Monday, August 14, 2017

Progressivism, Somewhat Defined

From the Weekly Standard, August 21, 2017
From a review of The Demon in Democracy by Ryszard Legutko
Reviewer: Matthew B. Crawford

"Like Fran├žois Furet before him, Legutko suggests that the key to understanding the character of life in a liberal democracy is the role that history—or rather History, understood as inevitable progress in a certain direction—plays in the liberal imagination. In recent decades, this manifested as the enthusiasm for trying to bring liberal democracy to very illiberal places using the blunt instruments of military action and marketization. But it was during the Obama era that this energy really got released onto the domestic scene for the first time in perhaps 40 years. Liberals started calling themselves progressives—a rebranding significant because it announced a new boldness in speaking an idiom of historical necessity. It announced a new impatience with foot-draggers as well...
"Willful obtuseness to social phenomena is crucial in constructing the symbolic persons at the heart of these progressive dramas, because the point of the dramas is for the progressive to act out his own virtue as one who embraces the symbol. Progressive purity, based on abstraction from social reality, sometimes has to be guarded by policing the speech of real individuals who are putatively the objects of the progressive’s enthusiasm, or the speech of those who are in more intimate contact with these individuals and threaten to complicate the picture—for example, the speech of the social worker who frankly describes the confusion and unhappiness that mark the lives of transgender people. The great march forward requires the erasure of “gender binaries,” and that is all one needs to know."

Denver Envy Still Wastes Time

In late July the Albuquerque Journal ran stories in the business section proclaiming younger adults love of Denver, the lifestyle and the economic opportunity. My letter to the editor response went to the Journal July 30. I don’t think it has run. The letter is the July 30 post, below. The stories unlocked memories of past Albuquerque junkets, commonly led by the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, to places such as Portland, Florida and Denver.
An accidental reminder of the Denver difference appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal. A story about telecommunications tycoon John Malone mentioned that his Liberty Global PLC, “the world’s biggest international cable company” was operated from “Mr. Malone’s hometown of Denver,” though it is incorporated in London.
A couple of decades ago there was Bill Daniels, a pioneer in the cable television industry. Daniels was the brother of Jack Daniels who stayed in the hometown of Hobbs and made money and did politics. Jack was father of Diane Denish, former Lt. Governor. Bill Daniels was a competitor of Malone and Ted Turner in the early cable days.
This international business infrastructure has no Albuquerque equivalent. It is an important part of today’s Denver. It makes the Albuquerque’s decades-long Denver envy a waste of time.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

July Abq Home Sales Down From June, Up From 2016

Sales of metro Albuquerque single family detached homes peaked at 1,196 in May, dropped ever so slightly in June to 1,194 and then to 1,075 in July, according to Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors, which released the July sales report today.
The pace of sales has eased. In June, 93% of the 1,279 May pending sales turned into closed sales. For July, it was 84% of June’s 1,283 pending sales closed. This rough metric assumes it takes about 45 days for a sale to close.
The 1,214 sales that were pending during July is down from 1,283 in June, which was essentially the same as the 1,279 sales pending during May. The May and June pending figures were down a bit from 1,299 in March and 1,331 (the pending peak for the year) in April.
On a year-over-year basis, pending sales remain popping. July pending sales were 29.6% above July 2016. June was 22.9% ahead of a year ago.
June’s 1,075 closed sales were just five units ahead of July 2016.
Homes continue to sell more quickly. Homes sold during July were on the market and average of 42 days, down from 46 days in June and from 48 days for July 2016.
In my neighborhood just north of UNM, two homes reduced the average days on the market. One sold to two young lawyers with a toddler grabbing their first home the day it hit the market. The other took a plodding five days. Both were early 1950s stucco on wood frame with three bedrooms and about 1,800 square feet. Couples bought both homes. The other couple, in their 40s, renovates homes, investing sweat equity and then sells.
The median sales price, $199,250 in July, dropped from $200,000 in June. The median price was $199,950 in May. The July median price was 4.9% up from July 2016. July’s average price increased $2,091, or 0.89%, from June. The average increased 5.3% from July 2016.
The inventory of homes for sale—3,566 during July—continued well under

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Policy Perspectives From Senior Democrats Diverge

The Albuquerque Journal’s Denver-envy articles and some education stories generated response in the Letters to the Editor section.
Two top establishment Democrats supplied letters that ran August 1 and 2. They offered different perspectives. Dick Minzer's view was useful and informative.
Chuck Wellborn, Albuquerque lawyer and tax expert, offered some thoughts, but no way to accomplish the platitudes and ended with a chamber of commerce rah, rah, “We need cooperation and collaboration, to knock off the name calling and to work together successfully. There’s no way we can’t accomplish this.”
Wellborn’s points included spending more money on pre-K through post-secondary education, fixing post-secondary without getting the four-year institutions out of the constitution, fixing roads with higher gas taxes, and fixing the tax system, the gross receipts part in particular. Wellborn began with a cheap shot at economic developers—professionalize our economic development efforts—his broad brush catching all developers. Wellborn should have named names such as the departed Jon Barela, now being a politician in El Paso with the Borderplex Bi-National Economic Alliance. Gary Tonjes of Albuquerque Economic Development is plenty professional and was unfairly slammed by Wellborn.
Dick Minzer also is an Albuquerque lawyer, tax expert. Minzer also is a lobbyist sometimes called “powerful” by those who make such judgments, was a state representative long ago and secretary of the Taxation and Revenue department.
Minzer considered school problems and policies at some length. His August 2 letter ran 25 inches of copy. He called for comparing New Mexico’s education performance with surrounding states, something, so far as he knows, has not been done but could be done by the three legislative education committees, state government’s education bureaucracies, the sundry business groups. Minzer poses additional worthy questions such as, “Is it too difficult and expensive in New Mexico to terminate under-performing teachers?”
Minzer’s questions are the preferable place to start. While he doesn’t say who should do the analysis to get the answers he does at least name names of organizations that claim to be interested.

Monday, July 31, 2017

What Happened to Albuquerque?

A couple of weeks ago a friend asked what had happened to Albuquerque. We had been discussing the city’s “situation.” What follows is an edited version of my response with names deleted to protect the guilty and the innocent.

I still lack a good answer, but here are a few thoughts.
1. Intel peaked around 1994 with 5,700 employees plus about that many contractors. Phillips, DEC. and Signetics went away. The support firms for the “Silicon Mesa” went away. The data analytics business in Santa Fe didn’t grow much and then faded
2. The Abq-based public companies went away: Diagnostek, Santa Fe Pacific Gold, Nuclear Pharmacy, Furr’s Supermarkets (probably not much net job loss there as we still have to have supermarkets), Sun Healthcare (run by Andy Turner).
3. Jerry Geist was finally run out of PNM in 1990, but PNM struggled for years and Abq operations remain well below the scale of when they filled two downtown buildings.
4. The banks got in trouble in the late 1980s. Sunwest was taken over by Boatmen’s around 1994 and then Boatmen’s was swallowed by Bank of America. BofA laid me off from Sunwest in 1997. Over time BofA let the NM operations erode. I don’t know why, but I have watched the numbers. Administrative functions went to staff of the big banks in larger markets. The local administrative and banking staff such as loan officers retired or left town or went to credit unions such as Sandia Labs FCU. Getting loans became more difficult. BofA keeps their trust-related attorneys in a cave in Phoenix. (long story.) Bank of Abq runs advertising and marketing from Tulsa, home to poppa, the Bank of Oklahoma.
5. The banks have largely left downtown Abq. The Hyatt was the last big building in downtown. 20 years ago.
6. The contractor population at Sandia is down.
7. The auto dealer chains are a big factor with little interest in community, at least as compared to when the stores were owned by locals.

We have become a community of branch plants (a state really). Look at the boards of the Abq Chamber and ACI. They are heavily populated by corporate government relations types, who will have no authority to take any action. Lawyers and healthcare types dominate the ACI executive committee.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Albuquerque Journal's Denver Envy

The following is a letter to the editor of the Albuquerque Journal. It was submitted in reaction to the Journal's editorial today and to the articles in the Business Outlook section that ran July 24.

The Journal asks what Denver has that Albuquerque doesn’t. Well, size to start.
Colorado’s 2016 population was 5.5 million. New Mexico’s was 2.1 million. Denver’s seven-county metro is 3.07 million. Albuquerque had 909,000 in 2016. Add 144,000 for Santa Fe.
Because of the population difference, comparing job growth (between June 2016 and June 2017 Colorado added 54,900 jobs versus New Mexico’s 19,300) is disingenuous, even wrong.
Larger size brings agglomeration, which means that more economic activity happens in the larger population metro area. There are economics of scale.
Denver is the major leagues (Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche). Albuquerque is AAA. The more appropriate comparison is with relatively isolated AAA cities: Des Moines, Omaha, Tucson, Tulsa. The Journal ignores this.
The Economic Innovation Group (eig.org) of Washington, D.C., says New Mexico “began the 1990s as a classic western knowledge economy that appeared primed for continued growth. But, with no major metro area and a relatively undiversified technology sector, the state fell further and further behind its neighbors over the years that followed.”
EIG also says that by percentage just four states have more people leaving.
Workers go to Colorado, says the Department of Workforce Solutions in the June Labor Market Review, 3,903 between 2007 and 2015, an outflow behind only Texas.
Denver offers a different dynamic, as the Journal’s anecdotes illustrate. My brother Tom moved to Denver in 1998 after deciding Coloradans were decent, professional and paid regularly.
It’s a puzzle, the Journal editorializes, one that “New Mexico has to put together.” The puzzle includes a host of systemic issues. An independent public policy institute would be one tool for the sorting. See capitolreportnm.blogspot.com for more.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Policy Issues Confronting New Mexico Today

Revised 2017. Prepared for discussion by Harold Morgan, syndicated columnist

Some major institutional issues (including the usual suspects, such as water, agriculture and energy) are listed alphabetically:
• A majority of Hispanics tracing their heritage to Mexico, a change revealed by the 2010 census. Cultural differences with traditional northern Hispanics.
• A state economy crossing multiple sectors and therefore not usefully measured. Generally we do science (labs to Intel) and work deriving from the land and culture (tourism, agriculture, literature, the Museum of New Mexico). Pure national defense (Holloman, Cannon) is a separate, smaller sector.
Economic activity should be identified to include everything associated with the business. Mines and smelters should go together. Aggregating everything involved with agriculture might take the sector from two percent of the economy to nine percent.
Comprehensive arts sector study released in 2014 indicates measurement approach as does the 2015 Borderplex Strategic Plan.
• Broadband (transportation of information).
• Environmentalist politics.
• Financial institution capability and role of community banks. Dodd-Frank regulations increase costs and constrain lending, more so in smaller communities.
• “Government dependence.” “Too much,” it is always alleged. In New Mexico federal activities are appropriate—border administration, land management, Indian affairs (see Native American, below). Research, itself widely varied. Military. Culture creates process orientation.
• Labor force participation. Low for decades. We are among the lowest four states in the ratio of employment to population. We don’t work. Why?
• Land use and ownership. The private sector is the biggest owner of land in the state with 44 percent. The feds own about a third of the state—34.3 percent—with the state at 12 percent and tribes with 9.4 percent. Private land ownership ranges from 6 percent in San Juan County to 93 percent in Curry County. These are old numbers and may have changed a little.
• Land use policies in Albuquerque that have largely eliminated available property for industrial buildings.
• Native American. Tribes, comprising almost ten percent of New Mexicans, are said to consider themselves ignored, not “at the table.” The Traditional Cultural Property dispute, fundamentally about theology and bureaucracy, has a major land use component. (See PERC Reports, Summer / Fall 2012, www.percreports.org or www.perc.org.) Custodial “trust” relationship with federal government, besides being racist, inhibits reservation economic activity.
• New Mexico as the nation’s number two majority-minority state.
• Non-employee businesses. Who are they? What do they do?
• Northern counties as “rural ghetto,” a result in part from the “romantic” idealization imported and promoted by Mabel Dodge Lujan a century ago.
• Population change driven by new babies. Adults provide the smaller portion of our population growth. But adults are the ones who pay taxes. Babies consume taxes. Increasing movement to other states. Population decline in 2014 and 2015 and flat in 2016 as new babies offset departures.
• Technology transfer: Being in the national defense business with an emphasis on nuclear limits development of an entrepreneurial culture. Some technology heads to the private sector. Los Alamos National Laboratory has recently restructured its approach.
• New Mexico’s Constitution. And how well does state government function from a operational standpoint?
• Transportation – highways, that is. Nine figure gap between desired construction and maintenance and money available.
• Underground or shadow economy. The only available estimate says 9.1% of New Mexico’s gross state product operates “off the books.” Where are these people? Aspects: cash only, no regular healthcare, no use of banks, inability to grow businesses. See Non-employee businesses.
• Uneducated young people. That our kids can’t read is bad enough. History courses appear to be process. Knowing the facts—who won the particular war—is necessary before the processes. A high school catalogue calls New Mexico history a semester-long survey “with an emphasis on the 20th century to the present.” The 17th, 18th and 19th centuries don’t count much.
The economics course cites “government agencies” as the first player in the “allocation of scarce resources and the economic reasoning.” People are mentioned but not markets.
• A generation or two of uneducated young people outside the system, trained by circumstances in avoiding work, and in violence and abuse and destined to pass along this scary heritage.
• Communication: Perhaps the biggest challenge. New Mexico is a big state with 77.9 million acres, or 121,335 square miles. Just over half of us live in the north central Rio Grande Valley from Belen to Velarde. The rest of us live everywhere else.
Events in one corner of the state fail to penetrate the other corner. The private sector might step up here.


Public Policy Institute Summarized

DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT

A Public Policy Institute for New Mexico July 2017
(prepared by Harold Morgan, syndicated columnist, progress@swcp.com)

Purpose / Mission: To inject into the public dialogue substantive, rigorous analysis of the policy challenges facing the state backed by a communications program to ensure the policy alternatives posed get attention from citizen and political leaders.

Present Need: A business plan. Estimated cost, $20,000 plus travel.

Outcome(s)/Products: Immediate product will be rigorous exploration of issues facing the state. Intermediate: Policy actions responding to issues/problems addressed in institute report. Over time: Improvements in key measures: education, economy, institutional structures.

Stakeholders: Children. Governor and legislature (independently developed policies). People involved in policy. Institute members and financial supporters. Media (something to report). Civic and business leaders.

Structure: Private, non-partisan, non-profit. Staff: One or two.
Operating budget: $150,000. Issue research: $50,000 to $150,000 per project depending on scope.
Financing: Member dues, grants, foundations, corporate. (Fundraising professional assumed)
Board: Leading policy professionals such as senior faculty from UNM & NMSU, economics & political Science. State government senior economist (LFC?).
Activity: Two to four research reports per year. Unveiled at two conferences per year.
Communications follow up to research reports: continuous.

Marketing: Mostly free media (newspapers, TV), social media for continuing public contact.

Models: North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research (nccppr.org); Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Arizona State University; Renewing the Creative Economy of New Mexico (Arts Study), Department of Cultural Affairs, 2014. State-level policy institutes are common. Most advance an ideological agenda.

Issues: Demographics, economy, broadband, environmental, financial institution, “government dependence,” labor force/work, land use and ownership, Native American, non-employee businesses, technology transfer, state constitution, transportation (highways), underground economy, education, communication/media.

Abq Jobs Up 2% June-to-June. Workers Moving to Colorado

Metro Albuquerque added 7,600 wage jobs for a 2% increase from June 2016 to June 2017. Not bad, pretty good actually for us, but short of the stellar 2.3% and 19,300 jobs reported for the state. The other three metro areas were flat for the year with Las Cruces up 500 (+0.7%), Santa Fe up 300 (0.5%) and Farmington down 300 or 0.6%. For the 26 rural counties, subtract the metros and find that they were up 8,100 jobs for the year.
The statewide mystery increase came in finance with 1,000 new jobs, 5.5% increase on a base of 18,300 jobs in June 2016. From where?
The figures were released yesterday afternoon, July 28, by the Department of Workforce Solutions. The report is in DWS’ Labor Market Review newsletter.
New Mexico’s unemployment, 6.4% in June, remained second nationally to Alaska’s 6.8%. The District of Columbia with 6.2% unemployment is the only other area above six percent.
Sector activity in Las Cruces and Santa Fe was modest, plus or minus 100 jobs here and there. The two added 800 leisure and hospitality jobs between them.
For the month between May and June 2017, the state dropped 1,100 jobs, or 0.1%, with 6,000 additional private sectors jobs more than offset by 7,100 fewer public sector jobs. The state’s job drop concentrated in education with higher ed, down 2,800 and local ed, down 5,200. Welcome to summer.
Albuquerque’s happiness was led by education and health services (Medicaid) up 2,800, followed by leisure and hospitality, up 2,300 jobs.
State government in three metros added 900 jobs over the year with no change in Farmington. The rest of the state, therefore, was down 1,400 jobs.
This month’s Labor Market Review contains an information analysis was worker migration from 2007 to 2015.
As might be expected, we lose workers to neighboring and nearby states, Texas and Colorado especially. Also Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana and North Dakota. The Northwest is a big attraction with Washington and Oregon both drawing more than 1,100 workers for the nine-year period. Workers can to the state from places such as California, Illinois, Michigan Missouri and Mississippi.
DWS split the analysis into 2007 to 2010 and 2011 to 2015. As New Mexico’s economy deteriorated in the 2011 to 2015 time, worker movement changed. People moved to Arizona and California from New Mexico. Movement to Texas increased and went way up to Colorado with about a three-fold increase.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Jobs Grow 2.3%; Some Statistical Shifting Involved

New Mexico added 19,300 (seasonally unadjusted) wage jobs, or 2.3%, between June 2016 and June 2017, an amazing performance for a state that has produced year-over-year job growth—when there was job growth—of more like 0.2% for a long time.
Though New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropped, the state’s 6.4% rate remained second nationally to Alaska’s 6.8%. Our two tenths of a point decline in the unemployment rate from May was considered statistically significant by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports the numbers. The state’s increase in wage jobs from June 2016 was not considered statistically significant.
The Department of Workforce Solutions released the June job summary last Friday, July 21. DWS said, “The spike in growth is partly due to shifts in seasonality in government employment.” How much of the growth came from the statistical shuffling, DWS did not say. We will learn more come Friday the 28th when DWS unveils details in the Labor Market Review newsletter.
The private sector added 18,900 jobs, a performance DWS called “the largest gain in over a decade.” The size of this sudden improvement makes it statistically suspicious. Not that DWS is cooking the books, but I wonder about things under the surface.
The leisure and hospitality segment (mostly tourism) added 7,500 jobs over the year including 4,300 between May and June. The annual gain led all sectors. The 7.7% year-over-year gain appears a little too good to be true, as does the state’s job jump. Revisions always follow. The question will be how much revision.
For the year from June 2015 to June 2016, the state added 14,000 jobs including 5,300 in leisure and hospitality. The 2015-2016 gain was driven by education and health services (EHS) (Medicaid) which gained 9,800 jobs.
The EHS growth has dropped. The sector “only” added 3,200 jobs during the most recent year.
The 8.1% year-over-year gain in construction jobs led the sectors in percentage improvement. Construction added 3,500 jobs.
Additional good news comes with the addition of 2,600 jobs in the professional and business services sector and with the 200 of only 200 jobs, year-over-year in mining.
Manufacturing supplied bad news with the loss of 800 jobs.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

June Abq Homes Sales Look Good

Sometimes things get set aside. No reason. No excuse. Just happens. So here we are five days after the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors released the June sales report.
Compared to June 2016, the performance of single family detached homes looks good. Compared to the past few months the market may be flattening.
Homes are selling quickly from a limited inventory. During June the homes sold were on the market an average of 46 days, one less day than a year ago and 16 days less than January.
June saw the sale close on 1,194 homes, 69 units, or 6.1%, more than June 2016. The 1,194 homes sold were two less than May.
Pending sales during June saw a big jump from a year before—22.9%. The 1,283 sales pending were slightly above the 1,279 sales pending during May. Both May and June were a little below March and April
During June 93% of the sales pending during May turned into a sales that closed in June. That’s assuming the rule of thumb for a 45-day closing period still works.
In my neighborhood just north of the University of New Mexico two homes sold within a few days—maybe five days—of being put on the market. Both are the basic early 1950s 1,800 square foot, three bedroom wood frame/stucco. One buyer is a young family—two lawyers and their three-year-old—who had been renting nearby and camping on the internet watching as homes hit the market. The other buyer is a couple maybe in their 40s who buy and renovate homes, doing much of the work themselves. They, too, had sought a new project for months.
The median price was $185,000 for homes sold during January. The median price for the 5,761 homes sold during the first six months of the year was $193,500 with a $200,000 median for June.
For homes sold during the first half of 2017, the average price was $231,575 with the average for the month of June at $243,099.
The June median price was a barely there 0.4% increase from June 2016. June’s average price was up 3.9% from June 2016.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Four Metros Together Lose 100 Jobs

Among the state’s four metro areas, it was a 100-job loss for the year from May 2016 to May 2017. The figures are not seasonally adjusted. Thus all the state’s year-over-year gain of 7,500 wage jobs came from the 26 rural counties, plus 100 jobs to cover the metro loss. This is an exceptional performance.
The state’s Department of Workforce Solutions released the metro job numbers today in the May issue of its newsletter, “Labor Market Review.”
The pattern for the three smaller metro areas—Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Farmington—was that a sector gains or loses 100 jobs, then another sector gains or loses 200 jobs. Albuquerque showed some bigger numbers. But then Albuquerque’s wage job total was 389,700 for May. SO there’s more to work with. Albuquerque professional and business services lost 1,600 jobs. State government lost 1,400. Manufacturing lost 1,000. Education and health services added 1,000. Construction added 1,200. Financial activities dropped 600. Transportation gained 700.
Santa Fe, the seat of government, reported the 23rd consecutive monthly job loss, down 100 jobs. The decline was in local government.
The Labor Market Review had to interesting special articles if you’re into numbers without worrying about why the numbers behave that way. “Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) 2016 at a Glance” reviewed employment distribution by major occupational group and discussed the earnings of some occupations. Office and administrative support is the biggest group with 15.3% of the total. That’s nice, but it says little about the functioning of the economy. What do these administrative supporters support?
Architecture and engineers lead average median wages with $85,880. Again, that’s nice. Among some more detailed occupations, pediatricians make the most with an annual median of $192,810.
The other article is “2016 Gross Domestic Product Data.” New Mexico’s GDP trends down.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Mining Job Losses Dropped to 300, Year Over Year

New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropped ever so slightly during May. The change, on a seasonally adjusted basis, was from 6.7% in April and also May 2016 to 6.6% for May 2017. To call the “improvement” less than statistically insignificant seems appropriate.
Colorado continued with the lowest rate, 2.3%. New Mexico swapped places with Alaska is placed second. The DWS release, out this afternoon, studiously avoided these details.
The labor force, seasonally adjusted, grew by 8,062 to 934,867 during the year from May 2016 to May 2017. The number of unemployed stayed essentially the same during the year, dropping by 306 to 61,626 in May.
Statewide there appeared 7,500 net new jobs on a not seasonally adjusted basis during the May to May year with 10,000 jobs in the private sector and 2,500 fewer in government. The big government loss was 2,300 in state government education (post secondary schools), possibly due to the end of the semester.
Mining and logging lost another 300 jobs over the year, suggesting that sector’s three years of job losses may have essentially stopped.
Leisure and hospitality (tourism) led the gaining sectors with 3,500 more jobs, or 3.6% growth. Construction’s growth was 3,200 jobs, a 7.5% gain. Education and health services added 2,500 jobs with the gain split among the two sectors with education up 1,200 and health care up 1,300.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Home Sales Resume Climb

After a quick and slight dip during April, metro Albuquerque closed sales of single family detached homes resume the upward climb in May with 1,196 sales, a 215 unit, or 18% increase from April. May sales were 178 units above May 2016.
The Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors (gaar.com) released the May sales report yesterday.
Pending sales went the other way during May with 1,279, a drop of 52 from 1,331 in April, and ending down 20 units from 1,299 for March. The pending sales for May were 20.7% above May 2016.
The sales are happening faster. A couple of houses around the corner from me sold recently within a week.
During May homes were on the market an average of 45 days, four days or 8.2% less than May 2016. During April, homes sold in an average of 51 days with 51 days during April.
The inventory of homes for sale, 3,266 during May, is running 20% less than the comparable month during 2016.
Pries are steady to up. The median sales price was $199,950 during May, a $9,950, or 5.2%, increase from May 2016 and up $5,450 from April. The average price was $235,723 for May, down $152 from April. However, the average is up 4% from May 2017, or about $9,000, from My 2016 and up $14,000, or 6%, from April. A couple of million dollar sales can have a material effect on the average price.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Construction Leads April Job Growth

Job production in metro Albuquerque dominates the metro areas these days with 86%, or 1,900, of the 2,200 metro wage jobs added between April 2016 and April 2017.
But the metro areas aren’t carrying the state. Those 2,200 metro jobs are just 30% of the 7,400 wage jobs appearing across the state during the April to April year.
The state’s smaller metros job growth was Santa Fe, +700; Las Cruces, +300; and -700 in Farmington.
In Albuquerque manufacturing lost 1,100 jobs for the year with professional and business services down 1,000.
Construction led sector job production in Albuquerque with 1,200 more jobs, year over year. Construction added another 1,400 jobs around the rest of the state. Education and health services added 900 jobs, but the EHS growth rate of 1.4% was well off the past years. Tourism (leisure and hospitality found 800 jobs during the year.
The Department of Workforce Solutions released the metro job report today.