February 2012 – is it Spring yet?

Greetings real estate patrons! On the right side of the home page (look under Stats & Charts) are statistical charts and spreadsheets showing how Santa Fe NM residential real estate is showing signs of renewal, just in time for springtime hopes and optimism about new growth. Please understand that a careful review does not show a sizeable increase in sales, but a reduction in inventory. The calculation known as Absorption Rate, which I focus on in these reports, shows a shorter number of months for all inventory to be absorbed based on a current rate of sales. So with lower inventory, the same rate of sales will take care of that inventory in less time. We could all wish for a higher rate of sales, but improvement is improvement and the number of sales per month will undoubtedly increase as we get further along into this new year. January has never been a hot sales month.

To balance the good news with some fact-based reporting, there is no easy answer why inventory has dropped so much. There are plenty of theories, and all together, they might explain it. Many sellers gave up trying to sell in the last few years and have stayed put, choosing to do minor remodels and wait out the real estate bust until their home is growing in value again. Others moved on for their own reasons, but ended up retaining the home they wanted to sell and leasing it to tenants. Some lease arrangements might be working well and those owners might continue with lease plans, while others might decide the market is healthy enough that now might be the time to try to sell again. We always see increases in inventory in the first 6 months of the year and we will again in 2012. What is unknown is how much suppressed inventory might come back on the market and will buyers pick up the pace with buying decisions anytime soon? With sales still somewhat consistently flat, any rush to judgment about the end of the real estate crisis in Santa Fe is at risk of exposure to the actual numbers as they come in. Nevertheless, the news is as good as it has been in many a month/year and I will be excited to keep touch with the end of winter/start of spring market trends as they develop. Come back in a month and check in with me on what February tells us.

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