Monday, March 14, 2011

February Albuquerque Homes Sales, Prices Up

Last month, February, was the first February in four years to show a year-over-year increase in the average and median prices of single family detached homes sold in Albuquerque during the month. It was February 2007 when prices last increased from February of the previous year. Before getting excited, note that the February median price of $171,500 was essentially the same as the $172,000 median for January and up only slightly, 1.06%, from February 2010.
February’s average price of $220,299 was up 9.5% from January and 6.6% from February 2010. The average price was lifted by the highest sales of premium priced homes in the past three years. The metro area scored sales of 45 homes priced at $400,000 or more during February including two sold at $1 million or more.
Not only did prices increase, the number of homes sold during February, 410, was up 7.9% from February 2010 and also up from January with a 13% increase.
This year’s February sales increase is something of a mystery for this observer. While no expert, I’ve been watching the metro real estate market for some time. The basic equation is population growth = job growth = homes sales. Our population growth is way down. Albuquerque continues to lose jobs; another 7,400 wage jobs disappeared during January for a January-to-January drop of 2,300.
For March, caution is the word. Sales during March 2010 jumped two-thirds over February 2010 and people grabbed the first time homebuyer tax credit that ended in April. That artificial stimulation doesn’t exist in 2011.

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