Spotlight: New Mexico
THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT IS CELEBRATING ITS CENTENNIAL THIS YEAR, BUT NEW MExICO
DOESN’T HAvE MUCH ELSE TO CELEBRATE.
The state is ranked 49th on the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States Index, which measures the
pace of state growth based on tax collections, personal income, unemployment, home prices and
foreclosures, as well as the performance of locally based companies. new Mexico’s growth declined
by more than 30 percent between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of ’ 11, according
to the index.
although per-capita income in new Mexico increased 3 percent from 2009 to ’ 10, it still ranks 43rd
among the states, and at $33,368, it is well below the national average of $39,945, according to the
University of new Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic research.
Home prices in the state also have declined steadily. The median home price in new Mexico this past
third quarter was $172,000, a 4.2 percent decline from $179,506 in third-quarter ’ 10, according to the
realtors association of new Mexico. although home prices continue to decline, existing-home sales in
the state are starting to show some improvement, increasing 16. 4 percent from third-quarter ’ 10 to this
past third quarter, the national association of realtors (nar) reports.
Albuquerque Home Sales
GREATER ALBUqUERqUE HOME SALES
Home sales in new Mexico’s largest city are showing improvement.
This past September, there were
809 pending sales in the greater
albuquerque area, a 23.1 percent
increase from the 657 pending sales
in September ’ 10, according to the
Greater albuquerque association
of realtors. Closed sales also increased from 479 in September ’ 10
to 517 this past September.
Source: Greater albuquerque association of realtors
Sales may have picked up because
of declining home prices, however.
The median sales price for single-family homes in the city was $173,400 this past third quarter, a
NEW MExICO FORECLOSURE FILINGS
Foreclosure filings have been
steadily increasing in new Mexico
since the housing crisis in 2007. The
state ranked 20th in filings this past
third quarter, with one foreclosure
filing for every 303 housing units,
according to realty Trac.
Default notices in the state increased from 528 in third-quarter
’07 to 2,310 this past third quarter.
auction activity also has increased
in the past four years but showed a
year-over-year decline from 1,016 in
third-quarter ’ 10 to 850 this past third quarter.
Source: realty Trac
Despite a struggling economy, unemployment in new Mexico has been steadily declining since
peaking at 8. 7 percent in February 2011. This past September, the unemployment rate was
6. 6 percent, a 2 percentage-point decline from 8. 6 percent in September ’ 10. The three main drivers
of employment in new Mexico are the oil and gas industry, tourism, and the federal government, and
they have shown recent gains. In the first quarter of 2011, mining employment increased by 8 percent,
leisure and hospitality employment increased by 3. 4 percent, and health-care employment increased
by 2.6 percent.
3 Areas to Watch
SmartMoney.com named Santa Fe an “
underrated retirement haven” this past October. The
capital city’s low unemployment, relative af-fordability and booming arts scene earned it
high marks. Its thriving tourist economy is also
a boon to retirees looking for part-time work.
LOS ALAmOS COuNTy
Home to the Los alamos national Laboratory,
the county boasts the highest private-sector
average weekly wages in the state. The county
also has the state’s highest median home price,
which was $304,500 this past September,
according to the realtors association of
With a population of about 10,000 people, Silver
City is a small town with a lot to offer. Home to
Western new Mexico University and next to
3. 3 million acres of national forest, the town is
gaining a reputation for a low-key — and low-cost — lifestyle. The median home price was
$150,950 this past third quarter, a 3.1 percent
decline from third-quarter ’ 10.
WHAT THE LOCALS SAy
“The real estate market is starting to improve,
particularly in Santa Fe. We get a lot of interest
from Texas and California for second homes and
primary residences. right now, it’s rock-bottom
prices, but they are stable. Santa Fe is really the
jewel of new Mexico, but albuquerque is starting
to come back. Like any big city, albuquerque has to
see more economic growth because it doesn’t get
the resort or second-home business like Santa Fe.”
— JIm GAy, BROKER/OWNER, HOmE BuyERS mORTGAGE
sources: Bloomberg Businessweek, Bureau of Business and Economic
research at the University of new Mexico, Greater albuquerque association
of realtors, MSn real Estate, national association of realtors, new Mexico
Department of Workforce Solutions, realtors association of new Mexico,
realty Trac, SmartMoney.com, U. S. Census Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor