By Abigail Davidson, Associate Broker, CRS, ABR, SRES, CLHMS, Sotheby’s International Realty
Santa Fe’s 2012 residential real estate sales finished the year up a good 15.67 percent over 2011 in unit sales, which is a significant improvement over last January’s year-to-year (which was essentially flat). While the number of sales was up, average sales price was down 4.7 percent from 2011. Breaking out County activity, unit sales were up even more (22 percent) however; prices pushed down a bit more by 6.36 percent.
Number of Units Sold, Average DOM, and Average Sales Price for Residential Listings Sold (All Areas) for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012
Notably, about three-quarters of residential homes and condos in Santa Fe in 2012 sold at or below $500,000. That is a telling number in terms of where the action is in our market. While there were some good luxury sales this year, overall those unit sales were down from 2011.
The average sales price in December 2012 was up over November, however, the average sales price for the year was down from $402,535 in 2011 to $383,523 in 2012. Average number of days on market now hovers around 209, which is a slight increase over last year and manifests a consistently slow but steady run-up since 2005.
Significantly, inventory remains tight. Inventory for all of Santa Fe County was down approximately 20 percent for the time period December 2011 to December 2012. We shall see what Spring brings but scarce inventory is a concern as brokers with buyers who now see the opportunities in our local market can have trouble finding clients the right property in a timely fashion. Conversely, it gives current homes on the market an edge in terms of minimized competition.
With inventory low, one would expect upwards pressure on sales price and that has not materialized in our market. This is a complex matrix in terms of market forces at play, but it seems for the time being we do not have the demand to push pricing as is evidenced in other parts of the country and regaled in the national news. Even with artificially low interest rates being held down by federal policies to stimulate the economy, and affordability at its highest in 20 years, Santa Fe still has some work to do to encourage more home buyers to move forward and to have enough good properties available for them to buy.
Statistics and numbers are obtained from the Santa Fe Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. They are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed and are subject to change. They may not reflect all real estate activity in the market area.