Looking back at 2020, there is a collective sigh of relief that it’s over. Experts warn us that the pandemic has not abated and we must remain in lockdown, but there is a growing sense of optimism that we will be back to normal by the summer. Even though millions of jobs have been lost and some say they will never return, the stock market has hit peaks unimaginable 10 years ago. And while we keep our schools shuttered and remain in our bubbles, the business of real estate continues to march along.
The median home price in the U.S. rose almost 15 percent from a year ago to $335,000, a record. California had the highest median home price of $579,000 and West Virginia had the lowest at $107,000. Much as we do not like to be compared to California, here in Santa Fe our median home price was a record $537,764. Wow.
The Santa Fe Association of Realtors recently published the 4th Quarter Market Statistics, so let’s take a look at the neighborhoods with the greatest gains. The Northeast city limits finished the year with a 9 percent increase in median sales price to $908,000 over the previous quarter. If you remember a year ago, the median sales price in January was $755,000. The Northwest city limits continues to chug along with a median sales price of $559,000. For perspective, in January of 2020, the median was $404,000.
The South Capitol and Eastside neighborhoods experienced a smaller increase of $775,000 for the 4th quarter of 2020. Last January, that median sales price was $764,000. In the hospital district, including Sol y Lomas and Zia Road on the east side of St. Francis, the median sales price hit a high of $669,500. The Southwest city limits had a tidy gain with home prices rising to $350,300 while last year at this time the median price was $322,000.
The county had strong buying interest over the last year, leading to large gains in most areas including the North county around Tesuque. Here the median sales price increased a whopping 59 percent from the 3rd quarter to $995,000. Imagine if you had bought the median priced home in January 2020; you would have spent $501,000. The Northwest quadrant, which is typically strong because of neighborhoods like Las Campanas and Monte Sereno, dropped 6 percent from the previous quarter, but the median sales price here stands at $995,000.
The Southeast county that includes Sunlit Hills and Arroyo Hondo increased over 20 percent to $605,000. If you had sold in January of last year the median price was $415,000. The Southwest county including Rancho Viejo and Highway 14 increased over 7 percent to a median price of $417,500. And finally, in January of 2020 the median priced home in Eldorado was $393,000 and for the final quarter of the year, that price rose to $506,000.
Because single-family homes have risen so much over the past year, the interest in condos and townhomes has increased substantially. In the city these properties had a price increase to $375,000, which is almost $100,000 more then the previous year’s median of $280,000. Condos in the South county did rise over $110,000 to a median sales price of $359,600.
There are contrasting opinions of the outlook for the real-estate market. Some believe we are in a new bubble that is surely unsustainable and expect a downturn as prices rise too high for average buyers. Other experts say that as long as interest rates remain low, the home buying trends will remain strong and on track to produce another record sales year. We believe we are supremely lucky to live and work in Santa Fe and if our market continues to appreciate on the level of California over W. Virginia, it’s no surprise to us. And we are sure you could find an ex-California resident who would happily agree!
Roger and Melissa have a combined 37 years selling real estate in Santa Fe. Melissa was president of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors in 2017 and Roger is the current SFAR president. They are happy to help with all your real estate needs and can be reached at 505-699-3112 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit them online at www.santaferealestateconsultant.com.