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Realtors see rising house prices, smaller inventory

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The number of available homes for sale in Roswell is atypically low, say some local realtors. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The Roswell housing market has been surging in the first months of 2021, according to some real estate professionals in the area.

“It is still very much a seller’s market. Everything is really going very strong, much to our dismay,” said Ramona Kilpatrick, board president of the Roswell Association of Realtors since January and an associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Enchanted Lands in Artesia.

“We are all just kind of in wonder about how well it has been doing, but our MLS (multiple listing services) area is still very strong,” she said.

Kilpatrick said that sales locally, as well as nationally, were up for most months in 2020 in spite of the pandemic, but she and other real estate professionals are seeing an even better local market since the start of 2021.

She said proof of that includes multiple offers on homes, rising prices and quicker sales. She said all sizes and types of homes are in demand.

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According to statistics available from Kilpatrick, from January to March 2020 the Roswell MLS had 146 home sales, with the average price of $172,000 and average days on the market of 102. From January to March 2021, 109 sales occurred, with the average price of $187,325 and average days on the market of 69.

She added that there are only about 100 houses on the market now, a low inventory for the area.

Kilpatrick said she cannot rule out the possibility of a housing bubble, but that she and her colleagues think the strong market is here to stay for a while. She said the demand is most likely due to other factors.

“I think there are some new businesses coming into Roswell, if I am not mistaken. I think that has a lot to do with it,” she said. “Interest rates being low — people are deciding that now is the time to either make a change in houses or finally purchase a house.”

Other factors, she added, could be the strong demand in Artesia and an improving market in Carlsbad, which pushes Eddy County workers to Roswell for their housing.

Jesse McDaniel, a local landlord and a realtor who owns Jesse McDaniel Home Solutions, has been telling people online and in person about his experiences.

He said some homes, if in the right condition and in neighborhoods where people want to live, are selling $5,000 or more above the asking price. He said his opinion is that quite a few Roswell homes are selling above market value.

He said that isn’t a sales pitch because he often tells prospective sellers to think twice.

“I was upfront with them, and said, hey, look what is out there. Look what you are going to pay for these houses right now,” he said. “And it is great to make all that money, but when you go to buy another house — I just like to be honest with them upfront.”

The properties he finds most in demand are country properties as well as three-bedroom homes in good neighborhoods and in the $100,000 to $180,000 price range.

“There is just a serious, serious shortage of houses,” he said.

He adds that as landlords with quite a few properties, he and his wife know that few rental homes are available now either.

“I get anywhere on an average day from five to 20 calls, texts or Facebook messages from people looking for reasonably priced rentals,” he said.

McDaniel serves on the city of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission and said he is eager to see the city do whatever it can to encourage housing of all kinds, including new single-family homes.

City staff have said that plans for a large subdivision of 900 homes is in the preliminary stages, as one example of a reaction to the local need, but McDaniel said he also would like the city to sell at discounted rates or even give away some of the smaller tracts it now owns due to condemnations.

“The city owns land and they are having to maintain it and they aren’t able to collect taxes on it,” he said. “If you can take something that is making nothing and costing you money, and automatically it generates income and you have less responsibility and work to cover it, it is kind of a win-win situation.”

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.