• Gary Sandler
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    Published 19 April 2018

    According to statistics pulled from the archives of the Las Cruces Association of Realtors on April 16, both the number of sales and average prices posted during the first quarter of 2018 (Jan. 1 through March 31) are up significantly over prior years.

    Local Realtors sold 438 new and existing homes, townhomes and condominiums during the three-month period ending March 31, outpacing 2017’s first quarter production of 361 units — that’s a 21.3 percent increase. The number also represents a 110-unit, or 33.5 percent, increase over the 328 units closed during the first three-months of 2016.

    Average prices are also on the rise. The $195,823 average price of the home sold in 2018 is 9.7 percent above the average price reported one year ago, and 14 percent above the average price achieved during the first three months of 2016.

    Realtors interviewed for this report pointed to a shortage of inventory and increase in the number of buyers in the marketplace as the driving forces behind the sharp increases in production and prices. Homebuilders are doing their best to fill the gap by increasing production of newly constructed residential properties.

    New-home sales accounted for 54, or 12.8 percent, of the first quarter closings, marking a 20 percent increase over the 45 new-home closings booked during the same period in 2017. This year’s average new-home price of $230,818 rose by 19.2 percent over 2017’s average price of $193,588.

    Pending sales, which are the best indicators of future closings, are also up significantly. A sale is considered pending after the purchase agreement has been signed and before the transaction closes. The 342 sales pending as of April 16 represents a 26.2 percent increase over the 271 pending sales reported in April of 2017.

    If there’s a message in the numbers, it is that sales activity is strong and remains poised to increase as we transition into our summer selling season. The message is music to the ears of sellers but a bit off key for buyers, 27 percent of whom paid the asking price, or higher, for the homes they purchased this year.

    See you at closing.

    Gary Sandler is a full-time Realtor and president of Gary Sandler Inc., Realtors in Las Cruces. He can be reached at 575-642-2292 or Gary@GarySandler.com 

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      Gary Sandler