This time of the calendar year we see the start of heavy numbers of newly listed property show up. A typical day now sees 30 plus new listings and maybe 8 sold properties. At that rate the inventory climbs rapidly and the balanced market we enjoyed during the winter shifts to become a buyers market again.
The exception to that rule is in the lower price ranges. There we see absorption rates less than five months and a real shortage of quality inventory for buyers to choose from. If you are a buyer and looking under $400K, you might need to fight for your right to purchase. But do it carefully please. I would never recommend buying without getting a home inspection and the other due diligence a buyer should do is way too important to skip. There will always be that one time you see a buyer concerned about the large vacant tract across the fence and then does not investigate; later a strip mall is being built and the new homeowner is worried sick. Ask questions until you run out of things to ask about. Get answers.
The mid-range market is interesting as it’s the only segment that saw an increase in inventory and a decrease in sales units over the last 12 months. Not big sweeping changes, mind you, but a slide in what some could call the wrong direction. And speaking, as we often do here, of quality inventory and homes for sale, that mid-range has everything from a 3000 square foot one bedroom shack on a mountain to a home, guest home, casita and studio compound with privacy and top end finishes. Looking in that range is a huge challenge just to sort out the Bushmills Black Bush from the Jameson 18.
And, drum roll please; for the first time in almost ever, we have hit the mark of 120 homes sold in a 12 month period that are above $1,000,000. in sold price. Yes we know some had an asking price of $1,069,00 but if it sold below the million mark, it is not counted here. 120 – say it loud and say it proud.
When you think of Santa Fe, do you think it is a hotbed of economic growth and opportunity? Or does it feel more like a sleepy and historic village with sights and sounds befitting a retiree comfortable in jeans and ready to nap whenever the urge strikes? We lag on many fronts and in terms of job creation, we cannot even get on the list. Tourism rules, and that is not bad except the jobs are in that range of hotly discussed minimum wages. You can earn more living in Santa Fe but can you own a home? Can you have any time to enjoy the surroundings and the culture if you are working a couple of jobs and feeding a couple of people?
I have been a have and I also have been a have not. Note; I did not say has been. I said have been. Insert emoticon here. Of course I prefer to be a have instead of a have not. Who wouldn’t? What are the opportunities for someone to move up to a higher income bracket and build a net worth that will provide for their children and their grandbabies? How about real estate? Did you know you can actually buy an investment property here and have a positive cash flow? The paper value of a property does not have to equal the amount it might sell for in a few months. So real estate is not liquid. It does not fit the need for those who say Cash is King. Cash has almost always been King, but leverage is also a meaningful option at times. Debt has been the ticket to fortune for many. I cannot recommend debt in simple terms – it is too debilitating and keeps you awake at night. But sometimes its the best way to get from A to B.
Stay tuned for regular updates about the residential real estate market in the Santa Fe area. We have room to grow if we have the water. We have room for improvement if we have the product for sale. And contact me if I can help you with your real estate needs in any way. Thank you.