Timing the perfect opportunity to buy a home in New Mexico can be tricky. Seasonal fluctuations in inventory on the market, home prices, and amount of days listed can create a unique set of pros and cons for buyers.
To best understand when you should purchase a home in New Mexico, and especially in a specific regional market, you should start by connecting with an experienced, local real estate agent who can educate you and guide you through the home buying process.
The normal pattern is for more homes to be on the market during the spring season, as buyers look to sell by the end of the school year. More homes on the market tend to bring out more buyers and competition for homes usually drives home prices to their highest point in the year.
This is typically the best time for sellers to get top dollar for their home, but also for buyers to have the most amount of homes available for purchase.
Conversely, in the late fall and winter months, when inventory is low, home prices tend to be lower and fewer buyers are in the market. This creates more of a buyer’s market, but there are fewer options available to buyers.
Seasonal Home Prices in New Mexico
The statewide average home price in New Mexico is $195,000, an increase of 7.9% over the previous year. Statewide median listing prices have been their highest in June and July over the past five years, and time on the market falls an average of about 32 days during this time as well.
On average, the difference in listing prices rises $16,000 from February to July according to Zillow and can swing even more in certain markets. The average home value in Albuquerque is $311,000 compared to $140,000 in Las Cruces, making seasonal fluctuations much more of a factor in certain markets.
While increased prices and less time on the market is great for sellers, it doesn’t translate as the best time of the year to purchase. For example, in Albuquerque when prices are at their lowest there were 40% less transactions than during the late spring/summer high.
Deals are much more likely to be found during the winter months and there is unlikely to be a bidding war for them. However, finding the right home may take more time and often requires working with a local real estate agent willing to hunt them down for you.
Top Cities to Consider When Buying in New Mexico
The housing market in Santa Fe has been on fire, rising over 18% in the past year, and is expected to increase another 9% in 2019. While this may make bargain hunting a bit difficult, it also shows just how attractive the capital is as a place to live and raise a family.
The median listing price in Los Alamos is $335,000 making it one of the more affluent suburbs of Santa Fe, but residents here benefit from amazing schools and beautiful and abundant open spaces. The historic importance of Los Alamos is also interesting and makes sense considering the city still maintains a highly educated workforce.
Known for the spectacular Carlsbad Caverns National Park, this city continually scores high on quality of life indicators. Median home prices in Carlsbad are around $140,000, which fits with a community that has a cost of living almost 15% lower than the rest of New Mexico.
The largest city in New Mexico, with over 500,000 residents, has a neighborhood for everyone. Young professionals enjoy the nightlife and urban setting, families can find affordable options in neighborhoods filled with parks, and economic indicators are strong for everyone. Jobs grew at a rate of 3.3% last year, and this carried over to home prices rising 6.5% over the past year.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal on a Home Anywhere in New Mexico
1. Find a Great Real Estate Agent
With many different factors influencing local real estate markets, it is important to work with a local expert. An experienced real estate agent can keep you apprised of the inventory of homes available, recommend neighborhoods that meet your needs and uncover deals in the local market.
A great agent will also support you through the entire purchasing process and help you when it comes time to actually move into your home. They are there to recommend local movers, renovators, or anything that will make moving into the home of your dreams a smooth process.
2. Assess Your Needs and Layout Your Goals
Your agent can help you come up with a purchasing plan that keeps in mind what type of home, an ideal neighborhood, and in what price range you are looking for. Have your agent check local zoning codes if you want to make modifications, look into school districts if you have children, and check comparable sales so you can come in with a strong offer.
3. Find a Lender and Secure Financing
A good agent will be able to help determine a financing option that works for you, given your goals and current financial situation. The preapproval process is crucial to acting quickly when the perfect home becomes available, but be aware the closing process often takes 30 days or longer. Those working on a shortened timeline will need to keep this in mind.
4. Negotiate the Best Possible Price
Once you’ve chosen your dream property, your agent will help you make and submit an offer, then negotiate, following the home inspection, to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. A good agent will have knowledge of the local market, necessary repairs that will still need to be done, and any other limiting factors that could impact the final price.
If you are looking for a home in New Mexico and need a quality local real estate agent by your side, a Clever Partner Agent can help you. Clever connects you with the top agents in your area and guides you through every step of the home search, negotiation, and closing process.