Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:16 pm | Updated: 1:04 pm, Wed Apr 10, 2013.
By Chris Quintana The New Mexican | This article was syndicated from The New Mexican, for the original article.
The median sales price of homes sold in the city of Santa Fe during the first quarter of 2013 fell nearly 17 percent from the same period last year, according to figures released by the Santa Fe Association of Realtors on Wednesday morning.
But the number of homes sold increased more than 10 percent from 133 to 147.
The average price of single-family homes sold in the city during the first three months of the year was $245,000 compared to $295,000 in 2012.
In the county, average single-family home prices declined about 1.6 percent from $385,000 to $379,000, and the number of sales fell 5 percent.
The quarterly report also shows that inventory is drying up.
The total number of homes available in city and county declined from 2,204 in the first quarter of 2012 to 1,287 in the first quarter of this year — a 41.6 percent drop.
Victoria Murphy, the president of Santa Fe Association of Realtors, said homes on the south side of town starting to sell. “We’re starting to see less inventory there, and that’s good,” she said.
Condo and town home sales declined from 65 units in 2012 to 62 units in 2013, but median prices were up to $212,500 in 2013 compared to $191,600 in 2012.
Housing permits are down as well, according to figures provided by Reed Liming, the director of the city’s Long-range Planning Division. In 2012’s first quarter, the city issued 105 residential building permits, compared to 2013 when it issued 41 permits.
But the 2012 figure included 61 permits for multifamily housing projects. When that number is discounted, the number of permits is more similar — 44 in 2012 and 41 this year.
The county’s building permits have stayed the same with 23 in the first quarter of both 2012 and 2013.
Liming said he expects the city to issue between 180 and 200 building permits and the county around 100 permits by the end of the year — about the same as last year.
But Liming said once the housing market in Santa Fe becomes even tighter, new construction should increase.
“We’re seeing the lag between the existing housing market and new construction,” he said.
On the brighter side, Scott Robinson, the branch manager of Gateway Mortgage Group, said he’s seeing fewer people refinancing existing mortgages and more seeking loans for new home purchases.
He said there has been an increase in the number of Federal Housing Administration loans and in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ home loans. He also said he has seen an increase in first-time homeowners.