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Prices and sales rise in Santa Fe

19 Oct 2012 3:26 PM
Prices and sales rise in Santa Fe

With breathtaking natural views and a deep cultural scene, Santa Fe has long been considered a desirable place to live. The reverberating effects of the housing collapse of the late 2000s have given some people pause over the past few years, but recent data suggest that this may be changing. Restored homebuyer confidence and growing demand have helped spur sales of condos and luxury homes in Santa Fe in the last few months.

According to a recent report from the Santa Fe Association of Realtors, second quarter house sales within the city jumped 27 percent from the same period last year. Although Santa Fe has traditionally had a strong housing market, the recent numbers still surprised some local real estate professionals.

"They're wonderful," Victoria Murphy, president-elect for the Realtors Association, told the Albuquerque Journal. "It just shows what happens when [lending regulations loosen] up a bit."

The growing demand has also helped raise property values in the city, and the median sale price is now well above $300,000, the source reports. After several years of falling home prices, this increase past the $300,000 mark has been welcome news around the city.

The fact that lending requirements have eased recently has also helped more people - especially first-time buyers - enter the market, according to The Washington Post. Along with California, New Mexico has seen home equity lending rebound faster than anywhere in the country. Such gains "are a really healthy sign," according to Amy Crews Cutts, chief economist for Equifax.

Another positive metric for the Santa Fe housing market is the diminishing supply of sales price-lowering distressed properties. According to the Albuquerque Journal, as fewer foreclosed properties remain on the market, median prices have started rising. This, in fact, has been occurring for several months, as the median price for all home sales in New Mexico climbed 2.2 percent in August.

Even this figure, though, doesn't tell the whole story. When distressed properties are excluded, the median price increase nearly doubles to 4.3 percent, according to the source. New Mexico was one of only six states with such a large disparity between data including distressed property and data without them.