FILE - House for sale, property taxes, homeowner

(The Center Square) – New Mexico’s housing market shows no signs of slowing down with the New Mexico Association of Realtors (NMAR) reporting more sales in January 2021 than 2020.

January 2021 saw 1,681 sales, more than 50 above the same time last year.

NMAR President Danny Vigil said continued low interest rates are helping stoke the market.

“I don’t think the pandemic has had as much of an impact on our inventory as much as the long sustained low interest rates and buyer activity has had,” Vigil told The Center Square.

But COVID-19 has affected the real estate market in other ways.

How real estate agents practice has changed with the ongoing health crisis, according to Vigil.

“Post-pandemic, there’s a lot more video and a lot more online viewing of the house,” he said.

“You typically have a buyer that will say, ‘OK, I’ll meet you at such and such a house.’ You get there, you mask up, you wear gloves, you sanitize, you go in and show them the house, and then you work from there. Most of the transaction is handled through electronic signatures, so there’s a lot less face-to-face, person-to-person interaction.”

The coronavirus is not done shaping the market, either.

Vigil thinks the future will show the continued impact of the pandemic as employers shift to a permanent remote work mindset.

“People can live wherever they want to live and still be a very productive employee, and as employers give them that option, people are going to start migrating from urban areas to more rural lifestyles, suburban lifestyles, so I think that makes a state like New Mexico very appealing,” Vigil said.

He points out the only thing holding New Mexico’s market back is low inventory.