Category Archives: Santa Fe Real Estate News

Market moving slowly upward – The Santa Fe New Mexican: Home/Real Estate

By Paul Weideman, The New Mexican | This article was syndicated from The New Mexican, for the original article, Market moving slowly upward – The Santa Fe New Mexican: Home/Real Estate.

The supply of homes for sale in the Santa Fe area was down a significant 8 percent in the 4th quarter compared to a year ago. Barbara Blackwell, 2015 president of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors, said that tightening of inventory has helped to restore “more competitive” prices. “Looking back over the entire year,” she said, “interest rates remained lower than expected, helping to attract buyers. The improved housing affordability coupled with new FHA lending products may entice more new homebuyers to purchase this year.” On the downside — barriers to a greater degree of recovery — are student loan debt, sluggish wage growth and a lack of sufficient mortgage liquidity, according to a year-end report from the association.
Home sales in the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County rose by nearly 3 percent in the 4th quarter of 2014 compared to the sales level in the final quarter of 2013. City/county prices rose by 8 percent.

Annual Home Sales

The sheer volume of home sales in the quarter was up nearly 7 percent to $177.6 million. The median house price rose 11 percent in the city, to $310,500; the county median was also enhanced, but by less than 3 percent, ending at $389,000.

 

Land sales were down 15 percent, but prices were up 25 percent.

In short, the 2014 real-estate market continued the pattern of recovery from the late-2000s financial crisis. The price gains were still positive, but less robust than last year, the SFAR report said.

That was also true statewide. “New Mexico housing trends end 2014 slightly ahead of 2013,” was the title of a recent report from the Realtors Association of New Mexico. The state association had 16,916 reported home sales, a 1.2 percent increase over the reported 16,708 sales for 2013 and an 11.4 percent increase over the 2012 figure of 15,182 sales. The median price statewide in 2014 was $175,000, up slightly from 2013’s $173,000.

“These figures indicate the New Mexico housing market is continuing to improve, though at a slower pace than 2013,” said Baro Shalizi, a longtime Santa Fe Realtor who is serving as president of the Realtors Association of New Mexico this year.

What kind of growth will the Santa Fe market experience in 2015? “Indications are for improvement,” said David Dougherty. “It strikes me that the economy, at least nationally, is in an interesting, maybe once-in-a-lifetime situation with very low interest rates, moderate growth, and not deflation but disinflation with lowering gas prices and people having a little more money in their pockets. We still have a lot of supply in housing but I think it is a bit less, which forebodes well, so all we need is demand.”

The extent of job growth resulted in an increase in homebuying confidence, but have banks loosened up on loans? “I don’t see any change there, but I do see people qualifying,” said the principal of Dougherty Real Estate Co. on West San Francisco Street. “There are more people working, people have more disposable income. The feds have helped a little bit with smaller down payments. You can now buy, in certain circumstances, for 3 percent down, so there is a group of buyers that has been added to the market.

“I’m looking more, at least in our market, at the fact that buyers simply have more money. A lot of retirees have 401(k)s and savings that have been bolstered and they’re feeling a little better and they’re willing to take a little more risk and buy a home or second home.

Hasn’t the second-home market slackened in recent years? “What I’m seeing is maybe ‘transitional’ homebuyers. They’re living in Chicago or New York and they haven’t sold their homes yet but they know they’re going to retire and they know they want to come to Santa Fe and in some instances they’re willing to buy here before they sell. They’re going to be shifting their lives to Santa Fe, rather than buying second homes.”

Early in the recession, Santa Fe’s real-estate market wasn’t doing too badly, but it began to be affected by the fact that potential buyers in the “feeder markets” of California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Florida were unable to sell their homes in order to buy in Santa Fe. “And Santa Fe being the classic contrarian, we now seem to be doing a little better than some other markets, for example Dallas and Houston, which, because of the oil and gas debacle right now, have slowed a lot.”

In another point having perhaps nothing to do with the strength of the market, Dougherty said the vision of homebuyers is changing. “I’m sensing that traditional Santa Fe Style may be a little out of vogue right now. The Eastside is still strong; I still think it’s the strongest part of our market. But when you get to Las Campanas and some other areas, modern, cutting-edge, linear homes seem more to be in favor.”

I asked Julia Gelbart, an associate broker with Santa Fe Properties, if there is still a desire for old-fashioned Santa Fe Style with saltillo tiles and vigas. “There’s always the Santa Fe panache, but I’ve worked with more people who go for the cleanness of contemporary design,” she said. “But whatever a buyer wants, we can find it. There’s enough diversity, in our market, in our prices, in our styles.

“I do open houses almost every Sunday. You meet people from elsewhere who want to talk to someone who lives here and knows the market. I tell them, The next time you come to town, call me and I’ll give you what I call the Santa Fe sampler. Give me your price range and I’ll drive you all over the city and show you the house in that location at that price. For $600,000, for example, you can find houses in so many areas.

“Very few people start out saying they don’t know what they want,” Gelbart said. “They all know what they want. They want to walk to the Plaza. Then the reality sets in. If they want a big gourmet kitchen, a big open floor plan, they’re not going to get that in their price range a block from the Plaza.”

Both home-sales numbers and prices seem to be on the rise. “It depends on which stats you look at, but if the buyers get the houses they’re happy with, they don’t care about the stats. This is a real individual market.

“A lot of the people who contact me are baby boomers and Santa Fe is perfect. We have all four seasons, good medical, and incredible culture considering our population, and so many interesting people.”

In a comment about inventory, Gelbart said many good houses on the market are being overlooked. “Part of it is the time of year and they might not have much curb appeal. But we have to get past that idea. I don’t think many of our houses have good curb appeal — they’re basically brown boxes — but they’re so special when you get inside.”

She thinks 2015 will be a busy year for real-estate brokers in Santa Fe. “I do. Baby boomers are impatient. They want to know what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives, and they’re decision-makers.

“The market has been slow, but it’s been an upward ascent. All of us busy Realtors know that we have people coming in. I already have July booked with buyers who are coming in.”

2013 was a Year of Slow, Steady Progress for Santa Fe

St. Francis Cathedral

St. Francis Cathedral

This article originally appeared in The New Mexican on December 30, 2013 and is syndicated from The New Mexican.

By Bruce Krasnow, The New Mexican, December 30, 2013

Except for the stock market, nothing else bounced in the Santa Fe business community this past year.  But for most entrepreneurs, job seekers and homebuyers, 2013 was a year of slow and steady progress. There were more home sales, new renovation and change downtown, and a healthy tourism industry that filled more hotel rooms and restaurants.  Job and income growth, however, are still lacking in New Mexico as the state economy is still tethered to federal government hiring and spending — and that is not likely to change in the coming year.

Here are the ups and downs of the 2013 business year in Santa Fe:

Residential real estate

With December numbers still to be counted, it is almost certain that 2013 will bring the most residential home sales in Santa Fe County since 2007. The lower end of the market was especially strong, with more than 100 sales per month for homes under $500,000 — a seven-year high. In the higher-end market, sales picked up in October, and the year saw the most $1 million-plus sales since 2008, according to data provided by Alan Ball of Keller Williams Santa Fe.

At the end of the third quarter, the Santa Fe Association of Realtors reported that year-to-date home sales were up 8 percent, while the total dollar volume of sold real estate in the third quarter rose 18 percent to $187 million from $158 million.

“Do you hear that hum,” the association wrote in October. “That’s the delightful sound of normalcy: Buyers are buying, sellers are selling. Sure this varies from region to region, even city to city, but by and large things are returning to normal.”

Though more homes are selling, it isn’t necessarily the case that prices have climbed. In the 12-month period ending in October, for instance, New Mexico was the only state to see a price decline, although it was a slight 0.5 percent, according to CoreLogic, a firm that tracks real estate trends.

“The consensus is growing that prices bottomed in February of last year. The rebound has been strongest in the Western states — primarily California, Nevada and Arizona. That said, of the 100 distinct markets that CoreLogic measures, 99 showed year-over-year gains. Only New Mexico reported a drop,” wrote the website marketrealist.com on Dec. 4.

Construction

Most of the construction activity in 2013 was in the non-residential sector, which is seeing a 40 percent growth in permitting activity from a year ago, according to McGraw Hill Construction. A good chunk of that is probably the result of two large downtown hotel projects — La Fonda’s renovation and the Drury Hotel project on Paseo de Peralta between Alameda Street and Palace Avenue.

Smaller developments on Cerrillos Road brought a new CVS pharmacy and Ashley Furniture store as well as the continued development of Las Soleras, where a McDonald’s and Starbucks took shape across from the Wal-mart Supercenter.

On the horizon for 2014 will be a string of health care-related projects: an outpatient clinic by Presbyterian Healthcare Services on St. Michael’s Drive; a new Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic at Las Soleras and a south-side primary care center by Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.

The main Christus hospital on St. Michael’s Drive also is committed to more renovation as it converts patient rooms to single occupancy and is planning an expansion of its intensive care and cardio care units.

All eyes will also be on the main U.S. Post Office in downtown Santa Fe to see what happens to the 30,000-square-foot space. Postal Service administrators said they were negotiating with a new landlord — one possible location is the old Borders space in Sanbusco Market Center — but were not prepared to release further details, a spokesman said in early December.

If the post office relocated, that would leave a large vacant space in the federal building, just a block from the now-empty state District Court building on Catron Street, which is owned by Santa Fe County.

The downtown retail landscape also saw a big change this fall with the closing of the longtime Packard’s on the Plaza store. The new owners, Scott and Karen Malouf, opened a new retail business in the space during Thanksgiving week.

Tourism and hospitality

The biggest positive note on the jobs front was the resurgence of the leisure and hospitality sector — both in Santa Fe and statewide — as renewed interest in cultural tourism and the Breaking Bad cable series sparked increased interest in New Mexico.

The tangible results have been tourism growth — hiring in the sector has now surpassed prerecession levels — and hotel occupancy levels are ahead of last year.

Statewide, occupancy reached 61 percent through November, up from 59 percent a year ago. In Santa Fe, yearly occupancy stood at 64.8 percent at the end of November, up from 59.8 percent a year ago, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.

Finally, the city of Santa Fe has seen a rebound in the amount of gross receipts tax it collects from economic activity. The tax is the broadest measure of local spending by both residents and tourists, and captures everything from retail purchases to contract work, private tutoring, art purchases and real estate commissions. In the first six month of the 2013-14 fiscal year, GRT collections are up almost $3 million from a year ago, a 6.7 percent boost.

Better still, for the first time the revenue is tracking about where it was for the first six months of the prerecession 2007-08 fiscal year.

“The fact that the increases are spread out over almost the entire range of categories is a good sign for the overall improvement of the local economy from a year ago,” city Finance Director Marcos Tapia said in an email. “We know there was concern about the possible impact of the 16-day federal furlough in October, but if it affected us, it is hard to identify in these numbers.

“While the trend this fiscal year has been surprisingly strong, the February GRT report containing Christmas and Holiday spending will still be of major importance since that is consistently the largest monthly GRT amount of the year.”

 

City Home Prices Down 17%, Sales Up in Santa Fe

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10-A ABs Road Front Entrance, a beautiful home for sale in Chupadero. See my listings for more information.

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:16 pm | Updated: 1:04 pm, Wed Apr 10, 2013.

By Chris Quintana The New Mexican | This article was syndicated from The New Mexican, for the original article.

The median sales price of homes sold in the city of Santa Fe during the first quarter of 2013 fell nearly 17 percent from the same period last year, according to figures released by the Santa Fe Association of Realtors on Wednesday morning.

But the number of homes sold increased more than 10 percent from 133 to 147.

The average price of single-family homes sold in the city during the first three months of the year was $245,000 compared to $295,000 in 2012.

In the county, average single-family home prices declined about 1.6 percent from $385,000 to $379,000, and the number of sales fell 5 percent.

The quarterly report also shows that inventory is drying up.

The total number of homes available in city and county declined from 2,204 in the first quarter of 2012 to 1,287 in the first quarter of this year — a 41.6 percent drop.

Victoria Murphy, the president of Santa Fe Association of Realtors, said homes on the south side of town starting to sell. “We’re starting to see less inventory there, and that’s good,” she said.

Condo and town home sales declined from 65 units in 2012 to 62 units in 2013, but median prices were up to $212,500 in 2013 compared to $191,600 in 2012.

Housing permits are down as well, according to figures provided by Reed Liming, the director of the city’s Long-range Planning Division. In 2012’s first quarter, the city issued 105 residential building permits, compared to 2013 when it issued 41 permits.

But the 2012 figure included 61 permits for multifamily housing projects. When that number is discounted, the number of permits is more similar — 44 in 2012 and 41 this year.

The county’s building permits have stayed the same with 23 in the first quarter of both 2012 and 2013.

Liming said he expects the city to issue between 180 and 200 building permits and the county around 100 permits by the end of the year — about the same as last year.

But Liming said once the housing market in Santa Fe becomes even tighter, new construction should increase.

“We’re seeing the lag between the existing housing market and new construction,” he said.

On the brighter side, Scott Robinson, the branch manager of Gateway Mortgage Group, said he’s seeing fewer people refinancing existing mortgages and more seeking loans for new home purchases.

He said there has been an increase in the number of Federal Housing Administration loans and in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ home loans. He also said he has seen an increase in first-time homeowners.

 

Home prices finally returning to normal by CNN Wire, 03/05/13, Santa Fe expected to be big gainer and rise 8.1% by year end

Santa Fe photo old doorThis article is syndicated from abc15.com. To read the original article, click here.

CNN Wire reports:  “After years of wild swings, the U.S. housing market is slowly returning to normal.

The latest forecast from Fiserv Case-Shiller predicts home prices will increase by an average of 3.3% annually over the five years ending September, 2017.

“2012 was the first year since 1997 that the housing market has resembled something [close to] normal,” said David Stiff, Fiserv’s chief economist. “For the past 15 years, home price changes and sales volumes have either been boosted by a bubble mentality or crushed by crash psychology.”

From 1998 until the housing bubble peaked in 2006, home prices grew by 5% or more a year. But once the bubble burst, home prices plunged, falling 30.5% through the end of September 2012.

It wasn’t until late 2011 that markets started to stabilize, according to Stiff. Between September 2011 and September 2012, average U.S. home prices rose 3.6%. By then, 62% of the 384 metro areas Fiserv tracks reported rising home prices, up from just 12.5% of all markets during the same period a year earlier.

Many of the metro areas hit hardest by the housing bust recorded the biggest price gains during those 12 months. In Phoenix, for example, prices climbed back by nearly 21%; prices in Detroit rose almost 16%; and homes in San Jose, Calif., gained 12.5%.

Values continued to decline on Long Island, N.Y., however, where prices fell 8.1% and where Stiff said the turnaround in median income lagged the rest of the nation by about a year. Brunswick, Ga., also saw declines, down 7.1%, as did Valdosta, Ga, off 6.9%. Both areas saw jumps in foreclosures.

By the end of this year, Fiserv predicts that home prices will be heading higher in almost every metro area it tracks. Medford, Ore., is expected to gain 9.7% in the 12 months through September, the highest of any city. Other big gainers are expected to be Santa Fe, N.M., up 8.1%, Billings, Mont., 5.5% and Syracuse, N.Y., 5%.

Fiserv expects Miami home prices to sustain a 10.7% loss over the same period, the largest drop of any market. Stiff said a steady stream of foreclosures will keep prices soft in the area during that time.

While Stiff said home price gains will be similar to those experienced back in 1997, he noted the similarities stopped there. Currently, millions of homes are either in foreclosure or on the verge of it.

Otherwise, there are many positive trends in today’s market, he said. Prices are extremely affordable and mortgage rates are at or near historic lows. Overall, Fiserv Case-Shiller expects stronger demand for housing, and the sector should, once again, have a positive impact on the economy.”

2012 Santa Fe homes sales on pace to be best in five years

The New Mexican reported on August 11, 2012 that the summer of 2012 so far represents a rebound for residential sales in Santa Fe County.

The 158 residential sales in June were the highest number of closed transactions in 57 months. July’s sales total of 143 showed the trend continuing. Barring unforeseen circumstances, such as another financial crises, total sales in 2012 are on pace to be the best since 2007.

The total number of sales in the first seven months of 2012, 879, represents a 14 percent increase over 2011 and a 40 percent increase from 2009.

The sales have occurred in all price ranges. There have been 42 residential sales of $1 million or higher so far this year, and 366 sales at $300,000 or below according to statistics complied by Alan Ball, local real estate statistician guru.

The New Mexican observed that “Though the boost is helping the overall economy — with more business for agents, appraisers and inspectors, and increased revenue for local governments that collect gross receipts taxes — it does not necessarily mean jubilant sellers, since prices have not significantly increased from the bottom.

In the second quarter of 2012, the median sales price in the city and county combined had declined 6.8 percent from a year ago. And overall in Santa Fe County, the typical home has lost 30 percent of its value from the top of the market in 2007, according to some estimates.

That has led to a smaller inventory of homes as more owners refinance and stay put, waiting for prices to climb — especially as interest rates have remained low. At the end of June, for instance, there were 1,571 homes on the market countywide — a decrease of 19 percent from a year earlier, according to the Santa Fe Association of Realtors.

For those looking to buy, there is a new database to determine the average closing costs on a $200,000 loan in New Mexico. According to Bankrate.com, which surveyed five to 10 lenders in each state, those average costs total $3,617, including $435 for an appraisal, $495 for processing and $1,058 for the origination fee on the loan. In New Mexico, the average cost of a title search and insurance on a $200,000 loan is $1,434, according to Bankrate.

The 50-state average for closing fees is $3,754, with New York highest at $5,435 and Missouri the lowest at $3,006.”

To view the Bankrate.com website.

Original article by:

Bruce Krasnow | The New Mexican
Posted: Saturday, August 11, 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.”

 

 

First Quarter 2012 – Santa Fe Home Sales Are Up While Inventory Is Down

According to the latest figures from the Santa Fe Association of Realtors, the number of sales is up and the number of properties for sale is down.   During the first three months of 2012, there were 249 sales of single-family homes in the City and County of Santa Fe, up 16.4 percent from 214 sales in the City and County of Santa Fe in first three months of 2011.  The inventory of all available properties for sale during the last quarter was 1,413, down 17.1 percent from the first quarter of 2011, which was down 17.2 percent from the first quarter of 2010.

During a presentation Wednesday, April 11, 2012, association officers said the statistics from the first quarter of 2012 show:

• Santa Fe housing prices remain low, compared to their high point in the second quarter of 2008.

• The upswing in the number of sales is due to low prices, low interest rates and buyer concerns that both prices and rates could  soon go up.

• Fewer properties are on the market which may be due to sellers taking advantage of low interest rate to refinance, allowing them to hold off in hopes that sales prices will improve.

“There’s a substantial uptick in the number of people looking for houses and some increase in the number of sales,” said association President Dan H. Wright.

Association President-elect Victoria Murphy, added that a number of people from out of state who had been looking for a home in Santa Fe recently have decided to go ahead with purchasing because they think both prices and interest rates soon will rise.

The median sales price of a single-family dwelling in both the city and county in the first quater of 2012 was $352,000, which is down less than 1 percent from $355,000 in the first quarter of 2011.  In a press release accompanying the first quater data Mr. Wright observed, “The Santa Fe single family housing market continues to stablize when you look at prices with sales up modestly over last year.”

Santa Fe Realtors Association officers say if the inventory of available housing continues to fall, it will push the median prices up.

The recent figures also show a 8.4% decrease in the number of days properties remain on the market, 247 days, compared to 270 days a year earlier.


Report: S.F. housing more affordable

By Tom Sharpe| The New Mexican Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012.  This article is syndicated from The New Mexican, for a complete copy of the original article, click here.

The recent economic recession has made Santa Fe housing more affordable, says a report released Friday by the Santa Fe Association of Realtors.

“For the first time in years,” the report says, Santa Fe’s median household income is enough to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced home.

“The market rates of homes have declined which does, unfortunately, negatively affect current homeowners’ investments,” it says, “yet the result is a larger number of affordably priced homes in Santa Fe.”

The report, 2011 Affordable Housing in Santa Fe, cites how the economic collapse in late 2008 led to the loss of 4,600 jobs, increased unemployment rates, poverty rates and foreclosure rates while decreasing median incomes.

But the recession caused the median price of reported real-estate sales to drop from an all-time high of $425,000 in 2007 to $330,000 for the third quarter of 2011, says the report.

“There are a considerable number of re-sale homes on the open market at low prices that were unimaginable a few short years ago,” it says. In addition to the lower median prices, the report notes that prevailing interest rates also have fallen, although lenders have become stricter in qualifying borrowers, sometimes requiring larger down payments than before.

The report says that even though there is little residential building under way in Santa Fe, nonprofits have been able to pull together funding from federal sources, grants and tax credits to increase the number of affordable-housing units:

110 units at the Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority’s new Villa Alegre compound;

60 rental units for the Housing Trust’s Village Sage;

60 rental units at the old Stage Coach Inn on Cerrillos Road have been approved for the Housing Trust;

Habitat for Humanity has acquired eight townhouse lots and has started construction on four townhouses.

The report was researched and written by Jeri Chenelle, a former government-affairs officer for the Realtors Association of New Mexico, with funding by the state association and the National Association of Realtors.

Victoria Murphy, president-elect of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors and an associate broker at Santa Fe Properties, said the idea for the affordable-housing study began when the city proposed a 1 percent “transfer tax” on the sale of homes priced at $750,000 and up. Voters rejected the tax in 2009.

“Obviously, as Realtors, we were in opposition to that, but we did come to [the city] and say, ‘Look, we understand that there is a need here,’ and in that, we found out that at times the city didn’t know how many affordable homes they actually had,” she said. “So our thing was, ‘Let’s find a way that we can have a database that we can find out exactly what’s out there and what the needs are.’ ”

Murphy said her biggest surprise was finding out how many “stakeholders” are involved in affordable housing — not only the nonprofit housing groups, but also the many construction companies that specialize in affordable housing. An extensive list of stakeholders are included in the report.

Both the City Council and the County Commission recently lowered requirements for including affordable homes in new subdivisions. But Murphy said the report’s findings don’t suggest the need for further easing of affordable housing requirements.

“The whole idea is just saying, ‘OK, this is what we have out there,’ ” she said. “How can we start promoting this so we don’t have this perception that Santa Fe is unaffordable to our workforce?”

Santa Fe Home inventory down as families stay put

By Bruce Krasnow | The New Mexican  This article was syndicated from The New Mexican, click here for a copy of the original article.
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 -

Lower interest rates have boosted home ownership in Santa Fe, but they also have reduced sales inventory as more families refinance and stay put.

“A lot of times if it’s being refinanced, it comes off the market,” said Victoria Murphy, a broker with Santa Fe Properties who serves as president-elect of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors. “Sometimes it goes back on, other times they decide to wait [to sell].”

And refinance activity isn’t yet over, predicts Jeff Payne, a branch manager at Wells Fargo. He said the federal government will roll out a new program in February that should help those who owe banks more than a home is worth get in on fixed-rate home loans as low as 4 percent.

“We keep pinching ourselves to figure out if it’s real,” said Payne, who spoke to Santa Fe Realtors on Wednesday. “It’s real.”

Sharon Yermal, a Wells Fargo mortgage specialist, has seen many people who may want to sell but instead refinance to take advantage of lower rates. They do so with five-year adjustable-rate mortgages with the idea of lowering monthly payments now but with the intent of selling when the market recovers.

“Five years seems to be the timeline they’re looking at,” she said. “They’re not looking for it to happen in the next year or two.”

Sales figures released by the association Wednesday indicate that the inventory of properties for sale is down 30 percent from two years ago, while new listings are down 18 percent over the past 12 months.

At the same time, residential sales rose 10 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.4 percent in all of 2011 compared with 2010.

The median sales price in the city fell to $289,000 in 2011 from $300,000, a decline of 3.3 percent. In the city and county combined, the median price dropped to $349,000 from $354,000.

Median prices in Santa Fe are now at a seven-year low.

“I am absolutely surprised how many homes I’m seeing on the market for under $200,000,” Murphy said.

Business Insider reports Santa Fe ranks 11th on list of the Top 15 Housing Markets for the next 5 years, December 8, 2011

Santa Fe after Winter Storm, photo by Renee Edwards

Business Insider recently reported that the latest data from Fiserv Case Shiller shows that national home prices are expected to grow at an annualized rate of 3.2% between 2011 and Q2 2016.

Business Insider combed through Fiserv’s data and picked the 15 best housing markets for the next five years.  Santa Fe ranked number 11 of out of the top 15 on Business Insider’s List of the best housing markets for the next five years.  Business Insider predicted Santa Fe would have “Annualized growth from 2011 – 2016: +9.1%“.

Business Insider further reported “Santa Fe has a low unemployment rate of 5.4% and a median household income of $70,000. Its home prices are only down 17.7% since they peaked in Q4 2007.
Data provided by Fiserv Case Shiller Indexes”
To read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-real-estate-markets-2016-2011-12# Original article by Mamta Badkar, December 8, 2011.