May the bird of paradise…

Once or twice a month I wake up in the middle of the night and realize I am tense and gritting my teeth because I think I may have failed to update this blog site. Just kidding; it gets updated with new statistical data every month around the 10th, whether I sleep well or not. And lately the sleeping soundly aspect has improved as sales have continued to improve. Remember last month, with all of 2015 in the books, we mentioned a 7.8% increase year over year in unit sales. I read someone else state that it was only a 7.8% increase. Only as if we should have done better. Wouldn’t that have been special, to have unit sales growth of 8 or 9 or 10% year over year? Special but supported by what demographic? Where are the new jobs?

As it is, Santa Fe remains one of the most popular places to live and visit. More people would live here if they could afford it. And if more lived here it may not be so popular or so special. As we watch the road graders and earth movers rearrange sagebrush and cactus near the I-25 and Cerrillos interchange, growth is happening no matter how much we love it or hate it. Yet they only gave us one Canyon Road, and one Mansion Ridge Road, and one Don Gaspar to work with. The growth and expansion are going to be on the edge of town. It may not be quaint and historic to see a new tract home pop up near the Community College, but people need places to live. Efforts at housing infill, closer to services and transportation, with a favorable walkability score, have mostly failed and not been met with open minds.

When those developments off of Airport Road started showing up in the early to mid 1980s, they seemed in another County, in another City. Now they are surrounded by commercial, industrial, multi-family housing and new highways with new exits. Their residents are served by new schools and new churches. It is now normal to commute from a rural home north of the Bypass near Caja del Rio, all the way around the City on 4 lane highways to get to work near downtown or in a State office building such as those at St. Francis Dr and Cordova Rd. You know, the ones across the street from Trader Joes. It may be faster, really only about 10 or 12 minutes, but it’s nearly 10 miles depending on what route you take. A five-mile commute would take as long, but bury you in stoplights and traffic circles coming into town. Several school crossings might delay your arrival at your cubicle and yes, you should have left home earlier.

So the person that wants to walk to work or work from home, leave their car (if they have one) parked most of the time and use a bus or walk to the grocery story has fewer choices the further out you get. I guess we will keep adding bus lines and eventually be able to take the bus to the Santa Fe Airport and catch a commuter flight to …Dallas? Would a person flying to Dallas from Santa Fe take the metro bus system to get to our airport? While we are speculating on personal preferences, how about a spur trolley line or electric train that connects various far-flung parts of our City to the employment centers near downtown and also connects to the Rail Runner? If you lived near the South Capitol train stop, you could walk there and end up at Albuquerque’s Sunport by connecting with various public transportation services. All for under $10 total. No parking fees to pay either.

Sorry if I got off subject. The numbers in the newest spreadsheets available for your review here are better than they were last month and better than last year. How about January 2016; best January monthly unit sales since 2007. That feels good. The Absorption Rate for $1 Million plus homes is down to near 22 months for only the 2nd time since 2006. Good news. And how about those Broncos? I mean, how about the Absorption Rate for ‘all price ranges’ – now below 7 months for the first time since 2005!! Even a lower number of months shows up in our most active price range, $500K and below, which came in at 4.7 months. A balanced market is generally considered to be about 6 months. To be at 4.7 means those sellers should expect activity right away upon listing their home and buyers should sharpen their pencils, get pre qualified for mortgage funding, have a healthy amount of earnest money and be prepared to pounce on the home they want to buy. Are multiple offers common? Not yet but a quality home at $325K will likely bring several buyers to the window. Higher price ranges are still many months on the market, on average.

If you are selling and you want your home to be above average, to sell faster than the typical home, you can do two primary things to make that happen. You can make the home near perfect, fix everything a buyer might object to and also keep the price within hollering distance of the best deal out there. More buyers are now looking at things other than just price, but it is still the primary riddle to solve for both sides.

Thanks for listening. If you have an interest in capturing your piece of the market success now going on, please contact me for professional and honest assistance. I would love to hear from you.

That would be Alan Ball at alanball2@gmail.com and 505-470-7153. Your Realtor already knows about me. If they have not shared this blog site with you before, ask them why.

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