June 09--Describing the pace of home construction during April in the Albuquerque metro area depends on whether it's viewed from a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty perspective.
The glass-half-full view is that the 156 building permits issued for detached, single-family houses during the month is the highest number for any April in five years, according to DataTraq.
The glass-half-empty view is that the 156 permits are basically flat compared with the 153 permits issued in April 2013 and is one of lowest April permit totals in 30 years.
The most-recent low for homebuilding permits in April was 119 in 2010, while the most recent high was 980 in 2005. This year's April total of 156 is not far from the bottom.
The average interest rate in April for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.3 percent, up from 3.4 percent in April 2013 but still historically low, according to Freddie Mac data.
In home-sales news, the Realtors Association of New Mexico reported that its April housing trends data showed a drop in activity in April compared to March with a slight increase in median price.
There were 1,376 properties -- a mixture of new and existing homes -- reported as sold, a drop from the number of sales reported for March, RANM said.
The April median price of $170,000 is 1.2 percent higher than the March 2014 median of $168,000, according to the group. Median price indicates half the properties sold for more and half for less.
RANM CEO M. Steven Anaya said, "New Mexico's economy -- stagnant income levels and negative job growth -- continue to be reflected in the housing market."
In the Albuquerque metro, pending home sales were up in April compared to the previous month, but down from a year earlier. There were 976 pending sales in the Albuquerque metro in April compared to 950 the previous month but well down from the 1,280 pendings in April of 2013, according to the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.
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