In late December, the Santa Fe Association of Realtors (SFAR) launched a new, data-rich 2020 Santa Fe State of Housing Report. It provides selected housing data in a user-friendly format from local, state and national sources. The report is modeled after a similar one published for many years in Missoula, Montana, by the local real-estate association. Report topics include housing supply and demand; population and income; rental housing; mortgage finance; housing affordability; value of housing; and growing smart, along with conclusions and an economic outlook. The report was funded in part by a grant from the National Association of Realtors Housing Opportunity Program. To access it, go to: www.sfar.com/2020SANTAFESTATEOFHOUSINGRPT.

The association is delighted to bring this new report to the local real estate and housing community. It will be a wonderful tool for association members, housing advocates, and other members of the public. SFAR plans to publish the report annually moving forward. The 2020 Santa Fe State of Housing Report notes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the report’s first launch. In the future, the annual report is scheduled to publish mid-year.

A Santa Fe housing stakeholder team of experts was responsible for providing data and content for the 2020 Santa Fe State of Housing Report. The Santa Fe Association of Realtors appreciates the valuable time and energy members of the stakeholder team contributed to the successful launch of this new publication. Its members included representatives from the City and County of Santa Fe; Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association; Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce; New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness; New Mexico Inter-Faith Housing Corporation; Gateway Mortgage Group; and Santa Fe Association of Realtors.

Housing stakeholder member Joseph Montoya, executive director of the Santa Fe Public Housing Authority, said, “It has been a pleasure working with the Santa Fe Association of Realtors and the many other Santa Fe-based organizations on this important document that we can all use as common ground to work collectively on eliminating Santa Fe’s housing crisis.” The 2020 State of Housing Report provides information on the current state of housing in the community as well as ways to address housing needs.

The report includes an economic outlook for the local housing market. Scott Robinson with Gateway Mortgage Group noted, “The Santa Fe housing and mortgage markets have been quite robust in 2020. Despite the many challenges presented by the global pandemic, professionals in the community have worked tirelessly to provide expert service to local sellers and buyers, along with people looking to make Santa Fe their home. We remain optimistic that 2021 will continue to provide both selling and buying opportunities in the market as low interest rates continue to add fuel to demands.”

The Santa Fe Housing Action Coalition welcomed the reports’ findings to better guide its strategic housing goals. It has recently launched a “Fund the Trust Fund” campaign designed to urge local elected officials to dedicate existing and potential new funding to the city and county’s affordable housing trust funds. The report finds that tapping existing funds are likely to be explored first, such as infrastructure funding, housing bonds and short-term-rental gross receipts taxes — a relatively new source of funding that began to be collected at the state level in July 2018 through host platforms like AirBnB and VRBO. Even better, these funds can be leveraged to attract additional outside funding. According to the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, the agency has been able to successfully leverage its funding with a 25-to-1 return on the investment by garnering other funding as well as through the recycling of interest and principal payments.

Lastly, the report commends city and county efforts to address affordable housing along with numerous proposed land use policy changes that could grow housing in the coming years.

Paco Arguello is chief executive of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors. Contact him at 982-8385 or paco@sfar.com.

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