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Seeking the bottom of the real estate market

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By Harold Morgon

Seeking the bottom of the real estate market in New Mexico isn’t quite the fantasy of our quest for an interim committee meeting in Santa Rosa last summer. Unlike at the Blue Hole Dive Training and Santa Rosa Conference Center, signs exist in the real estate world. The signs have numbers—monthly, quarterly and annual sales figures. Some hope may exist.
For existing home sales, a rough rule of thumb used to exist. Something like, more population means more jobs, which means more home sales.
At best the rule is hampered by today’s reality of foreclosures, financing difficulties and  homes worth less than the amount of the mortgage, even if the owners are making the monthly mortgage payments.
That said, let’s look around.
While the state’s population growth is mostly new babies, it is growing a bit. A few—very few—new jobs are appearing outside of Albuquerque.
A review of eight larger counties shows just one—Doña Ana—with sales down for all four quarters of 2011 on a year-over-year basis from 2010. The figures are from the Realtors Association of New Mexico.


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