Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Home Prices: Albuquerque

In metro Albuquerque, average and median homes prices are up, sales are down and the number of homes offered for sale, known as "inventory," is way up. The explanation, and just about the only explanation, according to a recent report: More expensive features in new homes which increases the price and, in turn, pulls up the price of existing homes.
Well, no.
The first rule of simple explanations is that life is almost never that simple. People in Albuquerque used to think the water situation was simple.
Housing markets around the country vary widely. Albuquerque, in fact, is one of the healthiest if one defines health as prices continuing up.
Neighborhoods also vary widely. The Albuquerque Metropolitan Board of Realtors tracks housing prices for 41 areas around the metro. For the first half of this year, prices in seven neighborhoods increased by more than 10%. Prices dropped in seven other neighborhoods and showed essentially no change in two. One area, Canoncito, had no sales.
The geographic behavior is inconsistent. Sandia Heights, with a average 2007 price of $510,000 and the fifth highest prices in the metro, showed a 1.2% drop this year. North Albuquerque Acres, next door and with the highest average prices in town at $682,500,, registered a 10.7% increase.
Prices in the Far North Valley, with an average around $350,000, dropped. Prices in Four Hills, also around $350,000, increased.
The number of sales in some neighborhoods is down. Others are holding steady.
It just ain't that simple.

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