New Mexico's largest city, Albuquerque, sits amid high desert plains at the foot of the Sandia Mountains. With elevations that range mostly between 5,000 and 6,000 feet depending on the neighborhood, Albuquerque is one of the highest large cities in the United States. It has a population of roughly 557,000 people as of 2014, up slightly from about 546,000 at the most recent census in 2010. The city has a median household income of $47,400 as of 2014, and an owner-occupied housing rate of 59.3%. With a mild, dry climate and a reported 310 days of sunshine per year, the Albuquerque real estate market attracts all types of people, from young professionals and growing families to retirees.

Market Insights

Similar to most large real estate markets in the United States, the Albuquerque market ran to an all-time high in 2006 and 2007, recording median sale prices for residential property around the $200,000 level. Sales volumes were also historically high, exceeding 1,100 homes per month in the high season. However, the market took a downward turn as the 2007-08 financial crisis began playing out across the country. While price declines in Albuquerque were relatively moderate compared to some other cities in the country, median home prices fell by almost one-fifth to $162,000 by early 2011. A slow yet sustained growth trend returned to the market in 2012, pushing the median price to post-recession highs of $180,000 to $190,000 through the summer months of 2015. In July 2015, sales exceeded 1,000 homes for the first time in eight years. As of April 2016, the median sale price in Albuquerque was $185,000.

Sales volumes in the Albuquerque market are characterized by regular seasonal fluctuations. In most years, sales volumes bottom out in January and begin growing toward a summer peak, typically in July. Price levels roughly follow this pattern, with annual median price highs around the month of July and lows around January.

Property and Transfer Taxes

In New Mexico, property tax is imposed by state, county and city governments, school districts, community colleges and certain other entities. In Albuquerque, the Bernalillo County treasurer is responsible for the collection of all property tax. In 2015, the total property tax rate for Albuquerque resident property owners was roughly $41.80 per $1,000 of taxable property value. Roughly $11.47 of the total was earmarked for the Albuquerque government, about $10.53 for the Albuquerque school district and about $8.72 for the Bernalillo County government. The total rate for nonresident Albuquerque property owners was slightly higher at $46.34 per $1,000 of taxable property value. Note that the taxable value of a residential property in New Mexico is equal to one-third of its assessed market value. Therefore, a $120,000 home has a taxable value of $40,000.

There is no transfer tax for real estate sales in New Mexico.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods

The most expensive neighborhoods in Albuquerque are situated on the northeastern edges of the city in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. In the first quarter of 2016, the North Albuquerque Acres neighborhood had the highest median sales price in the city at $575,000. Sandia Heights, nestled between North Albuquerque Acres and the Sandia Mountains, reported a median sales price of $435,000 during the quarter, which was the third-highest number in the city. Situated immediately south of Sandia Heights, the Foothills North neighborhood recorded a median price of $515,000, which was the second-highest figure in the city.

Top Real Estate Websites

The Albuquerque Journal, the local city newspaper, maintains a real estate portal on its website that offers regular news coverage and insightful analysis of the Albuquerque real estate market. The website is at ABQJournal.com. Furthermore, the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors (GAAR) is a good resource for free monthly, quarterly and annual real estate market reports and other information. The association's website is available at GAAR.com. Property listings and other Albuquerque resources are also available on a variety of national websites, including Zillow, Trulia and others, as well as marketing websites operated by local real estate agents in Albuquerque.

Colorado Springs Real Estate Market

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