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Our little slice of paradise, Santa Fe NM and surrounds, is finding a place in everyone’s heart. Some might say the ideal is for every third person in America (OK, the whole world) to discover and visit our village and spend lots of money and buy some art and then go home and tell their friends to do the same. This would put money into our community like you wouldn’t believe, causing widespread job creation, new gift shops and stop lights, retail and office space leasing and impulsive home buying.

Now, some would not like that as it would continue the change that Santa Fe has been going through since the first wagon train came overland through Kansas. Some would like Santa Fe to stop growing today, or even to return to earlier days when more streets were dirt and homes were affordable and made of the same dirt.

But we cannot stop others from entering our city and spending money on burritos and blankets or homes or wine by the glass. Nor can we go back to those bygone days when we had 6 gas stations within 4 blocks of the Plaza.

We are here and we are now. And now, in residential real estate in Santa Fe city and county, the most recent monthly sales of homes was the highest measured since November 2007. Oh yes, that is correct. That is about 4 and a half years, I guess.

And remember back then? That was before the phrase ‘too big to fail’ entered the lexicon, before ‘bail out’ became a battle cry, before anyone knew who would be on the ballot for the 2008 Presidential election. We HAVE BEEN THROUGH SOME THINGS since then.

In that time period, home sales in our little corner of paradise fell from about 2300 a year to about 1400 a year (a 39% decrease). Length of time to sell an average home grew from approximately 8 months to almost 14 months (with several moments above 20 months along the way). But NOW, we have some hope and change we can substantiate.

April 2012 home sales for Santa Fe, NM city/county = 143 units. March 2012 was 124. April 2011 was 114 units. So we recently booked the best month out of the last 53 months! Go ahead, take a bow. Take a victory lap. Take the day off. But then get back to work because we still have lots of work to do. An average of 14 months to absorb all current inventory is nothing to brag about.

Yes, it is nice to have some positive and uplifting numbers to stand on. It gives one the feeling they can see farther, sing louder, breathe deeper, eat more ice cream and accomplish more. The demons have been vanquished. The blues are on the run. Nice feeling, huh?

Two thoughts: First, for sellers… Please consider finally succeeding in your plans to sell by staying the course. Don’t get giddy with the recent uptick in real estate activity and please don’t think its time to raise your asking price. You will get relegated to the back of the line if you do.

And for buyers…  Please pay attention to those advertising and marketing phrases that say something like “now is the time to buy” because it just might really be the time to buy right now. No, it probably was not 3 years ago or even last year, but if you have waited, then this is definitely your year. Because if you wait beyond this year to buy, you will later wonder why you waited when those prices start climbing and rates go up and the good values are gone and the only homes left to look at are leftovers after this year’s rush.

Predictions of a rush on housing this year would be more foolish that I dare speak. It won’t be anything like that, but there will be more activity and sales and closings than we have seen in 5 years. You wanted to time the market? Now is your time. ( Call me ! )

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