Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Abq Homes Sales Increase Again. Median Price Up, Average Down

This is not your father’s housing recovery. Sales are up and prices are up. Yet job growth nationally is slight. In Albuquerque, jobs continue to disappear. Nationally, I read, wages just barely track the 2% inflation rate which means real wages are down.
So just what is up?
Free money, courtesy of the Federal Reserve, writes Edward Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute in today’s Wall Street Journal. Pinto was chief credit office for Fannie Mae from 1987 to 1989. He’s been there.
Well, almost free money. Today’s average mortgage rate is less than 3.5%, Pinto write, down from an average of 6.3% from 2000 to 2009.
That means, other things equal, buyers can afford to pay more a home. Of a given monthly payment amount, less goes to interest and more goes to principal. Pinot sees trouble ahead, based on “past experience with the disastrous impact of loose lending encouraged by federal policies.”
In Albuquerque, during March sales closed on 672 single family detached homes, a 130 unit, or 24% increase from February. The increase from March 2012 was 176 homes, 12.75%. March’s closed sales performance turned 74% of the pending sales of 913 homes during February into closed deals.
(Unless other wise indicated, all the numbers here refer to single family detached homes.)
Pending sales for March were 139 units, a 15% increase from February and up 87 units, or 9%, from a year before.
The median price for March was $175,000, up 4%, or $6,500, from February, and a 10% increase from March 2012. The median sales price was $162,000 in March 2011 and $175,000 in March 2012.
The average sales price during March, $202,605, showed a $909 decline from February but increased 6.8% from March 2012. The average sales price was $199,683 in March 2011 and $211,049 in March 2010. With the exception of one month, January 2013, the average price has remained above $200,000 since April 2012 when it hit $211,186.
Prices, both median and average, fell between February and March in 2011 and 2012.

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