Friday, February 12, 2016

Abq January Home Sales Down 26%

After inexplicably jumping 26% between November and December, closed sales of metro Albuquerque single family detached homes more than gave away the December gains with a 26%, or 213 unit, drop in January.
The 594 closed sales during January were 10.6% more than December 2014 closed sales of 656 homes.
The suggestion of improved sales during February comes from the 34% increase to 912 homes of pending sales during January. That’s a 233 unit or 34% increase.
It took an average of 64 days for a home to sale during January, fairly quick, but still the longest sales period since April 2015.
The median price for home with sales closed during January was $175,000, up 3.2% from January 2015, but down $500 from December. The $175,000 median price was the lowest since $175,000 in March 2015.
January’s average price was $217,247, up 4%, or $9,018, from December and up 6.8% from January 2015. Three homes sold in the million dollar plus price range helped that average as did eight in the $750,000 to $999,000 range where four homes sold a year ago.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Luján Statement on Pearce Gold King Mine Bill

The statement below was provided by the office of Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in response to my request for comment about Rep. Steve Pearce's Gold King Accountability Act of 2016. At 154-words the statement is too long to include in my column about Pearce's bill. The point of requesting comment was that the river pollution from the mine spill happened in Lujan's district. For reader convenience the statement is posted here.

Received February 5, 2016 via email from Monica Sanchez, a member of Rep. Lujan's Washington, D.C., staff

“The Gold King Mine spill has taken a huge toll on communities in New Mexico and on the Navajo Nation, impacting businesses, farmers, and ranchers. I am pleased that Congressman Pearce’s legislation includes provisions that are in the Gold King Mine Spill Recovery Act, which I introduced in September with New Mexico’s Senators and Congresswoman Lujan Grisham. These provisions establish an office within the EPA to provide compensation to make those impacted whole and require the agency to work with state, local, and tribal governments to ensure long-term water quality monitoring.

“While I have some concerns with Congressman Pearce’s bill, I am committed to holding the EPA accountable for this disaster. That is why I traveled to San Juan County immediately following the spill to participate in the first of a series of community meetings, met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in Farmington and Durango, and have repeatedly questioned EPA officials at Congressional hearings.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

State Job Growth Slows, Three Metros Lose

During the year from November 2014 to November 2015, metro Albuquerque gained 7,200 seasonally unadjusted wage jobs. For December the year-over-year gain dropped to 5,000 on the “strength” of losing 2,400 jobs between November and December.
Over the year, Santa Fe (-100), Farmington (-1,000) and as Cruces (-1,100) combined to lose 2,200 jobs. That was 400 fewer jobs lost than during the November 2-14 to November 2015 year.
The state gained 2,600 jobs for the year and lost 1,800 for the month. Seven states performed worse than New Mexico. Two showed no job total change and five lost jobs.
Retail trade was the leading loser for the month, down 1,200 jobs, which generated a 900 job loss for the year. That retail trade would lose jobs during December seems curious, what with the holiday shopping. The retail losses concentrated in Albuquerque, down 700 for the month and 800 for the year. Albuquerque is the sate’s retail center.
Making the state/Albuquerque retail performance is Las Cruces showing no change for the month and the year and Santa Fe with no change for the month and 100 more jobs for the year.
In Albuquerque professional and business services lost 300 jobs for the month and gained 3,700 for the year. Education and health services had no change for the month and 1,500 more jobs for the year. Leisure and hospitality dropped 400 jobs for the month and gained 1,200 for the year.
Statewide, leisure and hospitality showed 1,100 more jobs during the month and 4,400 over the year. Education and health services had 2,900 more jobs year-over-year and 300 more for the month. Professional and business services also added 300 jobs during December and 2,500 year-over-year.
The Las Cruces jobs losses were professional and business services (-700), leisure and hospitality (-300), construction (-300) and manufacturing (-100). Except for September 2014, Las Cruces has lost jobs since May 2014.

Monday, February 1, 2016

NM As Federal Colony. Acoma Myth Continued

In December 2014, the Journal’s Win Quigley compared New Mexico to Equatorial Guinea.
In his January 31 Up Front column, he was back at it.
There is a photo of the Onate statue in Alcalde. The photo caption mentions, “Acoma Indians whose feet were amputated…” Thomas Chavez and John Kessell, two of our leading historians, both say that while the Spanish ordered amputation as punishment for opposing the Spanish, no evidence exists that the mutilation actually happened. Kessell’s point was that the Spanish were meticulous record keepers, but record exists of the actual amputation.
Sloppy. And perpetuating a myth of the evil Spanish.
More important, Quigley, without supporting evidence, writes “of our almost total dependence on federal energy and defense spending for what economic progress we did enjoy in the 20th century…”
To be sure, defense spending drove growth in the 1940s and 50s as the Bernalillo County population about doubled during each decade and others grew rapidly.
I’m not sure the meaning of “almost total dependence…”
But Quigley misses a few things, starting more than a century ago with art and tourism development by the Santa Fe Railway. Oil in Lea County starting in 1928. Potash in Lea and Eddy Counties. Skiing. Natural gas in San Juan County. Intel and other silicon wafer manufacturing. The Santa Fe Institute. St. John’s College.
Quigley worked for Digital Equipment Corp., a computer manufacturer. I guess he forgot that. Or maybe DEC, which came and went, doesn’t count as “economic progress.” The old DEC plant now houses a bunch of service businesses. While these businesses probably provide less value added than building computers, they are more than the pre-DEC value added, which was nothing.
Quigley says, “New Mexico, as a ward of Washington, in some ways remains a colony to this day,” just as under the Spanish. Quigley says New Mexico also was a colony of the United States. Wrong. New Mexico was a territory, something quite different.
But stealing the local’s land was the game after the Civil War. Today the results are “living history,” Quigley calls it, and “a nightmare.” Rampant victimhood is one result, I believe.
Quigley’s image of New Mexico as a “colony” suggests that we cower here under the lash of the federal government. Hardly.
Our federal scientific facilities do work around the world. They work with other labs (Are Argonne or Lawrence Livermore colonies?). Lab staff commute to Washington, D.C. and D.C. staff commute to New Mexico.