Published 12 January 2020
According to a Jan. 6 report from the Las Cruces Association of Realtors, 2019 was the second-best production year on record for Las Cruces-area home sales.
Local Realtors sold a total of 2,154 new and existing homes, townhomes and condominiums during 2019, surpassing the 2,136 homes sold in 2005, which was previously the second-best production year in our area’s history. The all-time best production year was 2006 when 2,303 homes changed hands.
Free-standing, single-family homes were responsible for 2,001 of the total number of closed sales, with townhome and condominium sales accounting for the remaining 99 and 54 signings, respectively. Here’s how the individual categories performed.
New Single-Family Homes: Local builders sold 317 newly constructed residences in 2019 at an average sales price of $241,146 and a median sales price of $217,460. The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less and is a better indication of value, because it is less affected by extremely high- or low-priced outliers that skew the values. One year ago, the average and median prices were $226,134 and $212,000, respectively. Using the median price as a guide, new-home values increased by $5,460, or 2.6 percent, year-over-year. The typical new home contained 1,848 square feet of heated and cooled living space and carried a median price per square foot of $125.27. It took builders an average of 77 days to move their products.
Existing Single-Family Homes: It took Las Cruces-area Realtors an average of 66 days to move the 1,684 previously occupied homes that were sold last year. The properties sold for 98 percent of their asking prices with a median sales price of $182,900. One year ago, the median sales price was $175,125. Year-over-year, the median sales price increased by $7,775, or 4.4 percent. The homes contained an average of 1,946 square feet and sold for $109.10 per square foot.
New Townhomes: Of the 99 townhomes sold in 2019, just three were brand new and carried a median sales price of $169,900. The homes contained an average of 1,235 square feet at a median price-per-square-foot of $137.57. One year earlier, two new townhomes were sold at a median price of $164,075. The difference of $5,825 represents a year-over-year appreciation rate of 3.6 percent.
Existing Townhomes: The 96 buyers who purchased used townhomes last year paid a median price of $132,000, or $105.48 per square foot, for their 1,254 square foot homes. Sellers waited an average of 38 days for their buyers to materialize and close their transactions. The median price for the 85 existing townhomes sold in 2018 was $125,000, representing a year-over-year increase in value of $7,000, or 5.6 percent.
Condominiums: No new condos were sold in 2018 or 2019, but 52 and 54 resale units, respectively, were sold during the two-year period. The 52 condos sold in 2018 ranged in size from 553 square feet to 2,268 square feet and sold at a median sales price of $117,500. The 54 condos sold in 2019 sold for a median price of $112,000. The $5,500 difference represents a depreciation rate of 4.7 percent.
What might 2020 have in store for buyers, sellers and Realtors? According to the National Association of Realtors Forecast for Key Housing Indicators (https://www.realtor.com/research/2020-national-housing-forecast/):
“Home price growth will flatten, with a forecasted increase of 0.8 percent. Inventory will remain constrained, especially at the entry-level price segment, and mortgage rates are likely to bump up to 3.88 percent by the end of the year”.
NAR went on to say, “Tight inventory and rising mortgage rates will lead to dropping sales, and buyers will continue to move to affordability, benefiting mid-sized markets”.
Closer to home, Paul Wilson, president of the New Mexico Association of Realtors, is more optimistic.
According to Wilson, “A strong economy and stable mortgage interest rates throughout the year will continue to spur home sales,” adding that increased building costs will make new homes more expensive.
Cynthia Franzoy, president of the Las Cruces Association of Realtors, also projects that 2020 will be a good year for local real estate.
“I wish we had more inventory. Sales will be similar to 2019 and home value should continue to increase”, Franzoy said.
So, what’s the bottom line? Is it a good time to be a seller or a good time to be a buyer? The answer is both.
See you at closing.
Gary Sandler is a full-time Realtor and the president of Gary Sandler Inc., Realtors in Las Cruces. He loves to answer questions and can be reached at 575-642-2292 or Gary@GarySandler.com.