbreak for the same reasons they’re moving here now, open spaces and a smaller population.
Gonzales says even if the pandemic is inspiring people to move here, he says New Mexico is a “value state” which means buyers get more bang for their buck. That also puts first-time home buyers here in Albuquerque in a tough spot, he says out-of-state buyers are often able to outbid locals looking for a new home.
There are 150 fewer homes on the market at the same time last year. The average sales price jumped about $2,000 to $230,000 compared to last year.
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