Ellen Barber Contributor
New Mexico’s housing market is booming, even as national home sales activity continues to be hampered by affordability and interest rate issues.
According to November 2018 data from the New Mexico Association of Realtors, the existing single-family home sales total for that month was more than 30% higher than the totals recorded for the last five Novembers. In fact, the state’s 2018 year-to-date sales as of November had already exceeded the year-end 2017 total by more than 7,000.
The 2,613 sales reported for November brought the state’s year-to-date 2018 total to 29,595.
The median price for those November sales was $208,000. The average price was $264,250. The average days on the market for these properties was 79—though eight New Mexico counties reported days-on-market averages lower than that.
For the nation as a whole, existing single-family home sales for November 2018 were up 1.9% from the previous month but were still down 7.0% from November 2017, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Properties sold in November 2018 were on the market for an average of 42 days. The nationwide median price for that month was $257,700, up 4.2% from November 2017.
NAR expects total nationwide sales for 2018 to show a 3% decrease over 2017. Higher mortgage rates suppressed market activity for much of last year, and an insufficient supply of affordable homes continues to stifle sales.
Of the existing single-family homes that sold in November in the nation as a whole, only 9.3% were properties under $100,000, according to NAR. More than a third (35.4%) of that month’s sales were houses in the $250,000 to $500,000 range.
At the national level, housing affordability continues to decline.
And yet, in a clear exception to national trends, New Mexico’s record-setting home sales pace shows no signs of slowing. Analysts point to the continued positive performance of the state’s economy, due in part to increased oil and gas markets.
And the November numbers don’t present the whole picture: The state’s housing market tends to be even stronger at other times of the year, according to the New Mexico Association of Realtors.