ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Across the nation, the housing market has cooled since the extremes of 2022. But what’s happening here in Albuquerque?
Nationwide shifts favoring buyers
While there are various ways to gauge the state of the housing market, Knock, a home loan company, analyzed metro regions across the U.S. to determine where buyers had the upper hand and where sellers had the benefit. What they found is that across the nation, buyers are starting to gain the upper hand.
At the beginning of 2022, every single one of the 100 largest housing markets favored sellers, according to Knock. But by the beginning of 2023, a little over 10% of the markets favor buyers and 43 markets are neutral for buyers and sellers.
The numbers used in the analysis and forecast come from The Multiple Listing Service database. To measure the market, Knock looks at six equally weighted measures including things like the average sale-to-ask price ratio.
Albuquerque seems to still be a seller’s market, according to Knock. In fact, Albuquerque ranks as the 10th best market for sellers. And they forecast Albuquerque will remain a seller’s market for the next year. “There’s still a shortage of homes,” says Joe Maez, the leader of The Maez Group, a local real estate group. “There’s still a pretty big shortage of the homes, and there’s a lot of demand.”
Maez says that different price levels are experiencing different conditions in Albuquerque. When it comes to affordable homes and the first-time home market, it’s a seller’s market. The same is true for attached condos and townhomes.
But there seems to be a buyer’s market for mid-level homes. For those within the $450,000 to $700,000 range, it’s a buyer’s market, but depending on location, sellers might have the upper hand, Maez adds.
What to do if you’re home shopping
Knock predicts that home prices will continue to increase by about 12% through 2023. This means that they expect many homebuyers to pay near the list price for local homes. So, what should you do if you’re in the market?
Maez says that it’s important to ask questions: “There’s a lot of special programs that have been popping up to help homebuyers get into homes. And in some places, interest rates can be as low as 3%,” Maez says. “So I would be asking those types of questions about special programs and markets that can make things affordable.”
“I would urge homebuyers to learn about assumable loans,” Maez adds. These are loans where the buyer “assumes” the loan of the existing mortgage, which can allow buyers to get a low-interest rate.
Aside from considering loan options, should you wait until it becomes a buyer’s market? Maez says that the market does go up and down, so it’s possible that prices could eventually come down. But Maez also warns about being too cautious.
“What happens is: In big metro areas, homebuyers get priced out of markets,” Mez says. Then, “either they rent or they have to make long commutes.” So, sometimes it’s worth making the investment into a home, even when market conditions aren’t perfect, especially when the other option is paying high rent.