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.

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