Monday, April 11, 2011

March Home Sales: Prices Drop as Reality Intrudes

Reality lumbered into the metro Albuquerque real estate market during March with a 10.1% decline in sales of single family detached homes from March 2010 and price declines from February and from March 2010.
Some good news does exist in the year-over-year sales decline. Those 634 sales during March 2010 were inflated with sales borrowed from later periods by President Obama’s first time homebuyer tax credit. That means the year-over-year sales drop was expected. The good news about the 570 sales during March 2011 is that the performance represented a nice 39% jump from February. To be sure, much of that increase has to be seasonal rather than reflecting market improvement or anything positive in the Albuquerque economy, which is still losing jobs. March showed 903 sales pending during the month, a 28% increase from February and suggestive of further sales growth during April.
The median price, $162,000 during March, was down 5.7% or $9,750 from February. From March 2010, the median price dropped $13,000 or 7.4%.
The average price was $199,683 during March, 9.4% or $20,616 decline from February. The average price was down $11,366 from March 2010, a 5.4% drop. The average price was moved up by the sale of three homes prices at more than $1 million and one home in the $750,000 to $999,000 range.
Prices for townhouses and condominiums showed a similar pattern with sales down from March 2010 and prices declining from February 2011 and from March 2010.
During March, sales in Rio Rancho doubled from 60 units in February to 121 units in March. That 61-unit increase accounted for 38% of the metro-wide 160-unit increase in sales from February to March.
The sales figures are just out from the Greater Albuquerque Association Realtors, In the monthly market report, GAAR offered no interpretation of the numbers, something unusual.

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