Falling inventory is a concern as the spring selling season gets underway, said Kurt Hill, association president. The number of homes of all types listed for sale in the city and Santa Fe County at the end of March dropped to 953, down from 1,254 at the end of December and 1,391 in March 2017, the group’s quarterly reports show. That number has steadily declined from nearly 4,000 in mid-2008.
“My biggest concern is inventory. We have built very little since 2008,” Hill said Wednesday. “We can’t help but see prices go up without building.”
Housing affordability continued to decline, the association said. In the first quarter, the median household income in the Santa Fe area was 85 percent of what is necessary to qualify a buyer for a median-priced home under current interest rates. The affordability index was 90 percent one year ago, according to the association.
Hill said demand for affordable housing is increasing as employers such as Meow Wolf and Presbyterian Healthcare Services, among others, bring new workers to the city. On the other hand, the conversation around affordable housing in Santa Fe is becoming more urgent and involves more sectors of the community, he said.
“We’re going to get to a critical situation soon unless we have some bust in the dam,” he said. “What that is, I don’t know.”
The $360,000 median price of a single-family home sold in Santa Fe during the first three months of this year was 11.6 percent higher than the first quarter of 2017, according to the data released Wednesday. The median was 10.8 percent above the fourth quarter 2017 median, $325,000, the data showed.
In Santa Fe County, the first-quarter median sales price rose 7.9 percent to $441,685 over the first quarter of 2017. However, it fell 13.2 percent from the fourth-quarter median, $508,750.
In the city, 225 single-family homes were sold in the first quarter, 19 more than sold in the same period last year. In the county, 158 homes were sold, seven more than first quarter 2017, according to the Realtors association.
Homes of all types in the city and county spent less time on the market, an average 90 days, than the same period in 2017, an average 140 days. That number has declined steadily from a high of 220 days in first quarter 2012, according to the association report.