October One of the Best Months in Years

Metro Home Sales Continue Surge 

Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009, 11:37 PM MST 

Reporter: Maria Medina

Web Producer: Bill Diven

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Home sales in metro Albuquerque rose 36 percent last month compared to October the year before, according to a monthly report released by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.

With more than 500 home sold it was one of the best months in the past couple years, the report showed.

Realtor Gary Martinez attributed the higher home sales to the homebuyer tax credit of up to $8,000 that Congress passed for first-time home buyers.

"The market is pretty good right now," Martinez said. "As soon as it came out we started seeing the sales go up."

Martinez said he's selling more homes for $200,000 and below than before, and they're selling quicker.

He said you can get more bang for your buck on the West Side, so neighborhoods like Taylor Ranch, Western Hills and Ventana Ranch are where people are buying right now.

Martinez said he's also selling many homes in southwest neighborhoods but more because of a negative reason.

"Well, it's unfortunate," he said. "You're seeing a lot more foreclosed properties and short-sale properties."

While sales are way up, prices are still down. The average sales price for October was $210, 000, down 4 percent from a year ago.

The neighborhoods seeing the fewest home sales, according to the report, are the Northeast Heights, far North Valley and Nob Hill where more expensive homes are typically found.

Rio Rancho is doing even better than Albuquerque. The report said home sales were up 74 percent in October compared to the same month last year in the city.

The first-time homebuyer tax credit, originally scheduled to end this month, is now extended until April 2010.

Martinez said that's helped continue the increase in home sales, a trend could continue if Congress keeps passing incentives for home buyers.

He said without the rebate the real estate market would be hurting.

"We would be pretty slow," Martinez said. "Real slow."

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