Housing in Mountain States Climbs Back
In RE/MAX's 2012 national housing report, Albuquerque topped all 53 metro areas surveyed, with a 46.6 percent-increase in the number of year-over-year sales.
But veteran homeseller Kurstin Johnson isn’t ready to say hard times are behind the city.
“Last year was excellent, we recorded the highest volume of sales in three years,” says Johnson, who’s parlayed 25 years of local realty experience into ownership of her own boutique firm, Vista Encantada Realtors.
“This year’s been slow been to start — plenty of buyers but no closings,” she says. “Everyone I speak with is experiencing a bit of a slowdown. People are sitting on the fence. There doesn’t seem to be anything to propel buyers to act. We have fewer active listings than we’ve had since 2006.”
Johnson concedes it’s only March, with the year’s hottest buying and selling yet to come. But even when she gets a buyer and seller together, there’s tighter credit and stricter loan requirements, especially in the Mountain States, she says.
“I’m sitting on a million-dollar closing right now, and there aren’t that many in Albuquerque,” Johnson says. “I’m waiting for an underwriter in New York City to approve a loan. He’s questioning why the local appraiser would put more value on a home with a mountain view than one with a golf course view."