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 four months of 2016, the total market (all categories of property) is down 1% in terms of the number of transactions; however, it is up 6% in terms of dollar volume.
Single-family homes are by far the largest market segment, accounting for 53% of total unit transactions, and 73% 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.
The January-April period — a relatively slow season in the Taos real estate market — is probably not indicative of the trend for the full year. Given the increased level of buyer inquiries and property showings, we expect that sales in the main selling season of summer and fall will exceed last year. However, there are some potential market dampeners: uncertainty about the future direction of the economy and the country in the midst of the current turmoil surrounding the U.S. presidential election; the fallout from the oil price collapse and the knock-on effects to the economy in Texas and Oklahoma, which are major feeder markets for Taos real estate; ongoing concerns about the strength of the overall U.S. economy, and the stock market.
Despite these factors, at this point, we are still expecting 2016 to register moderate gains over 2015, in all categories of property, with the exception of commercial.
TOTAL MARKET (all categories of property) – 2016 vs. 2015
Month of April
# of Closed Sales DECREASED from 33 to 29 (-12%)
Dollar Sales INCREASED from $6.97 million to $7.36 million (+6%)
Year to April 30 – (4 months)
# of Closed Sales DECREASED FROM 104 at 103 (-1%)
Dollar Sales INCREASED from $23.52 million to $25.03 million (+6%)
April unit sales were down 50% compared to April last year: 11 vs. 22. Dollar sales were down only 11%, from $5.05 million to $4.51 million.
Year-to-date unit sales are DOWN 20% (55 vs. 69). But dollar sales are UP 5%, from $17.44 million to $18.26 million. We are continuing to see more sales in the middle and high price ranges. The highest sale price so far this year is $1,075,000; there have been four sales in the $650,000 – $800,000 range; three in the $500,000 – $650,000; and nine in the $400,000 – $500,000 range.
Inventory and Sales by Price category
|Last||Sept.||# of||% of||# of||% of||# of||% of|
|Up to $200,000||71||65||190||47||25%||92||36%||15||28%|
|$200,001 – $300,000||68||62||109||46||25%||56||22%||11||20%|
|$300,001 – $400,000||51||41||69||35||19%||52||21%||12||22%|
|$400,001 – $500,000||38||39||39||17||9%||24||9%||9||16%|
|$500,001 – $650,000||40||40||35||20||11%||15||6%||3||5%|
|$650,001 – $800,000||18||18||27||7||4%||9||4%||4||7%|
|$800,001 – $1,000,000||18||14||36||8||4%||4||2%||0||0 %|
The number of pending sales increased from 22 to 23.
Inventory – The inventory at the time of this report was up 9% from last month (319 vs. 293), but this is still critically low. Peak inventory last year was 388 homes for sale; in 2014, it was 423. In the peak years of 2004 – 2006, there were often over 500 homes for sale at any given time. The inventory is comprised 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. So the lack of good inventory is limiting sales.
Average Prices – The median price year-to-date is $310,000 compared to $250,000 last year, an increase of $60,000 (+24%). The average (mean) is also up, from $252,800 to $331,900, an increase of $79,100 (+31%).
Price Discounting – Through the first four months of this year, actual selling price has averaged 4.4% 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 10.6% 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 2012. There was no increase in 2013-2014. Last year, prices started to move up a little, but only for good homes in the most preferred areas. This is attributable to the supply/demand dynamic: when a buyer is ready to buy and finds the right house, he/she is paying more than a couple of years ago. We are seeing this trend continue in 2016; however, we are probably another year away from an across-the-board increase in the price level.
Cash Sales vs. Loans – Here is how the 55 homes that have sold so far this year have been financed:
|FHA loan||1||( 2%)|
|VA loan||2||( 3%)|
|Seller financing||1||( 2%)|
Foreclosure Sales – Through the four months of this year, there have been 13 foreclosures sold. The number of foreclosure sales in the past five years were:
The number of bank-owned houses listed for sale increased from 14 to 17; of those, three are under contract (sale pending). The number of foreclosures is lower than it was several years ago, both locally here in Taos and nationally.
Days On Market – The average days on the market for all the homes that have sold through four months this year is 261 vs. 240 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.
April condo sales were down for the second consecutive month: 4 vs. 5. But dollar volume was up, from $926,000 to $1,478,500 (+60%). This was due to the sale of one condo at Taos Ski Valley, at $932,000.
Year-to-date unit sales are still ahead of last year’s pace (17 vs. 14). Dollar sales are UP 67% at $4.13 million this year vs. $2.47 million last year.
The median price year-to-date is up 15% ($198,000 vs. $172,500). The average (mean) price is up 38%, from $176,400 to $243,100.
As a comparison to the market peak, 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 four months this year, final sales price has averaged 5.0% less than last asking price when the property went under contract. The average discount from original asking price is 7.8%. For the full year 2015, the discount from original price averaged 8.6%.
Inventory – The number of condos listed for sale decreased by six units (63 vs. 69). In peak year 2006, there were often over 200 condos on the market.
Inventory and Sales by Price Category
|Last||Sept.||# of||% of||# of||% of||# of||% of|
|Up to $150,000||12||11||40||10||20%||19||32%||7||41%|
|$150,001 – $250,000||18||22||50||15||30%||27||45%||7||41%|
|$250,001 – $350,000||14||16||51||14||28%||5||8%||0||0%|
|$350,001 – $500,000||16||16||56||7||14%||5||8%||1||6%|
The number of pending sales is the same as last month at 7 units.
Days On Market – The average days on the market through four months this year is 234 compared to 432 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 April of 2015.
Currently, there are 9 multi-family properties for sale; there are no pending sales.
Land is finally starting to move some!
April 2016 land unit sales were up sharply over last April: 13 vs. 4. Dollar sales were up from $200,000 to $993,000 (+397%). The highest sale price was $450,000 for a 5.3-acre tract in the El Salto area.
Year-to-date land unit sales are ahead of last year’s pace by 81%: 29 vs. 16 tracts sold. Dollar sales are up 22%, from $1.81 million to $2.20 million.
The median price year-to-date is down, from $95,000 vs. $50,000 (-47%). The average (mean) price is also down, from $113,200 to $76,000 (-33%).
Year-to-date, the actual sales price discount from last asking price is 14.5%. The discount from original asking price is 19.7%.
The average days on market for the 29 tracts that have sold so far this year is 511. In 2015, the average for the 87 closed sales was 612 days on market; 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||150||151||121||32||29%||32||37%||15||52%|
|$50,001 – $100,000||166||164||143||33||29%||28||32%||9||31%|
|$100,001 – $150,000||83||80||75||19||17%||9||10%||2||7%|
|$150,001 – $200,000||49||37||51||9||8%||8||9%||1||3%|
|$200,001 – $250,000||26||25||18||9||8%||5||6%||0||0%|
|$250,001 – $300,000||11||14||18||3||3%||3||3%||1||3 %|
The number of pending sales decreased from 14 to 12.
The inventory increased from 519 to 533 tracts listed for sale.
Although buyer interest in land is picking up, the number of land sales is still very low compared to the mid-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 April 2016, compared to two in April last year. Through the first four months of 2016, there have been two commercial sales, the same as in 2015 during the same time period.
The year 2015 had 17 sales, totaling $8.07 million, about the same as in peak year 2005. This shows sharply increased investor confidence in the future of the Taos economy. In 2014, there were just three sales, totaling $2.34 million. We will be watching to see if that dramatic increase in commercial property continues this year.
Currently, there are 40 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).