In studying the numbers for the recently completed 2014 year in Santa Fe residential real estate, some market trends become evident.
The Fourth Quarter sales report, when comparing 2013 and 2014, shows an almost identical result except for a shift out of the $300K to $500K category into the $500K to $1 million category. Units were down about 25% in the lower of the two ranges while the upper grew about the same percentage. This has something to do with inventory available along with the quality, or lack thereof, of that same inventory. It also has to do with a long-term trend for more housing in the middle and upper price ranges here and a true lack of available housing in the bottom ranges.
On an annual basis, the Monthly Sales report is the most indicative of the gradually improving market in residential housing in Santa Fe. Unit sales climbed a big 22 + % in 2012, but only 7% in 2013 and below 4% in 2014. While anyone in their right mind would love to have a 4 or 7 % increase in any given year (just ask some city folks in the Northeastern part of the US), we may be a bit spoiled here. But we will take what we can get and we got a 3.8% increase in unit sales from 2013 to 2014. Similarly the average sales price rose but only slightly, from $423K to $430K, about 1.7%.
Look back at annual sales figures (units) on the same Monthly Sales report and you can easily see how far behind we are by comparison to 2004 = 2557 count; 2005 = 2798 count; and 2006 = 2474 count. Our just closed 2014 included a total of 1824 sales. That is a full 33% below that peak year of 2005.
Serious students and observers of my reports will see a discrepancy in the annual total unit sales between the Monthly Sales report and the Absorption Rate – All Price Ranges report for each year shown. There are about seven reasons for those differences, some of which are in my power to resolve, given a few spare hours now and again. I don’t know which one is correct (the actual number may be between the two; so looking at 2005, one total is 2798 while the other report says 2864. Some 66 sales either happened or did not happen depending… This information is strictly out of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors database known as MLS. Every city market area has something just like it with the same or a similar name. It is the holy grail of information (in the details), but it is not all-inclusive. Some home builders, mostly the tract home builders of regional or national affiliation, may not report each and every sale they complete. They don’t have to if they are not members of our Realtors Association.
In fact there are many licensed salespeople in New Mexico that are not Realtors. The state will license you if you take the courses and pass the test, and pay some fees and submit to a fingerprint review, but membership in Realtor groups is optional and there are substantial additional costs. All licensed individuals are subject to state law regarding listing and selling real estate, along with property management activities. If you want to know more about why a Realtor might be right for you, just ask one. I know of one named Alan Ball and his phone is 505-470-7153. He maintains reasonable office hours and works most days every week.
Another interesting stat is the number of months it would take to absorb all of the inventory of homes in the $1 million plus price range. Compare the year-end # of months from 2009 to 2014 (the last 6 years) and how it has come down each and every year: 47, 44, 33, 30, 28, 24. This and other information can be found in the report Absorption Rates – $1 Million and above.
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Have I mentioned lately that you may also search homes for sale from a simple click on one or both red boxes at the top right side of this site? One is a complete search function for our market, while the other is a groovy mobile app that allows you to learn about a home for sale while parked outside looking at the sign and the front door. I use it every day and you are welcome to also.