How can it be so thin?

Just how can the capital city of New Mexico, with somewhere above 75,000 residents plus a bunch of part timers, be so short of inventory in homes available for sale? What do buyers do when they want to buy a home in Santa Fe? First, they watch to learn how the market is behaving. They pay attention to listings, studying how long they stay available before they are grabbed up by a motivated and qualified buyer. All of the widely used web sites that show residential listings – Realtor.com – Zillow – Trulia – and many more – show accurate listing data and when those homes go under contract, they often drop off the web site. That is your clue that home is no longer for sale (provided the contract holds up and it goes to closing).

So its fairly easy to track homes for sale if you are not ready and able to drive around town all day checking on for sale signs. What do you learn when you are shopping for a home below $500,000? (that is the low range in my posted and updated charts and spreadsheets available on the left margin). You see that there are many more homes sold in a year than there are available at any moment. This means that the absorption rate for homes under $500,000 is well below 12 months, on average. By the way, 6 months is considered a “balanced” market, between sellers and buyers. The calculation at the beginning of March was a mere 268 homes listed in Santa Fe city and county, while the current rate of sales is about 131 homes sold per month. That means in barely over two months, the entire existing inventory of homes will be sold.

It does not pay to be picky if you are a buyer ready to buy in this price range. Be prepared to act quickly and have a Realtor on call that can have your offer submitted in an hour or two.

Another point we might see more of is that listing brokers with Seller support may price a home knowing it will generate multiple offers and the status might change to pending on the listing in the first few days. Maybe the days of pricing a home a little above what it is likely to sell for are gone. Maybe better in this market to put a price on a home that is a “best guess” of what it will sell for and let the buyer’s brokers fight over whose customer is the most motivated to buy that home.

An issue with that approach is that Sellers must have put priority status on any repairs and cosmetic improvements. The new pending price has a better chance of surviving through the escrow period, when Buyers are trying to whittle down the price due to inspection issues. Sellers are well advised to get a pre-listing inspection and actually deal with the problems that report might identify.

And so, with thin inventory at critical low levels in the lowest price ranges, Santa Fe, the city different, extends its reputation as being unaffordable for most people. Money to put down? Good credit? You also need luck and excellent timing to buy a home in Santa Fe. Residential real estate deals are for the willing and the able.

2018 in review = part two

Enjoying the drama in Washington, along the southern US border, on social media, in cafes and locker rooms everywhere? There are unusual times in America. On the local scene, we have unusually low levels of inventory after years of buyers taking what they can find and very few builders providing new production for sale. Now that we have pretty much scraped the barrel clean, it will be quite interesting to see what happens to prices.

For example, the inventory turnover is, on average, less than 3 months for homes under $500K in price. That means the entire inventory of homes listed for sale under that price will be sold in 90 days or less. But why, you ask, will some homes still be around longer? New listings come along almost as fast as the current ones sell, so there is rapid turnover, but not all homes sell in 90 days. The ones that sell first are in the best condition, are priced to sell (not obviously overpriced) and are suitable for investors or for buyers to get financing.

Between $500K and $1 million, homes take a bit longer to sell, but still go fairly quickly using historical measuring trends. The Absorption Rate chart provided by this blogger (see left margin for access to view or download or print) indicates four and a half months for homes to sell, on average, between $500K and $1 million. That is well below what is generally defined as a balanced market period of time = 6 months.

Even homes above $1 million are selling in less than a year, again provided they are in good condition and are not too weird such that they don’t appeal to the average buyer. Just putting a million plus price tag on a home does not mean it will sell in a year. It might be a crazy floor plan, poorly decorated, near a major highway or just not built very well.

2019 will be a watershed year for our residential real estate market in the City Different. Based on our MLS stats, there shouldn’t be any homes left for sale by the end of the year. Watch carefully to see where the new listings come from. Some may be newly built homes, though not enough; some owners might decide its time to downsize or move on to greener pastures, some families will be going through changes, such as job loss or severe illness or death, or divorce can create a situation where a home becomes for sale.

Stay tuned if you want to follow these numbers. You can sign up to be notified when new posts are published, or just check back about the 10th of each month.

Thanks for visiting and for your support over the years. Contact me if you have a real estate issue that would benefit from consultation.

2018 in review = part one

Actually in the rear view mirror, we’ll now look at 2018 for statistics relevant to Santa Fe residential real estate. I’ll point out a few things available for you to see on the spreadsheets and charts I have posted (see left margin for access to same).

An annual posting known as Fourth Quarter Sales shows the serious effect of the lack of overall inventory with the most pronounced shortage in the “low end” of homes sold below $500K. Yes, I know what you are thinking; that a home selling for $495K should not be considered “low end”. But this is Santa Fe we are reviewing where the average sales price in 2018 (Santa Fe county and city) was $493.715. This is out of an overall sample size of 2429 homes. In that report, the total sales for 4th Qtr 2018 were less than 4th Qtr 2017 and the obvious shortfall came in the under $500K range. All other categories went up. I would venture to say that if there were more homes available for sale, at least another 70 to 90 homes would have sold in that price range. And maybe they did sell; just not reported to the SF Realtors Association MLS database.

The next report I will suggest you look at is called Residential Lot Sales (again, from the list on your left). This annual report shows a still muted activity for lot sales in SF county and city. Why is that? Several reasons come to mind. First, the old saying that is still true… “get lots while you are young”. And another popular saying is “they aren’t making any more land so buy now”. And yet another possible reason is that the real estate crash that has devastated many individual nest eggs over the last ten plus years saw lot sales drop (again see chart) from annual units of in excess of 600 to just 257 units sold in 2018. And yes, there could have been plenty of sales not reported to the SF MLS database. I know Realtors try to report sales to help make the data more useful, but sales between friends, family, associates and sales without a Realtor involvement are not going to show up in these figures.

Did 350 sales just disappear? Yes, quite so. When a lot in Las Campanas sold for $210K and years later sold again for $85K, something tells me that investors are going to stay away from residential lots as solid investments. That is just one example, but those exist all over the place, if you can find the data. Average sales price now is similar to what is was in 2002 and 2003. While it went above $200K in subsequent years, it went back down and has not been above $200K since 2008. The transition from ’08 to ’09 shows a decline of 63% in unit sales and a drop of more than 25% in average sales price. You could say that was the day the music died. Who was left holding land and lots with a fairly high amount of debt? We all know at least a couple people like that. Did they survive financially? No, they almost all had to deed lots back to their lenders or face expensive and drawn out foreclosure action that might also have included bankruptcy. Lot sales are not a fond memory lately.

I will continue this review next week after I get in some alpine skiing and some much appreciated rest. At my age I am a more careful skier and a more fitful sleeper. Naps are glorious.

Apology accepted

Went to the computer this AM to post a bunch of updated reports and spreadsheets about Santa Fe residential real estate sales and inventory. But Uncle WordPress had chosen to request a simple update of the software used in my and many other blogs.

Little did I know this 68 year old would have to learn a new posting system and a bunch of new icons and keystrokes to do what I was trying to do. For example I have yet to find the check spelling button. But hey! It’s the best version out there, they said. Reminds me of that saying some POTUS idiot said “I have the best words” or ” I hire the best people”

We know now that those were the first wave of a series of lies. Let us try to stay honest here and now that I am getting over the unexpected learning session with my blog postings, real estate in Santa Fe is getting scary, don’t you know? There is so little inventory in the lower end the only solution, assuming new homes don’t start showing up in large numbers, is a tighter rental market, more mobile and manufactured homes sales up to an hour from Santa Fe, and an increase in multi-generational households. Oh and the prices of homes in the lowest price ranges, where inventory is so lean, will have to go up because buyers will choose to pay more to get the basic home they feel they must have.

So after not budgeting for that extra 90 minutes of old guy computer learning, a painful sight indeed, I will be posting my narrative and exceptionally witty opinions about the state of our market in the next couple days when I get back to this screen. Meanwhile, read the reports, download and print them if you wish. Please provide appropriate author credit and attribution instead of claiming you designed and built this trove of historical data. Its free to use for your legal and moral purposes.

Happy New Year!!!

Don’t bother me!

… because I am busy trying to figure out where the homes are going to come from that buyers will be looking to buy next year. We have precious little to choose from making our market a lopsided seller’s market. That means buyers are not going to be in a strong bargaining position with sellers. One could say they could take it or leave it. And if they leave it they can figure someone else will come along and buy that home that they were not willing to pay for.

You see, these days a buyer actually has to pay back their mortgage and cannot count on lenders being forgiving and soft on repayment terms. Not that they ever were That soft, but lenders made so many thousands or millions of loans on fake terms that they had to swallow their losses when homeowners defaulted and left the lender holding ownership in a home that was worth less than the mortgage balance. I recommended back then that some home owners default, actually mailing in the keys to their lender, in certain circumstances. Rather than waiting 10 or 15 years for their home to become worth more than their mortgage balance, some owners were better off taking a hit on their credit rating and going through foreclosure or bankruptcy or BOTH and walking away from their home. But that was then and now is now.

While almost every home that existed in 2007 is worth the same or more now than it was then, for the last 10 years, homes were worth less when comparing value versus debt. Just to change the subject, do you think the USA has more real value than its underlying debt? I guess it does, yet it can still feel very uncomfortable to have such high debt, particularly in the hands of a seven year old child/man with no understanding of people, business OR governmental management. This is an untenable situation and I suspect it will come to a loud ending soon. Much blame will be tossed around on how he got elected and whom he takes down on his way out, but really all of us share at least a little bit of blame.

The reports and spreadsheets visible by selecting a link on the left side of this page will show you another untenable situation; the lack of inventory in Santa Fe residential real estate. We are at just over 12 months on average for all inventory in the 1 million plus range to sell using today’s current rate of sales in that range. Would you care to guess the last time we had only about 12 months of inventory listed for sale in the 1 million plus range? Go ahead and guess. How about NEVER. Well, at least not since my close and careful study of statistics related to residential sales in Santa Fe began early in the last decade. So we are in uncharted territory locally. Unless buyers stop showing up here and buying homes, we are going to plumb run out of homes for sale sooner or later. And it looks like it could be sooner.

What do we need? We need banks willing to lend to builders to build spec homes (and both parties taking the risks involved). We need more tract home builders putting up product ranging from $250K to $600K, in all forms of housing whether condos or single family detached. We need help and assistance from all governmental authorities that must approve of new projects and issue building permits, plus allow for water and sewer hookups, maintained roads and electrical lines nearby. We will need all necessary services extended to the new homes in the new subdivisions, even if they are in areas that are scrub and cactus right now. 

Or we don’t have to have new homes and the sprawl that invites. We COULD actually support IN-FILL with many of the new homes and businesses being built on existing vacant parcels within city limits and with fire, police and other services available. Look at what is happening off of Siler and Rufina, near Meow Wolf. Have you been in that area recently? Lots of new stuff and turnover of old warehouses into work/live developments, small label brewpubs, housing that is affordable and in multi story structures. Can Santa Fe grow enough housing without relaxing its severe limitations on building heights? Ask your representative next time you see her or him.

There are about 845 homes for sale as of December 1, this year, in all price ranges, while on approximately the same date in 2007 there were 1845 homes for sale. Is that dramatic enough of a change? In the $500K to 1 million range, the same two dates show current inventory of 275 homes while in 2007 it was about 886 homes for sale. Kind of scary, no?

Enough for now. Get busy and find out what is being built and where and tell your buyer customers so they do not miss out. And have a safe and warm holiday season and a Merry New YEAR!

Stop making sense (when did you…?)

Interest rates are inching upwards, slowly but surely. Rate monitors say long-term residential mortgage rates have gone up about ONE percent over the last 12 months and another ONE percent is forecast for the next 12 months. What does that mean? It means that more and more people will be priced out of buying the home they might want. The home they could have bought last year will not be available to them next year. So waiting was not a good idea after all? Each person is different, so what you did with your money while you waited for the right time to buy a home is your business. Maybe you made a small fortune in the stock market? Congrats to you! Maybe you invested in your own business to further secure its long-term success; necessary before you splurged on that new home?

There are plenty of good reasons for almost any action you take when it comes to real estate. And it is incorrect to posit that all people are subject to the same rules and market conditions equally. But if you are on track to purchase (with a mortgage) a home about a year from now, you might be looking at fewer choices and a smaller or “lesser” home than you thought you would be buying. Should you jump now and get what you can get before that new one percent takes hold? Maybe. Call me to explore what is out there.

Rates are still at historically low levels. If you are quoted 4.75% to 5.25% right now, that is much better than most of the last 40 years. It’s just the last 8-10 years, when rates hit bottom to assist in getting our economy back up and running, that you could get a lower rate. Those days of crazy low rates are gone now. I recall back in 1979 being told the going rate for a home improvement loan was over 18%. Yes, I know, your credit card rate is likely higher and I hope to heck you pay it off monthly! But home improvement loans can run for 10 or 15 years.

Meanwhile, the Santa Fe residential real estate market is healthy going into the winter. Many assume homes don’t sell in the winter, but they do sell. In relative terms, winter will see 120 to 140 home sales a month while summer will see 200 to 240 unit sales. There is no wrong time to list your home. And allow me to be a broken record: inventory is low and dangerously low in the mid and lower price ranges. Even the million plus range has less inventory compared to demand than has been the case in many many years. That makes it a sellers market overall, with occasional geographic exceptions and anomalies.

What else is going on?

IMHO, logic and reason can sometimes modify gravity, hold back the floods, temper the wildfires and heal the sick, but they cannot explain some of the current events in this great country. Allow me to wonder when exactly America used to be great and how we lost our way. And leave it to you to speculate when we should go back to (in years, maybe the mid ’50’s – a time of innocence for baby boomers?).

Do you want to return to any particular year or decade? Was that time long before the Civil Rights laws and the efforts by some to give people of color a chance at living in America without having to live with widespread racism and persecution?  Was there a time of economic prosperity that lifted everyone equally, when almost nobody went hungry or without shelter? Is the time you want to return to when your family and friends had everything and the hell with everyone else? Were you slave owners or something? Is your happiness dependent upon others suffering? Go ahead, take a look at what you say you want. I’ll wait.

Personally I would rather move forward and make progress on many issues rather than go back to another time with different conditions for living in America.

Our country is in the hands of people who do not have my or your best interests at heart. They solely have their own interests in focus and the rest of us can go eat worms. With just a touch of curiosity you can learn of the deep damage being done today to humanitarian efforts and systems that are the only safety net for so many that do not have food and shelter. Our national parks are being ignored and underfunded, selling drilling rights where sacred ground and wilderness should prevail. Health insurance is quickly becoming something for the few, not even the majority, not to mention the need everyone has for some level of health care. Corporations are raping and pillaging our environment in the name of stockholder returns and preventing true progress in alternative fuels and care for the earth we must live on.

The recent mid-term elections seemed to prove, among other things, that now more than ever we must put women in leadership and control. They are going to be in charge sooner or later. I hope it is soon enough to allow them to correct the course we are on, because it needs serious correction. Leaving the fate of our future in the hands of old white males seems suicidal. As a group they seem bent on the destruction of morality and the abandonment of progress, although I am sure there are some fine people on both sides! Both sides of what?

What is your worry when you go to bed at night? What keeps you awake? I observe the downward trends in civility and honesty among those that live and work together, yet might not always agree on things. I worry about drunk drivers and careless texting while driving, putting me at risk of being terminated by an event I cannot control. I am sorry so many fail to take care of themselves as they age and sad for those that were unable (or unwilling) to save money for their old age years. Who will pay for their care?

As people age they need more help in simply living and the oldest need the most help in the current system of societal care for elderly. If we are too old to work and are not employable, what are we contributing to our world? Are we caring for grandchildren and providing love and nurture to those less fortunate; to those in great need? Or are we watching TV all day and grumbling about the dog shit left in our front yard and the lack of money for infrastructure leaving potholes to grow larger? What is bothering you?

Thanks for staying in front of your screen and I hope to have helped trigger some thinking and some reflection on what sometimes is forgotten. Now go buy a house!

RECOUNT!!

I guess anyone might demand a recount if they really want to. But its clear only those on the short end of vote counts ever want a recount. You COULD demand a recount for home sales in Santa Fe year to date or you could just bite your lip and accept my numbers. They are not perfectly accurate, never were intended to be, but they are a consistent measurement of where residential real estate sales are going and where we have been. We are in such an improved market over the wretched one of the last 10 years that it would be easy to relax and assume all is well forever. Not so fast on the casual attitude!

This year’s now completed 10 months of sales is running at 7.8% more unit sales above last years first 10 months. We will likely end the year in similar shape; great improvement and manageable growth. But what are we going to do about the lack of inventory? To have an absorption rate below 3 months in the under $500K price range is crazy because it does not favor the buyer in any way. So the pressure to keep raising prices up from the bottom just makes everything less affordable for the first time home buyers and those with little or no down payment. And if the people that live and work here cannot afford to live here, do we have to build more highways so they can commute from El Rito or Golden?  Or Belen?

We are thankful for the snowfall today and hope El Nino kicks in some much needed snowpack to extend our claim on this high desert. Without water to drink and wash our dinner plates, how can we keep growing and prospering? Some would say we are already growing faster than we should. IF we had more homes under say $350K we would increase our growth rate exponentially. I am personally not sure what is right or wrong about growth. You be the judge. But not having affordable housing in the greater Santa Fe area cannot be right for realistic human needs.

Thanks for voting and I hope you got whom you wanted. Make it a habit to vote anytime there is an election. And maybe get some people elected that will take action on the rapid destruction of our planet and our habitat. New Mexico could be a leader in alternative energy and if we make it a priority, it will serve us well with new jobs and all that follows. While you are at it, take the Roadrunner sometimes, just to save some petrol and some ozone. Or take the bus or ride your bike instead of starting your car. Please.

Happy and warm holiday wishes to all.

Steady as you go

I am pleased to share updated statistics about the Santa Fe residential real estate market in this autumn season of 2018. You will find several spreadsheets and reports available for viewing (and printing) on the left side of each of the blog pages you wish to view.

Please note the consistency of finding out that the Third Quarter 2018 sales matched the same Quarter from 2017. When I crunched the numbers I was amazed that we had exactly as many sales this year (over the last 3 months) as we did last year. But do take a look at the 3rd Quarter report because it clearly illustrates how short of inventory we are in the under $300,000 range. Actually I would say we are short of inventory of homes priced at $500,000 and below, but the lowest range really hits home showing a decline in sales below $300,000 year over year.

A prediction that might not be too bold is that if we had triple the inventory in that lowest price range, the sales of those units would have at least doubled. But it is what it is and for many years people living in Northern New Mexico have often had to settle for a manufactured or mobile home that they can afford. The average sales price over the last year is over $485K while the median sales price is $365K.

While the Third Quarter last year and this year are identical in total sales of units, sales in the middle and upper price ranges made up for the decrease (due to lack of product available) in the lower ranges. I think it is safe to say that total sales for the Quarter just completed would have been over 700 units if there was more to choose from.

Annual precipitation is yet again below the average for this date this year. The last chart I saw showed we had rec’d just under 7 inches so far this year while the historical average is over 1 inches. So when is this drought going to break? Or is this the new normal and we are now getting what we can expect to be the average for the near term future. How fortunate to be far away from the hurricanes and tornadoes that ravage our lands and people. We only have drought and a very rare case of the plague (sounds medieval) and hantavirus. And having spend some time in the Southeastern USA recently, we are fortunate not to have mosquitoes in thick swarms here.

You have to give credit to the typical Santafesino for being so frugal and careful with water use. Almost nobody has a visible blue grass yard (though I have seen some back yards with the water hungry grasses). I would hate to be selling lawn mowers and leaf rakes here.

Get your costume early so you can practice eating the Halloween candy that you will be collecting soon. It’s not my fave holiday so I will probably be sitting in the dark at home not answering the door.

Thanks for visiting my site. Its a bit of a labor of love for me so I always appreciate anyone that gets use out of it. Let me know anytime you want to say thanks. (insert big smiley face here)

It is getting tight!

Lack of inventory has been promised and/or threatened for years around here. This is the year we are finally seeing it in full force and effect. This lack of inventory is a problem no matter how you look at it, unless you are just plain greedy, hoping that homes climb so high in price you can make a killing selling your’s for triple what replacement would cost. But that is not realistic.

The fewer homes that a prospect can view means the more urgent their search and decision becomes. And that plays into the sellers hands for price and value. If you are a buyer and find yourself competing with others for the same home, which is more and more common these days, then your bargaining power is low and your likelihood of getting a “great” deal is much lower. You will get what the market will bear.

And you might have to overlook some shortcomings and a less than average home for what may feel like above average prices. Feel free to use the charts available to you on the left margin as you compare today’s status of sales and inventory with last year and each and every year since the mid oughts. Somewhere around 2006 it was “tight’ but not as much as it is now. While we had more unit sales per month thru the 2004 thru 2006 time frame, the average absorption rate was much higher because the inventory was much higher. Now there is less to look at. If there were more homes for sale, the number of sales per month would be higher.

I cannot predict how many more sales would occur if there were twice as many homes for sale out there. Just that there would be more sales. In 2016 and 2017, the average number of months it would take to sell a home (in all price ranges) was between 6 and 7 months. That seemed balanced and fair to all parties. There were homes to compare and choose from. And sellers were getting close to what they expected to get when they did sell. Now its worse for buyers and even better for sellers.

An imbalance is fine as long as everyone knows about it. There is no law that says a market has to be in balance. But make no mistake now it is a seller’s market. This is strongly the case in the lower price ranges but still true as you go up the scale to the seven-figure homes.

What a time to be a seller, right? Except what are you going to do when your home sells? Are you going to pay more than you just sold for, due to the market conditions? Maybe you are downsizing and can look in a lower range and for a smaller home now. But that is exactly where the market is so tight, where inventory is so scarce.

There is still an issue out there that I plan to research and it would potentially have an influence over the numbers I present to you each month. There are new homes being built and sold (by Pulte Homes) in the segment of land between Governor Miles Rd, Cerrillos Rd, I-25 and Richards Ave that are not in the Santa Fe Association of Realtors numbers. Well, I am guessing many of them are not there. Our MLS database shows only about 20 home sales in that area in the alast few years. My uneducated guess is it would be closer to 100 sales, if not 150.

I have mentioned this in prior posts but this is going to take some detective work to get a more representative count of what is going on in Santa Fe housing. It is not really correct that there were 1639 homes sold below $500,000 over the last 12 calendar months, even though that is what the Absorption Rate report says. Maybe it was 1700 sales. Maybe even more or who knows? As soon as I can get a handle on it, I will share what I learn. If some sales are not included in our MLS database, so what? It’s not really a big problem except it means the MLS data is less reliable that it used to be. And that makes this little blog less informative and useful to buyers, sellers and real estate professionals. Meanwhile, enjoy the coming fall season and lets hope for plenty of snow in the mountains.

Thanks for visiting!

Let’s be honest

The Santa Fe residential real estate market has fully recovered from the economic crisis that made such a mess of things the last 10 years. Someone might say we recovered fully by a date last year while others might claim we still have more progress to make before reclaiming the high ground we held in the middle of the previous decade.

Yes some years we had more total sales than we are seeing right now, but there are reasons why the numbers herein can not tell the entire story. Ten years ago almost all home sales were through our Multiple Listing Service and our local Association of Realtors (SFAR). These days that is not the case as large company home builders are building and selling homes like crazy in Santa Fe and those results are not part of the MLS data.

The best example of this missing data is the Pulte Homes developments in the triangular area between Cerrillos, Richards and I-25. Known as Vistas de Las Soleras and Sierra de Las Soleras, these developments have seen a large measure of success putting out new homes in the most needed price ranges (below $500K). Their offerings are fairly easy to find online under Pulte and if you have not visited the areas with all the new homes, you will be amazed at how many there are and how fast they are going up.

I apologize for not having current data on this phenomenon because it would be quite relevant to my statistical reporting about home sales in Santa Fe New Mexico. A wild guess is that there are at least 200 homes already built and occupied in these two developments. If that was 100 last year and another 100 so far this year, that changes our numbers substantially. Over the last 12 months, we had a MLS total number of home sales under $500K of 1633 units. If you add 100 that would increase the total by a full Six (6) percent. That kind of number is nothing to sneeze at. I may have written this earlier, but I will endeavor to find out what those unit totals are for Pulte.

Meanwhile, without that data, we are still up 7% for this period this year versus same period last year. While July 2018 was a bit off of July 2017, it could well be those missing sales that we do not have an accurate count for. Overall our sales results continues to improve month over month and year over year. The last year we had a drop in total sales was 2009 when we were in the midst of free-fall from the crash of many segments of our economy (including real estate!). Beginning in 2010 we have gone up in unit count each year ranging from near 3% to almost 23%. If this year ends up that we enjoyed a 7% increase, there is nothing wrong with that.

As the average sales price continues to climb (something I review annually) it pushes more inventory into the higher price ranges. Now we are seeing 180 homes a year sell in the $1 million plus range. There are more and more homes that are worth that much so naturally there are more sales, but even better the sales as a factor of quantity of inventory shows a faster turnover and a shorter time on the market for even those high-end homes. It’s the lowest price ranges where inventory is severely lacking and our supply is not nearly keeping up with demand. This is a problem for affordability, first time home buyers and keeping our young people in Santa Fe.

Fortunately we have not locally (keep praying please) been racked by nearby wildfires. Other states are not so luck and are seeing vast areas of devastation (and homes burning) as these fires take control of entire forest ecosystems. And what is so amazing to me is that apparently a high percentage of these fires are caused by human carelessness or even now and again purposely set by some absolute fool. I read today charges have been made against a man in California that possibly started a fire that boomed out of control ON PURPOSE.

We have some recent rains (sometimes too much at once) to be thankful for, but how do we stack up for recorded history of annual precipitation? Still below averages. And our conservation efforts have us below 100 gallons a day per person, one of the most frugal water use areas anywhere. Now if we can just get a decent snow pack this winter.

Don’t even think about not voting in November. There is too much at stake, no matter where your loyalties are. The non-voters have won way too many elections. Then we can all sit around complaining about how unhappy we are with who did get into office. Better to vote so your complaining is justified instead of just that whiny high-pitched noise that annoys everyone.

Thanks for your loyal following. As I get closer to that senior citizen category I find it easier to forget things and harder to climb stairs. But I still want to ski free at Ski Santa Fe when I get old enough. I think its 72 or over now so I have some more waiting ahead of me.