The information that will be in this Crow’s Nest comes from the 2008 State of Housing Report as presented to the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA). This report was presented as a valuable resource by Lieutenant Governor Diane D. Denish, and it is very interesting.
Research projects that the state’s population will increase to 2.6 million by 2030. Since 2000 the greatest population in the state has occurred in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, and Farmington. Sandoval County is the fastest growing county. It should be noted that the state’s population has been “graying” and that fact has been projected to influence all aspects of the state’s economy.
In New Mexico, home equity is 80% of lower income household net wealth. Residential real estate sales activity has slowed in most of New Mexico. However, many markets have retained their value especially in rural New Mexico where inventory has not changed and new construction is non-existant. New Mexico’s housing challenges may be characterized by three general components: affordability, availability, and sustainability. Many New Mexico housing markets are increasingly unaffordable to working families as home prices have simply increased faster than wages. Many communities, like Las Vegas, lack sufficient housing for families across the income spectrum, causing extreme difficulty recruiting and retaining essential employees and stifling economic development initiatives.
The states economy slowed in 2007. The economic outlook for 2008 is mixed considering the rising costs of fuel and food. The state has seen growth in the healthcare sector, rapid expansion in Native American gaming, an influx of call centers, and a booming oil and gas sector. A factor that has influence Las Vegas is the increase in film industry, although there is some question as to how much it affects economic growth in Las Vegas. New Mexico, however, has the largest contingent of trained film crew outside of the West Coast.
The federal government is still the largest industry in the state. White Sands Missile Range is expected to receive 6,000 new troops. Also, Fort Bliss is expected to expand by 45,000 new troops by 2012, and some of that expansion will spill into New Mexico. Growth, therefore, is expected in the southern part of the state, but 13 of the states 33 counties have lost population between 2000 and 2006.
Next month we will discuss NM homeownership and the real estate market in Las Vegas. In the meantime, “keep your nose clean and your butt in the saddle”. Make sure you are registered to vote. Your voice needs to be heard.