The Albuquerque Real Estate Market: What to Know for 2020

The housing market in Albuquerque, New Mexico continues to boom, according to KOB 4 TV. A local real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Legacy reports that homes in the pricing sweet spot between $200,000 and $300,000 are selling very quickly.

Albuquerque is the most populated city in New Mexico and the state’s economic and business hub. Founded back in 1706 as a trading post, Albuquerque continues to be known for its many well-known trade routes including Route 66 and the Santa Fe Railway. The healthcare industry of New Mexico is centered in Albuquerque, and the metro area has also become a high-tech manufacturing hub.

While extreme weather and natural disasters can create havoc for businesses and residents in other parts of the country, Albuquerque is known as a low-risk location with a highly-skilled workforce, low cost of living, and aggressive business incentives that help keep the economy growing.

Here’s why nearly one million residents are finding Albuquerque the ideal place to live, work, and thrive.

 

Population Growth

Since 1950, metropolitan Albuquerque has grown at a faster rate than the entire state of New Mexico. Historically, the area has seen a steady population increase of between 1% - 2% per year, helping to make Albuquerque one of the most culturally diverse regions in the nation.

Key Population Stats:

  • Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico with a population of over 560,000 in the city and nearly 911,000 people in the metropolitan area.
  • Metro area of Albuquerque consists of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia counties.
  • Over the last 10 years, the population of Albuquerque has grown by nearly 2.3%.
  • Unemployment in Albuquerque is 4.7% while job growth last year was 0.9%.
  • Median age in the Metro Albuquerque area is 38 years, with over 72% of the residents between the ages of 18 and 64.

 

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Job Market

Job growth in Albuquerque recently reached a ten year high, according to the City of Albuquerque (ABQ). The professional and business services employment sectors saw the biggest gains, followed by state government, construction, and educational and health services.

Key Employment Stats:

  • GDP of the Albuquerque MSA is nearly $43 billion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and has grown by nearly 18% over the last ten years.
  • Job growth in Albuquerque was 0.9% last year with projected annual job growth of 0.5%.
  • Median household income in Metro Albuquerque is $51,100 while per capita income is over $29,000.
  • Forbes ranks Albuquerque 126th in the nation as the best place for business and careers.
  • Key industries in the Albuquerque metropolitan region are aerospace and aviation, solar technology and renewable energy, microsystems and nanotechnology, semiconductors and electronics, and IT software and cybersecurity.
  • Major employers in Albuquerque include Kirtland Air Force Base, University of New Mexico, Sandia National Labs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NM, Safelite Autoglass, and General Mills.
  • Albuquerque is also home to high-tech companies such as Intel, Facebook, and Netflix.
  • Major colleges and universities in Metro Albuquerque include the University of New Mexico, Central New Mexico Community College, Southwest University of Visual Arts, and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute.
  • Over 88% of the residents in Albuquerque are high school graduates or higher, while nearly 33% hold a Bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate degree.
  • Albuquerque is a regional hub for national and international distribution, offering reliable air, ground, and railroad service.
  • Albuquerque International Sunport is served by eight major airlines and four regional airlines offering nonstop service to over 20 major cities including Chicago, New York, Dallas, and Atlanta.

 

Real Estate Market

Back in May, the Albuquerque Journal reported that “the underlying drivers of Albuquerque’s housing market remain strong” with more people looking to buy than sell. Fast forward to today, and that’s still the case.

According to the most recent June 2020 Market Statistics report released by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors (GAAR):

  • Median single-family home prices rose 3.4%
  • Single-family inventory decreased by 55.2%
  • Single-family home sales increased by 1.2% while the number of homes going under contract skyrocketed by 34.3%

Key Market Stats:

  • Median listing price of a house in Albuquerque is $235,000, according to the most recent data from Zillow.
  • Square foot listing price of a home in Albuquerque is $136 vs. $135 per square foot in the Albuquerque Metro area.
  • Homes values in Albuquerque have increased by 7.0% last year and by nearly 25% since December 2012, based on the Zillow Home Value Index.
  • Average days on market is 72, according to Zillow.
  • Median selling price of a home in Albuquerque is $236,000, according to the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors (GAAR), through Q2 2020.
  • 1.5% of the homes in Albuquerque have a delinquent mortgage vs. 1.1% nationally.
  • Huning Castle, Rio Grande Boulevard, and Downtown Albuquerque are three neighborhoods in Albuquerque with the highest median Zillow Home Value Index.
  • Neighborhoods in Albuquerque with the lowest Zillow Home Value Index include Wells Park, Monkbridge Gardens, and Santa Barbara.

 

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Attractive Renters’ Market

Albuquerque, New Mexico is listed by WalletHub as the 31st best market for renters, with a rental market & affordability rank of 9 and a quality of life ranking of 123. 

As news station KOAT in Albuquerque recently reported, “If you are wanting to buy a home in Metropolitan Albuquerque, be prepared to act quickly.” In fact, one local real estate agent noted that multiple offers for more than the asking price are the rule rather than the exception, which helps to explain the demand for good rental real estate in the Albuquerque metropolitan area.

Key Market Stats:

  • Median rent in Albuquerque is $1,325 per month vs. $1,300 in the Albuquerque Metro area. 
  • Rents in Albuquerque increased by 6% last year, according to RENTCafé.
  • 41% of the households in Albuquerque rent rather than own.
  • 50% of the rental units in Albuquerque have monthly rents of between $701 and $1,000.
  • Neighborhoods in Albuquerque with the highest rents include University Heights – North Campus, Victory Hills, and Yale Village where rents average $1,482 per month.
  • Cheapest neighborhoods for renters in Albuquerque include Crestview Bluff, Pat Hurley, and Riverview Heights where rents average $668 per month.
  • Most popular neighborhoods in Albuquerque for renters are Del Norte, S.R. Marmon, Academy Ridge East, and Andreson Hills.

 

Historic Price Changes & Housing Affordability

There are a number of ways that real estate investors can analyze different markets across the U.S. to determine the potential demand for rental property. Among these various tools are monitoring the historical change in local housing prices and the affordability of housing in each market.

Freddie Mac publishes a monthly house price index (FMHPI) that measures the change in home prices for real estate markets in the U.S. The report assigns December 2000 with a benchmark of 100 and then compares the monthly change in housing prices in each state and metro area  to 100.

The most recent FMHPI from Freddie Mac for the Albuquerque housing market shows:

  • House Price Index for the Albuquerque metro area is 175.46 through May 2020
  • One year ago, the HPI for Albuquerque was 163.56
  • Year-over-year home prices in the Albuquerque metro area have increased by 7.3%

Another metric that real estate investors can use to help decide how good a market is for rental property is housing affordability.

The annual report published by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance measures home prices in the top 100 metropolitan areas, then assigns each real estate market an affordability scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most affordable places to own and 10 the most expensive markets to own a house in.

The affordability index report from Kiplinger for Albuquerque shows:

  • Since the last real estate cycle market peak in May 2006, home prices in Albuquerque have increased by 11.7%.
  • Since the last real estate cycle market bottom in March 2012, home prices in Albuquerque have increased by 32.0%.
  • Albuquerque has an affordability index of 7 out of 10, meaning that Albuquerque is one of the least affordable markets to buy a home.

 

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Quality of Life

Albuquerque is one of the best places to build wealth thanks to the metro area’s low cost of living and quality of life, according to Albuquerque Economic Development. In fact, the Albuquerque metropolitan area ranks below the national index for key cost of living measurements including groceries, utilities, transportation, and health care.

Key Quality of Life Stats:

  • Cost of living in Albuquerque is 4% below the national average, according to Forbes.
  • Albuquerque is a more affordable place to live than other major western and southwestern markets such as Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.
  • Niche.com gives Albuquerque an A+ grade for quality of life, with high rankings for young professionals, best public schools, and diversity.
  • Albuquerque is rated as one of the best places to live in the country by U.S. News & World Report, with strong ratings for value, job market, and overall desirability.
  • Albuquerque is ranked as the 13th best commute city in the nation, with an average commute time of just 26 minutes.
  • With 310 days of sunshine a year, Albuquerque residents enjoy a temperate semi-arid climate.
  • Metro Albuquerque is home to a wide range of housing styles and price ranges, from urban lofts in Downtown Albuquerque to the booming suburban areas of Rio Rancho and Los Lunas.
  • The Albuquerque – Santa Fe region offers world-class opera, small theatre performances, tribal historical museums, and nearly 300 art galleries in the greater metropolitan area.
  • Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta attracts more than 800,000 visitors from around the world each year and is one of the most photographed events in the world.
  • The University of New Mexico is a nationally recognized Class I medical research institution, while the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute is recognized around the world for its biomedical research.

 

Get Out the Map

Where to begin your search? Roofstock created a heat map of Albuquerque based on our Neighborhood Rating, a dynamic algorithm that enables you to make informed investment decisions by measuring school district quality, home values, employment rates, income levels, and other vital investment criteria.

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DARK GREEN: 4-5 star neighborhood
LIGHT GREEN: 3.5-4 star neighborhood
YELLOW: 2.5-3 star neighborhood
ORANGE: 2 star neighborhood
RED: 1 star neighborhood

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Jeff Rohde

Author

Jeff Rohde

Jeff has over 25 years of experience in all segments of the real estate industry including investing, brokerage, residential, commercial, and property management. While his real estate business runs on autopilot, he writes articles to help other investors grow and manage their real estate portfolios.

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