Home costs fall barely in April, »Albuquerque Journal

A house for sale in the Vista del Norte subdivision. Photographed on Sunday January 12th, 2020 (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

House prices in Albuquerque fell slightly in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the President of the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors is optimistic the slowdown will be short-lived.

“I think if things open up we will still see a strong market,” said Sherry Fowler, the association’s president.

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The association’s market statistics report for the month of April, published on Monday, found that the median sales price for single-family homes across the metropolitan area was $ 235,000, an increase of more than 8% from April 2019.

However, the average price fell from $ 238,000 in March, while house prices typically start rising before the busier summer months.

Fowler said the spread of the virus in New Mexico has slowed the fast-moving real estate market in recent years. She said the virus made potential sellers more reluctant than normal to bring their homes to market, which resulted in the number of homes on the market dropping in April.

According to the report, there were only 1,146 newly listed single-family homes in April, a 29.5% decrease from April 2019. The portfolio of existing properties fell by 36% compared to last April.

Fowler said the low supply didn’t trigger a price spike as potential buyers were similarly restless. She said fear of losing work due to virus outages has led potential buyers to act more conservatively than usual. As a result, the number of sales that closed in April was down more than 16% year over year.

“I think there might be a little fear out there,” said Fowler.

Still, Fowler said the underlying drivers of the Albuquerque property market remain strong. Despite the uncertainty, Fowler said more people are looking to buy than sell right now, in part due to below-average mortgage interest rates. She pointed out that homes stayed on the market for an average of just 32 days in April, a decrease of nearly 24% year over year. In many other markets, house prices remained largely stable or rose slightly during a difficult April.

Because of this, Fowler said she was still optimistic that the summer would be busy. She added that real estate agents are working to protect themselves and their clients, relying on virtual demonstrations where possible, and wearing masks and disinfecting surfaces when showing a home in person.

“We’re just taking every precaution,” said Fowler.

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