Monday, June 13, 2011

Home Sales Up in May, Prices Steady

It’s way, way premature to suggest anything positive is happening in the metro Albuquerque real estate market. Even so, a few glimmers appear in the May sales report posted this afternoon by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors (
The sale of 632 single family detached homes closed during May. That was a 65-unit, or 11%, increase from April. Sales had dropped three units in April from March, but it is reasonable to say sales have climbed every month since bottoming in January at 363 units. Part of this has to be seasonal. In a normal market, sales increase from a winter low and peak during the summer, not that anything has been normal in Albuquerque real estate for several years.
The 2010 spring market distortion came from Barack Obama’s first time homebuyer tax credit, which pushed sales into the 2010 spring. This distortion is seen in May’s year-over-year 13.5% drop in sales.
There were 899 sales pending during May, after two months of pending sales at 903 units. With pending sales a key leading indicator of closed sales, for an increase in closed sales of any significance during June, the percentage of pending sales moving to being a closed sale with have to increase. Hmm….
The number of pending sales did jump 32.6% over May 2010. But that doesn’t count because May 2010 pending sales had dropped off a cliff following the end of the of the first time buyer credit.
A more important comparison comes with 2009. For pending and closed sales during 2011, all five months of the year show nice increases from 2009.
This happiness doesn’t mean health. The job numbers in metro Albuquerque continued down during April. No jobs, no home sales.
Another comparison with 2009 shows May sales up for homes priced under $160,000. Sales then drop for the five price groups up to $399,000. For the three price categories from $400,000 to $999,000, sales are the same or up from 2009. May 2011 showed no sales of home over $1 million.

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