By Alisa Boswell
CMI staff writer
Home buyers are paying a lot more for an average home in Curry County today than they were paying two years ago.
According to a Realtors Association of New Mexico report for February, the average median price for a home sold in Curry County rose from $132,450 in February 2012 to $165,000 last month, a jump of almost 25 percent, most of which took place in the last year.
The numbers of units sold increased from 56 for the first two months of 2012 to 66 for the first two months of 2014, according to the report.
Carolyn Spence, qualifying broker with Weichert Realtors in Clovis, said the higher end home markets were at a standstill through 2013 and it is just this year that her company is seeing a difference in the market.
She said growth is not being seen in rental markets because so much assisted living housing is available in Clovis, but the market for homes of $250,000 and more has increased by 20 percent for her company.
“Our own property management department has grown in the last year because there are so many people moving out of town who still want to invest in property here,” Spence said.
RANM reported that the 2014 year-to-date total reported sales for the state were 2,085, a 1.5 percent increase over the 2013 January and February total of 2,055.
“Nationally, and in many New Mexico counties, inventories of homes for sale are also increasing,” said Sandylee Pasquale, 2014 RANM president. “While inventory is still low by historical standards, the trend signals growing seller optimism and a strong start to the spring home-buying season. We will be watching the jobs numbers closely to see if the losses affect home sales.”
Roosevelt County sales have slowed; however, with a 52.9 percent drop from its 17 units sold in February 2012.
However, Wes Graham, broker/owner of RE/MAX First Place Realtors in Clovis and Portales, said that the Portales market is not in as dire a condition as numbers would imply.
Graham said that although the Portales market has seen a decrease, it is by no means looking bad.
He said Portales has so few units for sale that if the number of units being sold declines only by a few, it adds up to a much larger-looking percentage.
“The good part with Portales is the median price of a home in Portales has not changed a lot,” Graham said. “It is still a bargain compared to Clovis.”
The reason for the slight decline in the Portales market has a lot to do with county dairies and Sunland Peanuts Inc. closing down, according to Graham.
“While real estate numbers reflect the activity of the entire state, we all have to remember that real estate is local, so what goes on in the local community affects the market and that’s what we’re seeing in Portales for the time,” he said.
“A lot of the community were affected by Sunland, not just their employees. When you have that kind of effect on the economy, it affects all the industry (types).”
New Mexico’s median prices are also on the rise, according to RANM CEO Steven Anaya, who said the reported February median was $171,750, up more than 1 percent from the January 2014 median and up 4 percent from February 2013.
Anaya said most counties that reported February 2014 sales reported higher median prices than those in February 2013.
“The volume of dollars created from property sales and thus the economic impact of New Mexico’s housing market is also on the rise — up nearly 26 percent over February 2013,” Anaya said. “February 2014 sales resulted in a reported total volume of $271,783,496.”