Monday, February 13, 2017

January Home Sales Up 5.6% from Year Ago

January usually is the slowest month of the year for home sales. “Improvement,” therefore, is relative. But for January 2017, improvement it was, according to the January sales report released Friday by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.
The sale of 662 single family detached homes closed during January. That was 35 more than January 2015 and a 5.6% improvement. In keeping with the seasonal trends, the January closed sales were 213 units or 24% less than December.
Pending sales went the other way with a 22% increase over December. It was 937 sales pending for January, up from 770 in December. The January pending performance beat January 2015 by 135 sales, or 16.8%. The heavy pending figure from January suggests robust closed sales for February.
Closing sales during January took longer by three days than during December. The 62 day average time on market was first month the average sales period was over 60 days since March 2016. The sales period has been as low as 49 days.
Pries were increased during January from a year ago but dropped from December. The $185,000 December median price beat January 2015 by 7.2%, or $12,500 but was $5,000 down from December. The average price, $218,488 in January, dropped almost $4,000 from December to the same level as November and October. The January 2015 average was 3.1% less than a year later.
The inventory of homes for sale, 2,889 during January, remains about 20% less than a year earlier.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Unemployment Rate Drops in Mississippi, Not in NM

Activity in New Mexico’s employment sectors churned in December but ended the month with a gain of 100 jobs. Government, mining and construction took care of losing 2,600 jobs. Private sector service sectors added 2,700 jobs to provide the 100 job gain, which, the Department of Workforce Solutions said was a “neutral percentage growth.”
Over the year, as reported last week, the state gained 2,400 jobs, bringing the wage job total to 835,400. New Mexico’s 6.6% unemployment rate was second place nationally behind Alaska. Mississippi, the nation’s unemployment leader at 6.8% in December 2015, reported 5.6% unemployed in December 2016.
For the month, leisure and hospitality led the growers with 900 new wage jobs, followed by professional and business services (+800) and education and health services (+500).
The numbers are in the DWS newsletter, Labor Market Review, which was released this afternoon. The numbers discussed here are not seasonally adjusted.
The three smaller metro areas—Las Cruces (+400), Farmington (+300) and Santa Fe (-200)—combined for a net gain of 500 jobs during 2016. The only big number among the three was 1,200 new education and health services jobs in Las Cruces, which offset the gain with 400 fewer jobs in both government and manufacturing. For Santa Fe, it was plus 100 here, minus 100 there, among the sectors.

Friday, January 20, 2017

December Job Growth is 0.3%

There are statistics and there are revised statistics. Revisions in the November job statistics turned the 2,500 job loss into a 900 job gain. No job should appear in the New Mexico Mudville as the new gain translates to 0.1%, a sum that could disappear in the blink of a statistician’s eye.
For December, the numbers released today report a 2,400-job increase from December 2015 to December 2016 to move the December 2016 wage job total to 835,400. The gain was 0.3%. Remember though, all is preliminary.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6%, down a hair from 6.7% in November and the same as December 2015.
The state’s Department of Workforce Solutions released the December job report today.
Education and health services (EHS), driven by Medicaid, continued as the state’s fastest growing sector with 5,700 new wage jobs, year over year. EHS has led sector job growth for 2.5 years, DWS said.
Professional and business services (+2,400 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (+1,400 jobs) continued as the second and third fastest growing sectors.
Year over year jobs losses in mining (oil and gas) have eased. From December 2015 to December 2016 it was 5,000 fewer jobs.
Manufacturing dropped another 800 jobs over the year to now employ 26,500 people.
Retail didn’t have much of a holiday season if employment is the measure. Retail trade employed 93,700 in December, marking a 2,800 job loss for the year.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Martinez Administration Tax Cuts Posted

January 14, 2017
Blog Readers: The bills listed below are those behind the Martinez administration’s oft stated brag of having cut taxes 37 times. My column for publication January 16 to 20 discusses the cuts and concludes there is less to the claim than meets the eye. My column is posted at after publication week.
The notes with the bill numbers are mine. Chris Sanchez only sent bill numbers and the year of passage.
One of the bills, Senate Bill 369 from 2012, showed no tax cuts. Let’s generous and assume the administration make a typo in compiling the bill numbers. – Harold Morgan


Chris: My weekly column goes to nine community newspapers around the state. At the lunch today (12/20/16) of the legislative outlook conference of the New Mexico Tax Research Institute, Keith Gardner said, “We’ve cut taxes 37 times.” Please send me the list of those tax cuts. Please also include the session, bill number and estimated revenue impact.
Thank you. - Harold Morgan

Was unable to access fiscal impact report. Thus, do not have the forgone revenue from these cuts.

A number of these “cuts” were extensions of previously enacted tax credits or gross receipts exemptions. Others raised the amount of sales required for a tax to be charged. Taxes tended to be very narrowly focused.

Hey Harold. Here you go:

2011 HB 273 Trivial. limiting the research and development small business tax credit and extending it until 2015.

2011 HB 437 More than trivial. Possibly discriminates against rural counties? A property tax exemption for veteran’s organizations.
2011 HB 440 an “advanced energy deduction” and a gross receipts and compensating tax deduction to encourage the construction and development of qualified generating facilities to sequester or control carbon dioxide emissions. Hugely speculative. Amounts potentially very large.

2011 HB 523;SB 179 a gross receipts deduction for locomotive fuel. This might be called the Union Pacific bill. A deal breaker, it was called, with regard to UP constructing its rail yard near Santa teresa. . It was also an extension of a ill passed several years before.
2011 SB 84 Extending the gross receipts and compensation tax deduction for gross receipts on fuel specially prepared and sold for use in turboprop or jet-type engines. Appears to be a very narrow interest.

2011 SB 282
2012 HB 184 – two deductions
2012 HB 184
2012 HB 10
2012 HB 116
2012 HB 123
2012 SB 32
2012 SB 369 – No cut. Just definitions.
2013 HB 106
2013 HB 641 – Film and more.
2013 HB 641
2013 SB 14 – Extending tax credit.
2013 SB 81 – Increases and decreases beer tax.
2013 SB 116 – Increases wine tax rate, increases volume limit, cuts tax amount.
2013 SB 160
2014 HB24
2014 HB14
2014 SB88
2014 HB32
2014 HB288 – Biofuels.
2014 SB106
2015 SB279
2015 SB302
2015 SB448
2015 SB506
2015, (special session) HB2 Tax package. It dealt with a hodgepodge including the angel investment tax credit, medical care expenses, selling stuff to companies dealing with thee Department of Defense, and refunding the petroleum products loading fee. (What is the petroleum products loading fee? Why do we have it?)
2015, special HB2
2015, special HB2
2015, special HB2
2015, special HB2
2015, special HB2
2015, special HB2

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Abq Home Sales Continue Month-Over-Month Growth. Las Cruces Sales Strong in 2016.

January 12, 2017

Summarizing 2016 for sales of single family detached homes in metro Albuquerque: More homes sold and sold faster for a bit more money.
Total 2016 single family sales were 11,021, plus 781, or 7.6%, from 2015. On average the homes sold in 55 days, nine days, or 14%, faster than 2016. The median price, $187,500, was up 4.5% from 2015 and the average price, $222,115, was up 4.1%.
The December results continued the trend of the year.
The sale of 875 homes closed during December. That was 30 homes, 3.6%, more than December 2016 and 77 homes, or ten percent, more than November. The December closing even beat October in defiance of the seasonal expectation of steadily declining sales during the fall as it gets colder.
The year closed with the sale of 770 homes pending, seasonally down 110, or 13%, from November, but 205, or 36% ahead of November 2016. A correlation of closed sales in one month with pending sales the previous month has been argued here, with a maximum of 90% of pending sales closed the following month. If any correlation exists, the relationship changed in December when the 875 closed sale were just five fewer than 880 sales pending during November.
The strong year-over-year increase of pending sales suggests a strong performance for closed sales during January (strong for January, anyway).
The homes sold in an average of 59 days, six days, or 7.8%, faster than December 2015. The average sales period for November and October was 54 days.
December’s median sales price was $190,000, a nice 8.6% increase from $175,000 during December 2015. The September median price was $195,000 with $189,000 during October and $185,000 for November.
The average price for December, $222,112, increased 7.8% or about $6,000 from December 2015. Average prices were flat at just under $219,000 during November and October. August and September saw average prices around $227,000.
In Las Cruces, according to the Sun-News, sales were “1,682 new and existing homes, townhomes and condominiums in 2016, making it the best production year since 2007, when 1,877 residential sales were booked. The all-time best year on record was 2006, when 2,303 homes changed hands.” The 2016 sales included 175 new homes.”
Single family detached homes “accounted for 1,405 of the total number of sales and brought an average price of $180,439, which was just $184 higher than 2015’s average price of $180,255. The homes took an average of 96-days to sell,” the Sun-News January 12 story said.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

NM Ties for Unemployment Lead

With 6.6% unemployed, New Mexico tied for highest unemployment in the nation with Mississippi, the District of Columbia, and Alaska.
Albuquerque swung to a year-over-year job loss in November with a decline of 500 wage jobs.
The other three metro areas went the other way. Las Cruces added 800 jobs, Santa Fe, 500, Farmington grew 300. The figures are not seasonally adjusted. The Department of Workforce solutions released the figures December 23 in its Labor Market Review newsletter.
A November to November drop in retail wage jobs of 3,400 pushed Albuquerque to the overall job loss. Statewide, retail lost 5,500 jobs. Manufacturing lost another 900 jobs for a November job total of 15,200. Growth in education and health services (Medicaid) continued with 1,200 new jobs over the year, a 1.9% increase.
Education and health services brought 1,300 jobs to Las Cruces for an 8.8% increase. Other sectors dropped 500 jobs for the year.
In Santa Fe some job sectors increase by 100 for the year. Others dropped 100. Education and health services added 400, a 4.1% increase.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Seasonal Patterns Rule Homes Sales

Seasonal patterns seem to be running the metro Albuquerque single family home sales market. The Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors released the November sales report December 12.
November’s closed sales were down from October by 27 homes or three percent, the seasonal pattern as it gets colder. Closed sales for November were 798 homes.
The number of pending sales, 880 in November, was down 118 from 998 in October.
The sales are happening expeditiously. The homes that had sales close in November were on the market an average of 54 days, the same as October.
The comparison to 2015 remains favorable. Closed sales were up 185 from November 2015, pending sales up 26%. Home sold during November nine days faster than during November 2015.
Buyers have fewer homes to consider. The inventory of homes for sale was 3,403 in November, 17% less than November 2015 and 277 homes or eight percent less than October.
There were 969 new listings during November and 1,215 during October.
The average sales price for homes that closed sale during November was $218,795, up $223 from October and up 2.7% from October 2015. The median price, $185,000 during November, was down $4,000 from October and up 2.7% from a year before.

Friday, December 16, 2016

November Provides a Third Month for Job Losses

November was the third consecutive month for wage job losses in New Mexico. The state dropped 2,300 jobs between, or 0.3%, between November 2015 and November 2016.
The Department of Workforce Solutions released the numbers today.
The numbers are preliminary and not seasonally adjusted.
Retail trade was the biggest loser for the November to November year with 5,500 fewer jobs. Mining and logging (oil and gas) lost “only” 5,100 jobs for the period. Local government education (the public schools) added 900 jobs for month but lost 1,100 for the year.
The sector gainers started with education and health services, (aka mostly Medicaid) with 6,000 new jobs, year over year. This performance continues the slowing of the EHS growth pointed out last month.
Professional and business services added 1,800 jobs. Leisure and hospitality added 1,600.
The metro areas appear to have gained employment (slightly different from wage jobs). Thus the rural counties are taking the hit.
We just think we got trouble. Wyoming lost 8,900 jobs, year over year. Its 3.1% loss was ten times the New Mexico drop. Yet Wyoming is going to give the football coach a big raise.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Eeducation and Health Services Show Slower Growth

New Mexico’s economic deceleration continued in the year from October 2015 to October 2016. The state lost 2,900 jobs, or 0.3% for the year. The Department of Workforce Solutions released the numbers Wednesday in its Labor Market Review newsletter.
The state lost 2,000 jobs, year over year, for September, gained 1,800 jobs for August and gained 9,600 jobs for July. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
A partial explanation comes from the education and health services sector, (aka mostly Medicaid) which gained 11,700 jobs in the year to July, 9,900 for August, 6,100 for September and ticked ever so slightly up for October to a 6,200-job gain. EHS remains by far the sector producing the most jobs. For the year to October, professional and business services (PBS) was second with 1,700 new jobs, followed by hospitality and leisure (H&L) with 1,000 jobs.
Those same three sectors produced 2,200 new jobs for metro Albuquerque, year over year. H&L led with 800 jobs. PBS and EHS both added 700 jobs. Albuquerque gained 1,900 jobs for the year, down from a 3,600 year-over-year September gain of 3,600.
Manufacturing lost 1,200 jobs in Albuquerque while the combined mining, logging and construction sector gained 1,600. The new jobs must be in construction because the metro has few mining and logging jobs. But what is being built? Facebook has barely started hiring. What else?
The other three metro areas, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Farmington, generated 1,000 jobs for October, year-over-year, down from 1,200 in September. The main difference was in Farmington, which lost 400 jobs in October after gained 200 in September.
Four states lost a greater percentage of their jobs over the year than did New Mexico. They are Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Wyoming, the champs with a 3.6% loss. Utah and Colorado were, respectively, four and fifth in percentage job year over year with 3% and 2.5% more jobs.
A happy note for New Mexico of unknown effect came with the December 1 announcement that OPEC cartel member nations plus some other countries will cut oil production. The reaction appears to be higher prices for U.S. producers.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Job Losses Grow in October

New Mexico joined a select group in October with its year-over-year loss of 2,900 wage jobs, a 0.3% drop. Only four other states lost jobs. Two of the states had statistically significant losses: North Dakota, Wyoming.
Our unemployment rate, 6.7% in October, was the nation’s second highest, just behind Alaska’s 6.8%.
We lost 2,000 jobs between September 2015 and September 2016.
Mining, meaning oil and gas, added 300 jobs between September and October. The October 2015 to October 2016 loss was 6,500 jobs.
Retail trade was the second biggest year-over-year loser, down 2,800 jobs. Wholesale trade lost 900 jobs. Manufacturing dropped 1,400 jobs for the period.
Local government education was down 1,500 jobs for the year after adding 900 jobs during September.
Metro Albuquerque’s labor force increased by around 5,500 during to be 421,000. Employment was up 5,500. Employment also increased in the other three metro areas: Farmington, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.
Details to come November 30.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Single Family Home Sales Drop From October 2915

The Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors released the October sale report the tenth. OK, a week late in getting the summary out to you.
There was news. Metro Albuquerque’s long run of monthly year-over-year single family home sales ended in October. Sales for the month were 825 homes, a 44-home, or 5.1%, drop from October 2015. Sales were well down from 969 homes in September, but that has to be the seasonal decline.
The homes the went to closing sold in an average of 54 days, five days faster than a year ago but slower than the 49 days during September and 51 days in October.
Pending sales during October went the other way, rising by five from September to 998 and posting a 152-home, or 19.4%, jump from October 2015.
Both the median and average sales prices were up about three percent from October 2015. The October 2916 median price was $189,000; the average was $218,252. The average price dropped about four percent from August and September when it was about $227,000. The October median price was just below the $190,000 median during August.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rural Counties Lose 6,800 Jobs

All four metro areas added 4,800 wage jobs between September 2015 and September 2016 as the state lost 2,000 wage jobs for the year. The Department of Workforce Solutions released the detailed numbers late Friday afternoon.
Rural counties dropped 6,800 jobs.
Albuquerque led with 3,600 new jobs, a 0.9% gain. Las Cruces added 600 jobs, plus 0.8%; Santa Fe, 400 jobs added, plus 0.6%; Farmington, plus 200 jobs, plus 0.4%. The figures are seasonally unadjusted.
Principle sector performances, statewide, for the month and for the year were:
Education and health services (Medicaid): Month +700; Year +6,100.
Professional and business services: Month +100; Year +2,600.
Leisure and hospitality (tourism): Month -3,200; Year +1,300.
Mining and logging: Month -500; Year -6,900.
Retail: Month -800; Year -2,100.
Manufacturing: month -100; Year – 1,500.
Government: Month +5,900; Year -1,500.
Information: Month -900; Year -300.
The big over-the-month loss for tourism came with the end of the visitor season.
The big monthly gain for government was in education as students returned to school. However, both state government education (universities) and local government education (K-12) lost jobs for the year.
In Albuquerque, year-over-year, both professional and business services (+1,500 and leisure and hospitality (+1,300) out performed education and health services (+1,200).
State government gained 700 jobs for the month and 1,200 for the year. Local government gained 900 jobs for the month and lost 200 for the year
Las Cruces lost 400 government jobs for the year. Santa Fe and Farmington together gained 300 government jobs. In Las Cruces the one big year-over-year gainer was education and health services with 1,200 more jobs. Nothing happened in Santa Fe with eight private sector categories showing no change over the year.

Friday, October 21, 2016

2,000 Wage Jobs Lost During September

New Mexico dropped a net of 2,000 wage jobs in the year from September 2015 to September 2016. The unemployment rate climbed another tenth of a point to 6.7%, according to the September job release from the Department of Workforce Solutions. DWS release the release late this afternoon. New Mexico had 61,454 people unemployed during September (not seasonally adjusted), an increase of almost 3,000 from September 2015.
For the month between August 2016 and September 2016, New Mexico dropped 4,200 jobs, third best nationally after Wisconsin (-10,500 jobs) and Alabama (-6,600 jobs). New Mexico did step up to lead in job loss percentage for the month at -0.5%, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provides the numbers to DWS.
The national unemployment rate is 5%. Colorado’s unemployment rate is 3.6%.
Texas had the largest over-the-month job gain with 38,300 and was third year-over-year at 206,800.
Along the state’s sectors, mining (i.e., oil and gas) continued to lose, down 500 more jobs for the month and 6,900 over the year. Manufacturing and government both lost 1,500 jobs. Local government education (the public schools) gained 3,800 for the month but showed a 1,200-job loss year-over-year. State government education added 3,000 jobs during the month, but lost 600 for the year.
The growing sectors continued to be education and health services (Medicaid) with 6,100 new jobs, year-over-year; professional and business services, +2,600; and leisure and hospitality (tourism) 1,300 more jobs year-over-year. Leisure and hospitality dropped 3,200 jobs during September with the end of the prime summer season.
Metro Albuquerque saw the labor force grow to 418,002 over the year, an increase of almost 6,000. Albuquerque employment grew about 4,000.
Employment in metro Las Cruces and Santa Fe grew about 1,100. Farmington employment grew by 300.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Abq Home Sales Continue Year-Over-Year Increase

During September homes both sold more quickly and for more money, according to the September sales report released today by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.
The number of homes offered for sale continued to drop, going from 4,553 in September 2015 and 3,982 in August 2016 to 3,902 for September 2016.
September sales of single family detached homes in metro Albuquerque showed a 10% decline from August, dropping from 1,071 in August to 969 in September. Average daily sales were 34.5 homes in August and 32.3 in September, a 2.2 unit, or six percent, drop per day. The daily sales comparison accounts for September having one less day than August.
Closed sales continued the 2016 year over year increase from 2015 with a 42-unit, or 4.5% increase from September 2015.
Detached homes were on the market an average of 49 days during September, two days less than August and ten days, or 17%, less than the 59-day average sales period from September 2015.
The median sales price, $195,000 during September, increased $16,000 or 8.4% from September 2015. That increase probably is explained by the September 2015 median sales prices, $179,000, showing an unusual drop. The $195,000 median sales price was $5,000 or three percent, more than August.
The average sales price was $227,898 during September. That was up $1,400 from August and $6,000 or 2.7% more than September 2015.
There were 73 “attached homes” (townhouses or condominiums) sold during September, down 24% from September 2015. However, pending sales increased 14 units to 103 during September 2016 from 89 in September 2015.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Job for August: Not Much Happening

September 29, 2016
Modestly detailed wage job numbers appear each month for four areas of the New Mexico economy—the entire state and the metro areas of Albuquerque Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. The Farmington metro (San Juan County) only gets summary numbers.
For the state and for Las Cruces the education and health services sector more that explained all the seasonally unadjusted wage job growth between August 2015 and August 2016, according to figures released Tuesday from the Department of Workforce Solutions.
The state has 9,900 new EHS jobs with 1,800 total new jobs, i.e., a net loss of 8,100 jobs from all other sectors. Leisure and hospitality added 2,500 jobs statewide year-over-year.
In Santa Fe it was a tie between EHS and tourism, aka leisure and hospitality, each with 400 new jobs over the year and 1,100 new jobs total. There were 400 new jobs in “other services.”
Las Cruces produced 400 new jobs and 900 in EHS, for a loss of 500 in other sectors.
Besides EHS, in Albuquerque professional and business services show a decent gain of 1,200 jobs for the year. EHS is the only other big winner with 3,300 jobs.
The statewide losers continue to be mining (oil and gas), -6,800, and manufacturing, -1,700.
Zeros litter the metro jobs reports. Not much is happening.