• Gary Sandler
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    Published 1 September 2019

    An expanding economy typically drives additional home sales, but not in Las Cruces, according to an Aug. 26 report from the Las Cruces Association of Realtors. The number of new and existing homes, townhomes and condominiums sold through the first eight months of the year (1,410) was virtually identical to the number of closed sales reported during the same period last year (1,407). The types of homes buyers are purchasing has changed slightly, however.

    While sales of existing, free-standing single-family homes are down year-over-year, new-home sales are on the upswing as homebuilders add additional inventory to compensate for the shortage of existing homes our market has been experiencing over the past couple of years. At the same time, townhome sales have increased significantly. For lack of a better term, condo sales are in the tank. Condos notwithstanding, values of properties in the remaining categories have seen respectable amounts of appreciation.

    New homes: Prior to the recession and mortgage meltdown of just over a decade ago, new-home sales traditionally accounted for roughly 17 percent of the total number of Las Cruces-area home sales. Over the past 10 years, however, the percentage of new-home sales consistently hovered between 10 and 13 percent of all sales. Today, new-home sales are responsible for 16.3 percent of our year-to-date closings.

    The $232,042 average sale price of the 230 newly constructed residences sold this year represents a 2.2 percent increase over the $227,018 average sales price posted during the first eight months of last year. The median price, where half sold for more and half sold for less, increased by $2,050, or 1.1 percent.

    Existing homes: The 1,085 existing, free-standing single-family homes sold to date this year fell 23 units, or 2.1 percent, below the 1,108 used homes sold one year ago. At the same time, this year’s average sales price of $209,143 outpaced last year’s $205,784, or 1.6 percent. This year’s median price of $181,000 is a 3 percent increase over last year’s median price of $175,750.

    Townhomes: This property type accounted for 63 sales this year, representing 4.5 percent of all sales. Three of the sales were of the newly constructed variety, whose $172,967 average sales price rose by 5.4 percent over last year’s average price of $164,075. The median price rose by $5,250, or 3 percent.

    The 60 previously owned townhomes sold through August exceed by 8 units, or 15.4 percent, the 52 townhomes sold last year. This year’s average price of $140,742 is an 11.7 percent increase over the $126,013 average price posted last year. At the same time, the median price increased by $8,200, or 6.6 percent.

    Condominiums: No new condominiums have been built over the past two years. The 32 individual units sold this year represent a 6-unit, or 18.8 percent, decrease from the 38 units sold one year ago. The average and median prices of $111,105 and $111,500, respectively, indicate that values have increased by less than 1 percent over the past year.

    Depending on the type of property and its price point, roughly 60 to 75 days elapse between the day the for-sale sign is placed in the ground and the day the buyers and sellers sign on the dotted line. On average, sellers are consistently receiving 96 to 98 percent of their asking prices.

    Analysts who follow and project real estate market trends are optimistic that historically low mortgage interest rates will drive additional sales going forward.

    See you at closing!

    Gary Sandler is a full-time Realtor and owner 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