Surge of new home development expected in ABQ in 2020

BY PILAR MARTINEZ / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A surge of new home development is expected in Albuquerque and its surrounding areas in coming months, according to a panel of real estate professionals speaking at a NAIOP New Mexico event Monday.

The swell of development anticipated in 2020 is driven by a metro area housing shortage as well as an increase in the availability of build-ready land, according to Mackenzie Bishop, owner of Abrazo Homes.

“It’s a pretty pivotal moment,” he said.

Bishop said building permits in the metro area in the past five months have surged 40% year over year, largely due to an increase in the number of new lots ready for building. Over the last several years, Albuquerque-area developers were working their way through building-ready land that had been sitting vacant since the Great Recession. That land has now largely been built upon, and more land is newly primed for builders. It’s expected builders will begin construction on some 3,000 lots in the metro area this year.

The vast majority of new housing developments are slated to be built on Albuquerque’s West Side, in Rio Rancho and in Valencia County.

John Garcia, executive director of the Home Builders Association, said homes currently available for purchase in the metro area could only sustain the market for 1.5 months – far lower than the national average of three to four months.

“Supply is non-existent,” he said.

The Albuquerque-area housing shortage has resulted in a deeply competitive market with some homes being sold within 24 hours of being placed on the market, according to Bishop. He said it is becoming increasingly common for bidding wars to take place on prime houses, and new home owners are frequently being outbid by more established buyers or those who can pay upfront.

“Cash buyers are getting preference,” Bishop said.

Additionally, an increasing number of homebuyers are coming from outside New Mexico. Bishop said there is no one demographic for out-of-state buyers, who seem to be ranging from younger professionals working remotely to retirees locating to the state.