Monthly Archives: July 2012

Santa Fe area home sales up, while median prices decline

By Chris Quintana | The New Mexican
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2012, this article was syndicated from The New Mexican, click here for the original article

The median sales price for homes in the Santa Fe area — including both the city and the county — dropped 6.8 percent between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012, the Santa Fe Association of Realtors reported Thursday.

The median sales price in the combined city and county data for the second quarter of 2011 was $359,000 compared to $334,450 for the first quarter of 2012.

Dan Wright, 2012 president of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors, attributed that change to the gradual drop in the market since the peak in 2007, when the median price hit about $420,000.

“We’re at the tail end of the decline in the market,” he said. “Personally, I don’t think it will continue to go down at this point.”

The total number of homes sold in the second quarter rose by 5.6 percent, from 318 units in 2011 to 336 units in 2012.

But the total value of those home sales sank from $151.9 million in 2011’s second quarter to $144.9 million in 2012’s second quarter, which Wright said creates a more advantageous market for buyers.

Second-quarter sales of condos and townhomes also rose, to 74 units from 60 units. The median price rose from $237,188 to $245,000. Wright said low interest rates may have helped boost the market.

“The Santa Fe housing market is picking up with sales modestly over last year,” he said. “The historically low interest rates are helping to get buyers motivated.”

The inventory of available homes sank by 15 percent in comparison to the second quarter of last year. Coleen Dearing, vice president of the association, said that can be attributed to people pulling their homes off the market or people who have decided to take advantage of low refinancing rates. Dearing also said the increase in home sales has affected the inventory rate.

Also notable, the number of young homeowners, in the 23 to 25 age range, has risen for the first time in five years, according to Gilbert Garcia, a mortgage professional with Century Bank. He said organizations that can help lower the down payment, such as the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority or the Santa Fe Housing Trust, coupled with low mortgage rates, have helped young people get into the housing market.

Garcia added that banks are indeed lending, though the process requires more documentation of financial information than in years past.

“It’s not harder,” he said. “It’s just more.”

Garcia also said banks in the area have seen the foreclosure rate slow down while the refinancing of mortgages and new purchases of homes have been on the rise.

“The number of foreclosures is not leveling off, but it’s slowed down a bit,” he said. “But it’s going to get tougher before it gets easier.”

 

 

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

Jewelry by Ousmane Macina from Mali

Jewelry by Ousmane Macina from Mali

The largest international folk art festival in the world, in 2012 150 artists from 54 countries participated and over 20,000 people attended the Market.

The Market showcases master craftsmanship passed down through families, generations, and cultures: colorful beaded jewelry from Kenya; gorgeous silk scarves from Kyrgyzstan; exquisite ceramics from France.

Many of the artists come from developing countries, where the average income is less than $3 a day and where political, social, and environmental hardships can make everyday life-not to mention the creation of art-challenging.  In the past nine years, artists at the Market have earned more than $14 million dollars.  In 2011, 90 percent of the Market’s $2.3 million in sales went directly to the artists, or an average of $17,300 per booth.

Indonesian beaded basket

Indonesian beaded basket

The proceeds earned at previous Markets have helped to build schools, wells, and health clinics in a number of Third World countries. They have, for example, brought food, clothing, and medical care to Sudanese refugee camps, AIDS support to South Africa, and financial independence for Afghan women.

That’s a powerful bottom line: One weekend in Santa Fe provides artists the financial ability to radically improve their lives and their communities. Actor Ali MacGraw-a longtime Santa Fe resident and supporter of the arts-calls it “monumental money.”

One young Afghan weaver who sells intricately hand embroidered scarves and shawls is now able to afford to send her sisters to school. A 38-year old grandmother from a remote village in Madagascar was able to provide basic electricity and water to her village. A Rwandan basket weaver supplied women with a home garden and mosquito nets; and Maasai beaders from Kenya were able to buy chickens to feed villagers during a terrible drought. A Niger silversmith made enough money at last year’s market to buy three months’ worth of food for over 500 people in nearby villages. The money a Haitian artist earned from her dream-inspired sequin flags helped support her extended family that was left homeless after the devastating earthquake of 2010.

Rebecca Lolosoli, Kenyan artist, photo by David Evans

Rebecca Lolosoli, Kenyan artist, photo by David Evans

More than 97 percent of participating Market artists come from developing countries, where per capita annual incomes range from $250 to $1,500. “Many of these artists grapple daily with political, social, and environmental challenges in their home countries,” points out Judith Espinar, Creative Director and Co-Founder of the Market. “Yes, the Market makes a real difference in their lives, and at the same time they touch our lives in so many important ways.”

It is this sharing, the cultural interchange, that makes the Market such a unique event. The benefits of the Market flow both to the artists and to visitors, who not only discover wonderful (and often very affordable) artwork at the Market but also remarkable stories. Browsing at the Market often leads to encounters with the artists and a clearer understanding of world conditions.

In addition, visitors can enjoy exotic food as well as live, free world music on several stages, ranging from Latin rock to Japanese Shigin chanting. The Market represents, in other words, a readily affordable weekend of global experiences and connections, an overseas trip without the overseas plane fare.

The Market is held at Milner Plaza, next to the world-famous Museum of International Folk Art. Please see the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market website for the 2014 Market’s ticket prices and details.  It will be held from July 11-13, 2014.

This article is a compliation of past press releases from the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.