Note: Our data exclude some areas of the Taos MLS (Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, Red River, Raton, Chama, Mora, San Miguel County, “Other”) which we do not consider relevant to the main Taos market.
Through the first five months of 2016, the total market (all categories of property) compared to the same period last year is down 4% in terms of the number of transactions; it is down 10% in terms of dollar volume.
Single-family homes are by far the largest market segment, accounting for 53% of total unit transactions, and 72% of total dollar sales, year-to-date. Home sales are lagging last year’s pace, although condo and land sales are up compared to last year.
As we stated in our last report, January-April is a relatively slow season in the Taos real estate market and probably not indicative of the trend for the full year; however, with May’s negative variance, and with sales so far in June looking like they will be well below last June’s sales, the market direction is unclear.
Despite the slow start, we may still have a strong summer-fall, and the year may end with gains over last year. Interest rates are still extremely attractive, and although house prices have started to move up slightly, they are still down from peak levels. It’s a great time to buy, so this slump in the market is puzzling.
It may be that the country’s preoccupation with the presidential election, along with continued weakness in the economy, are causing buyers to postpose purchasing real estate here in Taos. Additionally, the limited housing inventory is crimping sales.
TOTAL MARKET (all categories of property) – 2016 vs. 2015
Month of May
# of Closed Sales DECREASED from 34 to 28 (-18%)
Dollar Sales DECREASED from $11.59 million to $6.42 million (-45%)
Year to May 31 (5 months)
# of Closed Sales DECREASED FROM 138 at 132 (-4%)
Dollar Sales DECREASED from $35.11 million to $31.62 million (-10%)
May unit sales were down 33% compared to May last year: 14 vs. 21. Dollar sales were down 48%, from $8.53 million to $4.43 million.
Year-to-date unit sales are DOWN 22% at 70 vs. 90. Dollar sales are down 12%, from $25.97 million to $22.85 million.
Average Prices – The median price year-to-date is $306,000 compared to $267,500 last year, an increase of $38,500 (+14%). The average (mean) is also up, from $288,600 to $326,500, an increase of $37,900 (+13%). Although total closed sales are down so far this year, the percentage of sales in the mid- and high price segments is up; this has boosted the median and average prices. The highest sale price so far this year is still $1,075,000; there have been four sales in the $650,000 – $800,000 range; five in the $500,000 – $650,000; and eleven in the $400,000 – $500,000 range.
Price Discounting – Through the first five months of this year, actual selling price has averaged 3.8% less than the last asking price when the property went under contract. However, many properties started at higher asking prices, and have had one or more price reductions before selling. The average discount from original asking price is 10.9% so far this year. For the full year 2015, the discount from original asking price was 13.9%; for 2014, it was 16.9%; for 2013, it was 18.4%.
Price Level – Prices of single-family homes fell 30% – 40% from the market peak in 2007 to a bottom in late 2012 – early 2013. There was no discernible increase until last year, when prices started to move up a little, but only for good-quality homes in the most preferred areas. We are probably another year away from an across-the-board increase in the price level.
Days On Market – The average days on the market for all the homes that have sold through five months this year is 240 vs. 235 for the same period last year. The average for the full year 2015 was 234 days; in 2014, it was 235 days. Even during the boom years 2004-2006, the average time to sell a house in Taos was about the same as today. The time it takes to sell here is longer than in many U.S. markets. Few people move to Taos for a job, and people already in Taos rarely sell and then buy a different home here.
Inventory and Sales by Price category:
|Last||Sept.||# of||% of||# of||% of||# of||% of|
|Up to $200,000||70||71||190||47||25%||92||36%||19||27%|
|$200,001 – $300,000||66||68||109||46||25%||56||22%||15||21%|
|$300,001 – $400,000||59||51||69||35||19%||52||21%||15||21%|
|$400,001 – $500,000||43||39||39||17||9%||24||9%||11||16%|
|$500,001 – $650,000||37||40||35||20||11%||15||6%||5||7%|
|$650,001 – $800,000||19||18||27||7||4%||9||4%||4||6%|
|$800,001 – $1,000,000||20||18||36||8||4%||4||2%||0||0 %|
The number of pending sales stayed the same at 23.
Inventory – The inventory at the time of this report was up 4% from last month (331 vs. 319), but the number of homes available for sale is still critically low. Peak inventory last year was 388 homes for sale; in 2014, it was 423. In the years 2004 – 2006, there were often over 500 homes for sale at any given time. The inventory is composed of a very wide variety of homes, in very different locations, styles and condition, and across a broad price spectrum. With the current low inventory, it is often difficult to find more than a few homes to show a buyer that meet his or her criteria. Since most buyers have no urgency to buy, they will leave without buying if they don’t see a house that they really like. Consequently, the lack of more inventory is limiting sales.
Cash Sales vs. Loans – Here is how the 70 homes that have sold so far this year have been financed:
|FHA loan||1||( 1%)|
|VA loan||3||( 4%)|
|Seller financing||1||( 1%)|
Foreclosure Sales – Through the year to May 31, there have been 16 foreclosures sold. The number of foreclosure sales in the previous five years were:
The number of bank-owned houses listed for sale decreased from 17 to 13; of those, four are under contract (sale pending). The number of foreclosures is lower than it was several years ago, both locally here in Taos and nationally.
May condo sales were down for the third consecutive month compared to last year: 5 vs. 6. Dollar volume was down from $1,596,500 to $928,500 (-42%).
Year-to-date unit sales are still marginally ahead of last year’s pace (22 vs. 20). Dollar sales are UP 25% at $5.06 million this year vs. $4.07 million last year.
The median price year-to-date is down 1% ($186,500 vs. $188,800). The average (mean) price is up 13%, from $203,300 to $230,100.
As a comparison to peak market levels, in the full year 2006 there were 149 condos sold, with a median price of $251,000, and an average price of $259,300.
Price Discounting – Through five months this year, final sales price has averaged 5.1% less than last asking price when the property went under contract. The average discount from original asking price is 8.4%. For the full year 2015, the discount from original price averaged 8.6%.
Inventory – The number of condos listed for sale increased by five units (68 vs. 63). Last year’s highest inventory was 89 units for sale in August. In 2006, there were often over 200 condos on the market at any given time.
Inventory and Sales by Price Category
|Last||Sept.||# of||% of||# of||% of||# of||% of|
|Up to $150,000||11||12||40||10||20%||19||32%||8||36%|
|$150,001 – $250,000||21||18||50||15||30%||27||45%||11||50%|
|$250,001 – $350,000||16||14||51||14||28%||5||8%||0||0%|
|$350,001 – $500,000||17||16||56||7||14%||5||8%||1||5%|
The number of pending sales decreased from 7 to 5.
Days On Market – The average days on the market through five months this year is 235 compared to 481 for the same period last year. The average for the full year 2015 was 328 days; in 2014, it was 237 days.
There have been no sales so far this year vs. three through May of 2015.
Currently, there are 11 multi-family properties for sale; there is one pending sale: a duplex on Valverde Street, with a listing price of $375,000.
This year, land sales are at last showing some signs of picking up, after years of very little activity.
May 2016 land unit sales were up over the same month last year: 8 vs. 6. However, dollar sales were down, from $1,179,000 to $739,500 (-37%). Last May’s sales included a commercial tract on the main thoroughfare through Town that sold for $845,000.
Year-to-date land unit sales are ahead of last year’s pace by 68%: 37 vs. 22 tracts sold. Dollar sales are down 1%, from $2.99 million to $2.94 million. So although the number of sales is up, the mix of sales comprises more lower-priced lots than last year:
The median price year-to-date is down, from $89,800 vs. $50,000 (-44%). The average (mean) price is also down, from $135,900 to $79,500 (-42%).
Year-to-date, the actual sales price discount from last asking price is 12.4%. The discount from original asking price is 18.9%.
The average days on market for the 37 tracts that have sold so far this year is 551. In 2015, the average for the 87 closed sales was 612 days; for the 73 tracts that sold in 2014, it was 390; for the 86 listings that sold in 2013, it was 465.
Inventory and Sales by Price Category
|Last||Aug.||# of||% of||# of||% of||# of||% of|
|Up to $50,000||147||150||121||32||29%||32||37%||19||51%|
|$50,001 – $100,000||166||166||143||33||29%||28||32%||11||30%|
|$100,001 – $150,000||85||83||75||19||17%||9||10%||3||8%|
|$150,001 – $200,000||46||49||51||9||8%||8||9%||1||3%|
|$200,001 – $250,000||26||26||18||9||8%||5||6%||0||0%|
|$250,001 – $300,000||10||11||18||3||3%||3||3%||1||3 %|
The number of pending sales increased from 12 to 13.
The inventory decreased from 533 to 519 tracts listed for sale.
Although buyer interest in land is picking up, the number of land sales is still very low compared to the early 2000’s. In the full year 2005, there were 339 land sales for a total value of $39 million. In 2006, 296 tracts sold for a total of $42.7 million.
There was one closed commercial sale in May 2016, the same as in May last year. Through the first five months of 2016, there have been three commercial sales, the same as in 2015 during the same period. However, year-to-date dollar sales are down from $1,070,000 last year to $756,000.
The year 2015 had 17 sales, totaling $8.07 million, about the same as in peak year 2005. This shows increased investor confidence in the future of the Taos economy. In 2014, there were just three sales, totaling $2.34 million.
Currently, there are 41 commercial listings, with four pending sales, including the Taos Mountain Lodge near Taos Ski Valley (asking price $1.25 million), and an RV park on the south side of town (asking price $350,000).
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A hazy sunrise over the Ranchitos Valley