First-quarter New Mexico housing numbers are out — one stat is a milestone

Damon Scott, Managing Editor of Albuquerque Business First:

The data for the first three months of the year in New Mexico's residential industry are out. Officials are very optimistic about the numbers — and they noted one statistic that is a milestone not seen since 2008.

The Realtors Association of New Mexico reports 3,949 properties sold across the state during the first quarter. The number represents a 7 percent increase compared to first quarter 2015, when total sales were 3,686.

In a statement, RANM president Pat Fell noted that median prices are also on the rise. The median for the first quarter was $175,000, compared to $169,300 during the same period last year.

“A rise in the number of sales and a rise in median price means the total volume for January through March 2016 is also higher than 2015,” said RANM CEO M. Steven Anaya in a statement.

And that’s where the milestone statistic comes in. The first-quarter economic volume across the state for residential activity was $867 million. It is the first time the number has crossed $800 million since 2008 — when RANM started tracking the stat and right before the housing crisis began to emerge.

Meanwhile, for the month of March there were 1,620 home sales, an increase of 36 percent over February. March sales numbers are also 4.6 percent higher than a year ago. The March median price of $180,000 is about 3 percent higher than March 2015.

RANM is one of the state’s largest trade associations, with more than 5,800 members.