Maybe. Well that may sound pretty indecisive from someone who lives in a real estate office
six or seven days a week. Hey, it’s not as grim as you may think, my chair’s very comfortable
and the fridge is nearby. Okay back on topic. Like a lot of resort markets, we tend to be a
follower with trends rather than a market leader. When the national market tanked precipitously
in 2008, I can remember waiting for the other shoe to fall here in Ruidoso. It fell alright, but
thankfully with a thud rather than a crash as we lost only about 23% of our sales from 2007 to
2008, a sharply felt body blow for sure but a lot less damaging than what was occurring on the
national stage. Again, what occurs in the real world (newsflash: Ruidoso does not exist in the
real world) is immediate and often severe. Because Ruidoso is more often a residential choice
than a residential requirement for buyers, our market is fortunately supported by those out-of-
towners with the wherewithal to make us their choice. I’m a firm believer that this particular
characteristic of our market helps soften the blows which knock the national market around.
So you’ve probably heard the encouraging news stories lately on radio, TV and online about the
real estate recovery? New construction is rising, homes prices are up, existing inventories are
down and the number of unit sales is improving? I’ve heard then alright and really it does sound
good with these real estate trends getting better in the outside realms. I wish them well and much
success, but for us, I still sense we have to wait patiently.
Sure, our sales in dollar volume terms are up 30% or so since locally we hit bottom in 2010.
Encouraging certainly and not insignificant but less impressive when you consider our total 2006
to 2010 decline in the same metric was slightly more than 45%. Keep in mind, too, that though
30% and 46% are not that far apart in absolute value in relative terms the 45% drop from our
high and the 30% gain climbing out of the basement are much, much more disparate. Here are
the actual dollar values in sales for the three sales years which establish the relative values;
Total Sales (rounded)
2006 – $173,000,000
2010 – $94,000,000
2012 – $125,000,000
So you can do the math as well and you’ll see though we’ve had that 30% increase from 2010
through 2012, we are still 28% off of our peak sales volume in 2010
Though these numbers tell us much, I tend to trust my gut and observations just as much as these
statistics and they seem to be telling us the same thing. Ask yourself, have you seen a lot of new
construction in Ruidoso? Have we experienced prices rising during this past year? How’s our
inventory of available properties? I think you’ll agree that the answers are No, No and still high.
So where are we heading? Are we at bottom yet? Is this the year we really begin to ramp up
towards what we may define as a healthy market?
Maybe. It’s a bit early in the year to make a robust prognostication, but anecdotally I can share
with you the folks in our office have been showin’ and goin’ this past month and I’ve heard
the same from others in our local Ruidoso / Lincoln Association of Realtors. And considering
that we tend to trail national trends this might just be the year where we see some mild price
increases and a significant uptick, at least in residential and land sales.
There are still macroeconomic threats on the horizon which give reasons for concern.
Skyrocketing national annual deficits contributing to skyrocketing national debts. Employment
predictions which talk of stasis rather than growth and the coming implementation of the
oxymoronically named Affordable Health Care Act could all derail what we hope for … a true
bottom in the Ruidoso real estate market.
For me, I’m optimistic. Ruidoso still rightfully captures the imagination of so many wannabe
transplants and second homeowners. Couple this with the budgetary retrenchment so many
households have successfully completed since 2009 and we may just may be ready for a healthy
Cheers and Bottoms Up!
For more information about Ruidoso, please contact
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