ABQExpert talks about the housing market in the greater Albuquerque area, hot listings, and home buying tips in a competitive market!
Alright, let’s talk about Albuquerque’s housing market. It’s hot. On fire. Like super-duper crazy hot. What makes it hot? Beautiful homes? Rising temperatures due to climate change? Well not that, that is a different story for another day. Albuquerque has a blistering market due to low housing inventory (the number of homes for sale in the greater metropolitan area). Every month for the past year, year and half, we have seen that number go lower and lower. A mix of pandemic craze, influx of new residents, and incredibly low interest rates all contribute to the craziness.
So, just how crazy are things? GAAR released their market statistics for last month and in December 2020, there were only a total of 908 new listings (for both attached and detached homes). That same month we saw 1,294 transactions close. That lower new listing number could be attributed to the fact that December is full of holidays and sellers are less inclined to sell, but even with that the closing numbers show us that a typically slow month is moving fast. Not only is housing inventory lower than average, sales prices (and thus property values) are higher. In December, detached homes saw a median price of $265,000 and an average of $313,254.
I logged onto my MLS page this morning (January 20th 9:07am) to gather how many homes are active in Albuquerque and beyond (all homes listed in the greater metro area) and that number is only 995 homes. Under 1,000 houses for sale for a metro area with nearly a million people!
You’ll here time and again real estate professionals, including myself, blabber on and on about hot listings. We call a home hot. Sometimes there’s more description afterwards. Others, we use the word and buyers fill in the blank with their own meaning. A number of factors contribute to what makes a listing “hot.” It could be the neighborhood, the turn key readiness of the home, the price point, neighborhood, and a slew of other factors. For example, I hosted a virtual open house for a house in Rio Rancho over the weekend. This one was big (3,000+ square feet), under $300,000, and had a lot of upgrades. You can take a look at the virtual tour below to see some of those features (including newer granite counters, newer laminate flooring, and a large lot).
This home lasted only a few short days on the market, three to be exact, and had multiple offers before going into pending. Hot listings, much like this home, don’t last long in an already competitive market. We see this on so many homes. If it is newly listed, is at a competitive price, and in a desirable location (bonus for extra features and upgrades), there will likely be many offers and the home will likely only last a couple of days on the market.
This means buyers have to act fast if they want to get into a home they fall in love with.
So, how does a buyer prepare themselves to compete, and win out in this crazy real estate market? It is pretty simple and straightforward with three things. Get pre-approved. Find an agent that you like (and preferably one that knows how to write a good offer). Explore the neighborhoods you like ahead of time. Take a look at my article, How to Buy a House in Albuquerque: 2020 for some more information.
What is this? The pre-approval process is a very slightly longer process that you do with a lender. Most buyers can get pre-qualified almost instantly, but getting pre-approved is a little more time-consuming. A lender will run a soft credit check, check pay stubs/income, debt to income ratio, assets/liabilities, etc. Having a pre-approval letter in hand lets you know how big of a loan you can get (this helps because even $10-20K can change the amount of houses you are seeing) and shows sellers you are serious. When writing an offer, coming in hot with a pre-approval letter shows you are ready to go.
Find an Agent
Already got one? That is great! Most people these days are automatically paired with someone when they search through one of those big sites like Zillow and Realtor. Maybe you found yours through a referral (friend of a friend used them). Maybe you met at an open house. Maybe you saw their face on a billboard when you were driving down the highway. Big thing, make sure you do a little research. Read reviews, look up their sales history, email and ask them questions, take a look at their profiles on Instagram or Facebook. You’re going to be with them a lot, and you want to make sure you get along and like them. Don’t care so much about that? Well, then you want to make sure that they are active in this market. Ask them how many multiple offer situations they have won. How they can help you get into your dream home.
Explore the Neighborhood
Since homes are flying. On one day and gone the next. You don’t have much time to fall in love and do your research. I suggest doing some digging ahead of time. Explore the area. Drive around if you are not familiar. Mask up and walk around to get a feel of things. If crime is a concern for you, there are tons of resources online. The Albuquerque Police Department has this one. Take a look online and see what kind of food and entertainment is nearby. Look up the commute from work (if you aren’t moving from the bed to your kitchen office every day) or drive it yourself a couple of times to see what it is like. It’s important to see, feel, and fall in love with the community you will hopefully be a part of.
Ready to find a home in this hot market? Thinking about taking advantage of selling in this sellers market? Reach out today and let’s write the next chapter of your homeownership story!