NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – People on the market for a home in Albuquerque or Santa Fe know that places are not staying on the market for long. Darlene Streit, a realtor in Santa Fe says it’s been busy and some people have even bought remotely without even seeing the home.
“It’s unprecedented. I’ve been in real estate 31 years and I’ve never seen a market quite like this one,” said Sherry Fowler, the President of the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors. Real estate is one of the few booming industries in 2020, despite being in the middle of a global pandemic. “It was really crazy we didn’t expect with the pandemic starting, that real estate would continue to go so strong,” said Fowler.
In addition to people who currently live in New Mexico moving around, both Albuquerque and Santa Fe realtors say they’re seeing a major influx of people moving here, fleeing from big city life. “There used to be a lot of Texas and California, that used to be primary. Now, we have Colorado we have Oregon we have New York we have really all over the country,” said Streit.
Uniquely, Streit says she is seeing younger people also take an interest in Santa Fe, which is different from the usual retirement-aged clients she helps. “A lot younger population than we normally see. A lot of the tech people a lot of people working remotely who are still working, because traditionally Santa Fe has been a lot of retirees or people ready to retire. I’ve sold to numerous younger people, people in their early 40’s late 30’s because so many tech companies are having people work remotely and they’re buying different homes to work from,” said Streit.
“We’re seeing a lot of people coming from both coasts and a lot of people just finding the secret of Albuquerque, New Mexico because we’ve been the hidden secret for kind of a long time,” said Fowler. In Albuquerque, over the last three years, the average sales price has gone up about $43,000 increasing from $240,648 to $283,239. Though in October 2020 alone, the average price of a home sold in Albuquerque was $308,318.
People are also buying more, the number of closed sales to date is up nearly 600 homes, from 10,267 in 2018 to 10,835 so far in 2020. In October 2020 alone, 1,236 homes sold in Albuquerque.
What is dropping is the average number of days that homes are on the market in the Metro. In 2018, a home was on the market for an average of 43 days, that dropped to an average of 30 so far in 2020. But looking specifically at October 2020, a home was only on the market for 21 days, on average. “If you’re listing a house you can be sure you’re going to have multiple officers, you know, if it’s priced well and in selling condition,” said Fowler.
What’s also creating a perfect ‘Sellers Market’ in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe is a severe lack of inventory, meaning fewer homes even going on the market and few new builds. “There’s been a real sense of urgency to buy homes and as busy as it’s been there’s been a certain amount of frustration as well because there’s a real severe lack of inventory. I have a very large list of people waiting just waiting for the home they want to come on the market,” said Streit.
In Albuquerque, 15,081 new listings entered the market. So far in 2020, only 13,505 homes went up for sale. Both Streit and Fowler expect this kind of hot and competitive real estate market to continue into 2021. “I think as long as the interest rates stay low we’re going to continue to see more of the same, more of a shortage of inventory and prices continuing to inch up month by month,” said Fowler.
“I think we’re going to see prices going up because they already are because of the bidding wars and the lack of inventory. I think there’s going to be more and more demand for new houses but there are also severe restrictions on new development and very few places for new development here so prices are just going to have to go up,” said Streit.