• Gary Sandler
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    Published 6 May 2019

    Around this time last year, I noted in this column that roughly 23 percent of the single-family, free-standing homes that changed hands sold for the asking price, or more. At the time, buyers who paid more than the asking price shelled out an average of around $2,800 above list to beat out competing buyers. A shortage of inventory was the culprit.

    According to an April 26 report from the Las Cruces Association of Realtors, that culprit continues to lurk in our marketplace and is creating even more competition this year. According to the data, 30 percent of the single-family homes sold during the month March sold for the asking price, or more, with buyers paying an average of $3,387 over list in order to prevail over the other buyers who were vying to purchase the same properties. Of the 154 single-family sales booked in March, 46 closed at or over the asking price.

    Two lucky buyers managed to prevail by paying just $500 over asking, while another paid an additional $11,100 to freeze out his or her competition. Competition was not limited to a particular price range. Two of the at-or-over asking price sales were in the under $100,000 category, while 25 closings were in the $100,000 to $200,000 group.

    Another 14 sales took place in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range, with three sales closing between $300,000 to $400,000. The remaining two at-or-over sales were between $500,000 and $600,000.

    The over-asking-price phenomenon also affected the Las Cruces townhome and condo markets. Of the 10 townhome sales booked in March three, or 30 percent, brought their asking prices, or more. Overages ranged from $100 to $8,415; with $4,258 being the average. Two, or 40 percent, of the five condos sold during the same period sold for full price but none sold for more than asking. It is interesting to note, however, that all five buyers paid cash for their condos.

    Speaking of paying cash, our friends at ATTOM Data Solutions recently reported that “all-cash purchases accounted for 27.8 percent of single-family home and condo sales in 2018.” ATTOM Data is a leading provider of property data, providing access to nationwide real estate and property data for more than 155 million U.S. properties, according to its website.

    And finally, a bit of news that some may find surprising. According to the folks at Move.org, New Mexico ranks fourth in the nation among states in which homeowners have no mortgages on their homes. The report shows that 47.36 percent of New Mexico homeowners own their homes free and clear; just behind Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia.

    See you at closing.

    Gary Sandler is a full-time Realtor and 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.

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      Gary Sandler