New homes bring hope to Albuquerque's struggling economy

Created: 06/27/2014 4:44 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s been a week of gloom and doom news for Albuquerque’s struggling economy, but we end the week with a ray of hope, a promising sign of better things to come.

One key to a prosperous economy is new home construction, and permits for new home building in the metro area hit a twelve month high in May, with 193 permits issued.  That’s a jump of about 24 percent from 156 permits in April, and it’s much higher than the 79 permits issued in December, the low point.

It doesn’t just mean more of those good-paying construction jobs that dried up and blew away in the recession. It means consumers are in better shape and feeling better about the future. It means builder confidence and developer confidence. If we build it they will come and buy!

“Construction, those jobs are important,” said John Garcia, director of the Central New Mexico Homebuilders Association. “There’s also confidence, consumer confidence that I can buy a house, maybe there’s some predictability now in the market and in our region. That’s great news.”

It also means lenders are loosening up some more on the tight money policies that prevailed in the recession, and interest rates are still attractively low for homebuyers.  Builders are thinking maybe, just maybe, we might have a trend here.

The 193 permits in May are still a long way from the pre-recession peak years of 2005 and 2006, but it’s certainly an improvement over recent months.

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