NM Housing Sales Boom....Beating National Trends

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The housing market in New Mexico appears to be booming as sales are setting records and bucking national trends.

More than 2,600 sales were reported last month to the New Mexico Association of Realtors. That is over 30 percent higher than sales recorded in the past five Novembers, said Connie Hettinga, the group's president.

She tells the Albuquerque Journal that those numbers do not account for other times of the year when the market tends to be even stronger.

The figures show year-to-date sales totaled 29,595. That is 7,000 more sales than reported for all of 2017.

Nationwide, home sales increased in November for the second straight month, but sales plummeted 7 percent from a year ago amid growing affordability pressures.

The median sales price in the U.S. last month was $257,700, up more than 4 percent from last year. Price gains have moderated in the past year, though they're still climbing faster than the 3.1 percent increase in average hourly wages during the past year.

In New Mexico, the median sales price in November was $208,000. The year-to-date median has been $200,000 for six consecutive months, according to association CEO M. Steven Anaya.

Median price indicates that half sold for a higher price and half sold for a lower price.

The National Association of Realtors announced Wednesday that sales of existing homes rose 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.32 million last month. But higher mortgage rates have caused sales over the past 12 months to plunge at the steepest pace since May 2011, when the real estate sector was still in the grips of the housing bust.

The national association has predicted that nationwide, 2018 will show a 3 percent decrease in sales compared to 2017.

The association says New Mexico is an exception to the national trends.

"The state's economy continues to perform well, with an increase in oil and gas markets and employment in many areas," the group said in a statement.

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