Posted at: 04/26/2013 4:51 PM
Updated at: 04/26/2013 5:35 PM
By: KOB.com Staff
A promising sign of life in Albuquerque’s comatose economy as home sales in the first quarter of this year are at a five-year high.
In the first three months of 2013 home sales in and around Albuquerque vaulted to their highest level since 2008 when the recession sank its fangs into the economy. The Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors reports 1,736 closed sales in the first quarter. Sales of single family homes were up 12.65 percent more than last year, and home prices were up 5 percent. And the median price was $168,000.
“Right now it’s a little tentative,’ said GAAR Executive Vice President Janice McCrary. “It’s a little fragile, but it’s all good signs. Sales are going up. Now we’re seeing prices react. That’s the next thing that you see happening after you see inventories going down with interest rates as low as they are.”
“We’re seeing increased consumer confidence,” said Julie Greenwood, of REMAX Alliance. “More buyers are willing to jump into the marketplace. We’re still seeing great interest rates and because the rental market has been up, right now people can purchase a home for less than what they’re paying in rent.”
Construction of new homes remains flat, however, and that’s where the jobs are – good construction jobs that disappeared by the thousands in the recession. Economists say that when new homes make a comeback, we’ll know we’re in a recovery.
Homebuilders and bankers will tell you that it was the “housing bubble” bursting in 2007 that got us into the mess – and it’s housing that will lead us out.