Friday, November 11, 2005




Friday, November 11, 2005 NEW BUSINESS NEWS! Advent Plant to Employ 1,000 By Andrew Webb Journal Staff Writer Albuquerque-based Advent Solar will be the first corporate tenant at the massive Mesa del Sol development, where the photovoltaic-cell maker will build a manufacturing plant expected to employ 1,000 by 2010. The deal marks a milestone for the planned 12,000-acre, mixed-use community, which has been on the drawing board for two decades. Advent Solar also announced Thursday it has raised $30 million in venture capital, the largest such funding round in recent history. "This is a huge victory in terms of starting a solar industry in the state," New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans said during a news conference in Gov. Bill Richardson's office in Santa Fe. Homans joined Richardson, Mayor Martin Chávez and other state, city and company officials to announce the deal. Advent, which was founded here in 2000, considered several locations for its 70,000-square-foot plant and research facility, including New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. A combination of city and state incentives, coupled with proximity to other solar resources, drove its decision to locate here, said Advent co-founder and CEO Rusty Schmit. "This is the best place for clean energy technology in the world," he said of New Mexico. South of the Albuquerque International Sunport, Mesa del Sol will be a mix of residential, industrial and retail space. Its developer, Ohio-based Forest City Covington, plans to begin early next year building its first 90,000-square-foot industrial and office building. Advent will be the building's first tenant, and expects to begin solar-cell production in the new facility in late 2006 or early 2007. Forest City Covington chief operating officer Michael Daly said the new building will be east of Journal Pavilion, at the north end of the development, along the new road currently under construction from I-25. Both facilities will be accessible from the new University Boulevard extension. State and city funds are picking up the tab for the road, in return for Forest City building the $4.5 million facility, which it will lease to Advent. "Mesa del Sol has been nothing but a dream for more than 20 years," said state Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons. He called Advent's planned plant a "launching pad" for future development there. At full capacity, Schmit said the plant would produce about 10 million solar cells per year, putting it on par with established photovoltaic manufacturers like Sharp and GE. Though they are still in the testing phase, Advent's solar cells and modules have the potential to be much less expensive than conventional solar technology, Schmit said. The company's photovoltaic cells are based on technology developed at Sandia National Laboratories. Unlike conventional solar cells, Advent's cells locate all electrical contacts on the back of the cell. Tiny holes drilled through the cells with lasers allow sunlight to reach the contacts. The process is not only cheaper— because it allows for more traditional electronics manufacturing techniques like those used for circuit boards— but it is more efficient. Though Europe currently produces and consumes more solar cells, Richardson said he hoped Advent would help shepherd some of that industry here. "New Mexico is going to become the fastest-growing renewable energy state," Richardson said at the news conference. The $30 million investment, which follows an $8 million investment made in late 2004, comes from numerous sources: Battery Ventures, FireLake Capital, EnerTech Capital Partners, @Ventures, the state of New Mexico, and a group of private individual investors from New Mexico and other states. The state's total investment in Advent is about $3.5 million. The investment is one of the largest venture capital deals in the state's history, though another firm, Albuquerque-based Eclipse Aviation, has raised hundreds of millions, some of which is from venture capitalists. Advent Solar plans to employ 1,000 in the next five years, as it hires administrative and sales staff, engineers and manufacturing technicians for the plant. The company, which now employs about 36 at its office and prototype production line in UNM's Science and Technology Park, plans to hire about 126 in its first year of operation at the new plant. Annual salaries will range from $23,000 to $94,000, with benefits, and state officials estimate the company will have a $35 million annual payroll within five years. During its first five years, state and local tax revenues from the firm are expected to exceed $60 million, the state said.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Classic Pueblo style architecture blends the warmth of traditional New Mexico with contemporary universal design in this spacious open floor plan. Exposed beams in the great room and a kiva fireplace add a pleasant, comfortable atmosphere, and the elegant granite kitchen provides a relaxing room for your family or for entertaining your guests. This home also has a fabulous master bath. WALLEN BUILDERS 4 bedrooms • 2 1/2 baths 2,464 sq. ft. • $247,900 Sunday, October 9, 2005 Parade Breaks the $2 Million Price Barrier Journal Staff Report The annual Homes of Enchantment Parade has never included a house priced at $2 million or more. This year, there are three of them. Seventeen others are listed for at least $1 million. "Cost of homes this year is higher than we've ever had," said Kaycee Coffman, director of communications for the Homebuilders Association of Central New Mexico. "(That's) pretty big for Albuquerque." Part of the reason, she said, is that the residential real estate market is still thriving. But the skyrocketing cost of building materials may be the greatest factor. There's a concrete shortage, steel has gone up, lumber costs have doubled, and "we're running out of land," Coffman explained. It all makes for a very expensive 15th annual parade, though there's no cost associated with viewing the houses. There are 93 on the tour, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 8-23. List prices range from $146,800 to $2.9 million. Participating houses are located across central New Mexico, including the East Mountains, Corrales, Bernalillo, Rio Rancho, Placitas and Albuquerque, and were built by members of the HBA of Central New Mexico. Awards were presented Friday at the Marriott Pyramid North. Categories were for gold, silver, bronze, best kitchen, best bath, best remodel, universal design and urban revitalization. Below are the Gold Award recipients. Judges selected one house from each price category. The list prices provided here include land costs. To help readers locate the homes, numbers are listed in parentheses to coincide with a map number in a special section, "Parade of Homes," in today's Sunday Journal. Sunset West Homes (50), 1,635 square feet, $160,900 Bear Homes (18), 2,008 square feet, $275,900. Silverton Custom Homes (56), 1,963 square feet, $391,000. Elite Construction (55), 3,008 square feet, $590,000. Bealhen Construction (67), 2,924 square feet, $620,000. Harwell Custom Homes (87), 3,178 square feet, $535,000. Lee Taylor Luxury Homes (47), 2,989 square feet, $717,500. Sun Mountain Construction (35), 3,600 square feet, $700,000. High Mountain Homes (94), 3,000 square feet, $777,479. New Haven Homes (36), 3,774 square feet, $789,500. Bentley Custom Homes (80), 4,121 square feet, $1.1 million. Supple Homes (65), 4,817 square feet, $1.05 million. Sonoma Construction (61), 4,292 square feet, $1.25 million. Koinonia Architects & Builders (79), 7,000 square feet, $2.9 million. Cannaday Construction's house (60) won for both urban revitalization and best remodel. The 1950s ranch-style house lists at $254,000 and is open for viewing Oct. 14-16 only. Wallen Builders won among the 12 competing for the universal design award. It is given for building practices and design that make the home usable and navigable for people of all ages, sizes, abilities and physical limitations. Some common UD features are no-step entries, wider doors and lever door handles. The winning house (31) lists for $247,900 and has 2,464 square feet.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Occupancy Fraud Tops List of Most Common Type of Mortgage Fraud -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Home Real Estate News -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Author: Beth Bresnahan Publishing date: 09/07/05 RISMEDIA, Sept. 8, 1005 — Occupancy fraud was the most common type of mortgage fraud reported during the first half of 2005, according to statistics released by The Prieston Group, which provides fraud insurance, training and loss mitigation. More than half—about 53%—of claims filed with The Prieston Group contained some type of occupancy misrepresentation. Occupancy fraud occurs when borrowers—or someone acting on behalf of borrowers—misrepresents whether they plan to live at the property. Following behind occupancy fraud were schemes involving hidden debt (found in 31.6% of all claims), employment fraud (found in 30.3% of all claims) and straw borrowers (found in 12.9% of all claims). "Although occupancy fraud was the most commonly reported type of fraud during the first half of this year, we often find that claims contain multiple types of fraud and involve multiple people," said TPG Chairman Arthur Prieston. "Recognizing all the fraud in a particular file is essential in identifying fraud schemes." In fact, occupancy fraud was the No. 1 type of fraud reported in four of the top five mortgage fraud hot spot states. In Georgia, which led the list in number of claims filed during the first half of the year, occupancy fraud was found in 48% of the files. The average FICO score of claims filed in Georgia was 633 and the average loan-to-value ratio was 86%. That compares with an average FICO score of 628 on all claims filed from across the country during the first six months of 2005. The average loan-to-value ratio on all loans was 81.7%. Full-documentation loans accounted for 55.5% of claims filed, which mirrors general industry trends. Another industry trend mirrored in the filed claims is the use of automated fraud detection tools. Yet TPG data show that reliance on such technology is clearly not enough. In fact, about 80% of claims filed with TPG's PBIS Insurance Services program involved loans screened by such systems. "Since we are standing side-by-side with lenders absorbing fraud losses, we support any tool that can reduce the incidence of fraud," Prieston said. "However, our internal data show that tools alone are clearly not enough." Training, a cornerstone of TPG's philosophy and approach to fraud prevention, is the key to preventing and detecting fraud. Lenders that employ TPG's guidelines and have been trained by TPG's expert trainers experience, on average, a 58% reduction in fraudulent claims incidence. TPG clients also benefit from the combined power of the company's insurance protection and loss mitigation expertise of TPG-affiliated law firm Lanahan & Reilley. General industry statistics estimate loss severity from fraud at 37%, and TPG sees loss severities as high as 50%. Yet TPG clients experience far less loss. Research on the first half of 2005 indicates that the efforts of Lanahan & Reilley's loss mitigation on claims files resulted in an average 30%age point reduction. Overall, Georgia (16%), Texas (10%) and Florida (9%) accounted for the most claims filed during the first half of 2005. Other states rounding out the top 10 were Illinois (8%), Michigan (7%), Tennessee (6%), California (5%), North Carolina (5%), Ohio (5%) and Utah (4%). RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to:

Thursday, August 25, 2005



Friday, July 08, 2005


This has been a wild summer - thank goodness that Albuquerque is coming in on the tail end of the investor frenzy, seeing Phoenix and Las Vegas as examples. Here's what investors need to know. The wild appreciation that you saw in those two cities which led to builders actually offering money to buyers to not close, and being able to sell for way over what the first phase pricing experienced WILL NOT HAPPEN HERE. Rents are declining because there are too many investment properties being purchased in blocks of neighborhoods. If you are going to purchase an investment property, buy one in an area where there are many owner occupied properties. Do not buy blocks of homes in one neighborhood. This is not a good thing. Investors have been blocked out of purchasing in new home communities - buy resale and buy a quality home. Do not expect to get a positive cash flow. Do not try to say that you are "moving here with a mortgage company" or "coming to town with a new business", or "i'm being transferred here" if you are not. The builder will do a thorough check and if they find that you own numerous homes, you look and walk like an investor - they WILL cancel your contract. There are many ways to try and hide the fact that you are not an owner-occupant, but know that the builders are just as clever as you are about trying to disguise it. You will not get favored treatment because you are an investor. In fact, you have to perform at a higher standard. DO NOT ATTEND SEMINARS WHERE THE TRAINERS ARE TAKING YOUR MONEY!! You don't have to pay someone an up front fee to come here and help you buy property in Albuquerque! These people are taking advantage of YOU and our community. Find a good agent that you trust, and put your faith in that agent to find you the best property in the best area. Find out if the agent believes in the quality of a neighborhood, and the future of the community. If the agent does, that's the one to trust. Don't choose an agent who is willing to anything for little to nothing. You know that saying, if you want a job done well, find someone who is busy? That goes for a real estate agent.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


A great site where you can learn all the "ins and outs" of real estatement investment and strategies. Thanks to Jacques Coquerel for allowing me to link to this great blog.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Thursday, April 21, 2005 Jobs Have Increased Twice as Fast in New Mexico as in the Nation By Winthrop Quigley Journal Staff Writer Employment in New Mexico grew 2 percent between the fourth quarters of 2003 and 2004, more than twice as fast as the national rate, University of New Mexico economists reported. The university's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, in its semi-annual Economy Watch report for the Albuquerque Journal, said state unemployment declined to 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter from 5.8 percent in the first quarter of 2004. New Mexico's total civilian nonagricultural employment reached 801,400 jobs by the fourth quarter, up from 785,300 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2003. Employment in the Albuquerque area— defined as Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties— reached 375,700 jobs, up 2.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2003. Area unemployment was 5.1 percent. Bureau of Business and Economic Research director Lee Reynis said "phenomenally strong" growth in construction jobs, local government hiring, and health and social-services sector growth accounted for much of the state's employment growth. Sector-wide growth Construction jobs are being created rapidly in nonresidential building, particularly in publicly funded jobs, Reynis said. Higher oil and natural gas prices have increased severance tax collections, allowing the state to take on more debt to fund more projects, she said. Among the larger capital investments are a $1.5 billion state commitment to highway and transportation projects, Albuquerque-area infrastructure construction required by the San Juan-Chama Diversion Project, and a number of federal projects at military bases and national laboratories. Residential construction remained strong, too, as shown in the value of residential building permits. The state changed the way it reports the value of permits, so comparisons between the fourth quarters of 2003 and 2004 are misleading, Reynis said. The value of permits rose in 2004, during which time reporting was done consistently; it rose from $407 million in the first quarter of 2004 to $503 million in the fourth quarter. Health and social sectors The health care and social assistance sectors added 3,000 jobs statewide in 2004, compared with a 3,300-job increase in construction employment. Reynis cautioned that eroding federal support for Medicaid could slow hiring in New Mexico's health care industry. Local government continued to drive employment growth, mostly through American Indian casino hiring, Reynis said. Government statewide added 3,300 jobs in 2004. While mining, which includes oil and gas employment, is a fairly small sector, job growth was substantial, thanks to rising petroleum and copper prices, Reynis said. A copper mine near Silver City alone added 350 jobs, she said. Manufacturing, which accounts for 4 percent of employment in New Mexico and 8 percent in the Albuquerque area, continued to lose jobs in 2004, but it was not the serious drag on employment it has been in years past, Reynis said. The sector's employment declined by 0.6 percent. Manufacturing "Prospects for manufacturing are very good," Reynis said. Consumer and, more importantly, business demand for goods is increasing, and a weak U.S. dollar is making American manufactured goods cheaper. Computer buying by businesses, for example, is up, which should improve sales of New Mexico-made electronics components. Reynis said she is especially encouraged by New Mexico's emerging aviation industry and by announced plans to manufacture buses in Roswell and mattresses in Albuquerque. However, she said, there is small-scale expansion showing up throughout the sector. She cautioned that high-tech industries, once considered to be recession-proof, have proven to be as cyclical as more conventional industries and that an economic slow-down could hurt New Mexico's high-tech manufacturers. Retail employment growth, which Reynis called an indicator of the overall strength of the economy, remained healthy. Statewide retail employment grew between 1.5 percent and 2 percent, and Albuquerque retail growth was more than 2 percent. The value of goods sold in the retail sector, as shown by reported taxable gross receipts from retail trade, rose 5.4 percent between the fourth quarters of 2003 and 2004, reaching $3 billion. Copyright 2005 Albuquerque Journal

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Monday, March 7, 2005 Ky. Firm Buys Albuquerque Marriott on Louisiana By Diane Velasco Of the Journal COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: The Albuquerque Marriott hotel, 2102 Louisiana NE, changed owners earlier this year, but the name will stay the same. The Host Marriott Corp. sold the property to Ft. Mitchell, Ky.-based Columbia Sussex Corp., said new general manager Tom Hagreen. "We were looking at three other properties owned by Marriott and this was one of them," he said. Host Marriott could not be reached for comment. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The Albuquerque hotel was one of six in the country that Host Marriott sold for a total of $223 million in December and January. Columbia Sussex Corp. is a private hotel, resort and casino operator with 62 properties in the United States. Its franchise affiliations include the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Westin and Radisson brands. HOTEL BLUE CHANGES HANDS: The Hotel Blue, 717 Central NW, has been purchased by Los Angeles investment group Bass Development Inc. The sale closed Dec. 27. Terms were not disclosed. The property was once a Ramada Inn. Former owner Central Hospitality LLC invested $5 million in renovations in 1998, then broke with the Ramada Inn chain in 2001 and renamed the 135-room hotel on historic Route 66 to highlight its art-deco theme. Once again, big changes are planned, including a franchise and remodeling, said general manager Patryka Tachick. BLOOMFIELD GETS NEW HOTEL: Visitors and tourists to Mesa Verde National Park, the Salmon Ruins and the Chaco Culture National Historic Park now have another hotel choice. The Territorial Inn & Suites, a Best Western hotel, has opened at 415 S. Bloomfield, in Bloomfield. The hotel has 51 rooms, 14 suites, and indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub, a fitness center and meeting room for 20 people. Rates start at $69 per night. "The natural beauty of the Four Corners region offers a spectacular backdrop for this new hotel," said Mark Williams, vice president of North American development for Best Western International. "The property is a great addition to our growing chain." THE SPIRALS PLANS THIRD PHASE: Construction is expected to start this month on the third phase of The Spirals, an Albuquerque apartment complex at 5500 Copper NE. Each two-story unit has a spiral staircase to the second floor, hence the name, said owner Robert Mhoon. The first two phases consisted of seven units each. The $1 million third phase will be 34 units at once, a total of 33,211 square feet. The complex is on about 1 1/3 acres. "The rental market is not as hot as the sales market, but it's not bad," he said. "I feel now is a good time to build." He expects to finish construction by first quarter 2006. The asking monthly lease rate is $600. His son Daryl Mhoon is the leasing agent. The contractor is Martin Muñoz. The architect is Rick Bennett.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


************Call to Action*************** The final East Downtown (EDO) Master Plan will be heard in the Albuquerque City Council on Wednesday, February 23, 2005, 5:00 p.m. in the basement of City Hall. The EDO Master Plan is supported by the AMBR/CARNM Legislative Committee. What Can You Do to Help? Please attend if you can and express your support for this community effort. If you cannot attend, please contact your councilor and ask for a vote to pass the EDO Master Plan. Summary of the East Downtown (EDO) Master Plan The plan is a comprehensive vision for the redevelopment of Central Avenue and Broadway Boulevard between I-25 and downtown and between MLK and Coal. With historic Albuquerque High taking the lead, the area is rapidly and positively changing. In the past 3 years, there have been 70 new residential lease units and 110 residential sale units in addition to retail and office space. This plan extends those efforts with a 20 year roadmap providing for over 1,500 new residences and 600,000 square feet of ground level commercial space. The plan was a collaboration of the Broadway Central Corridors Partnership, a non-profit official Neighborhood Association with approximately 200 members who are residents, business owners and property owners, surrounding neighborhoods and key City of Albuquerque staff. These groups went to the neighborhood to solicit feedback and synthesized the feedback and detail into the Draft Master Plan.. This was followed by public hearings by the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission (LUCC) and the Environmental Planning Commission (EPC). It has broad-based support from the business community in Albuquerque. Miguel A. Gómez, Vice-President District 1 Michael L. McCan, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3106 Debbie O'Malley District 2 Kelly Sanchez-Pare, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3159 Eric Griego District 3 Kelly Sanchez-Pare, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3159 Brad Winter, President District 4 Diana Trujeque, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3101 Michael J. Cadigan District 5 Diana Trujeque, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3101 Martin Heinrich District 6 Javier Benavidez, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3152 Sally Mayer District 7 Patricia Galindo, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3136 Craig Loy District 8 Michael L. McCan, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3106 Tina Cummins District 9 Patricia Galindo, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3136

Monday, February 21, 2005


Sunday, February 20, 2005 Infill Uses Suggestions From Historic Santa Barbara-Martineztown Area Albuquerque Journal By Jane MahoneyFor the Journal Thirteen single-family houses are rising out of the ashes of an abandoned, fire-damaged property in the shadow of one of Downtown's oldest neighborhoods. What's more, plenty of folks have expressed an interest in buying and living in the development spearheaded by the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership, a private, nonprofit, housing developer that works with the city, the neighborhood and finance institutions. With an emphasis on creating affordable housing for first-time homeowners in the city's oldest neighborhoods, the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership is selling houses in the new infill El Porvenir subdivision near Lomas and Arno NE in the heart of the Santa Barbara-Martineztown neighborhood. Six houses have been completed. With three distinct designs and ranging from 920 to 1,300 square feet, the houses are reserved for first-time buyers whose individual or family income does not exceed 80 percent of the area's median income. The houses are valued on the market at between $110,000 and $135,500; qualified buyers will be given a subsidy to make mortgage payments affordable. The aptly named El Porvenir, or "the future," is taking shape after months of dialogue with residents of Santa Barbara-Martineztown, who contributed input on the development's flavor and style, right down to requesting single-family houses rather than town homes or apartments. The developer is also working on two additional affordable housing projects elsewhere in the city. A 22-home development is slated for a late spring groundbreaking in the Barelas neighborhood, and an 18-unit townhouse development overlooking the Puerto del Sol Golf Course near the airport is in the early stages of construction. "It's important to maintain and revitalize these older neighborhoods for the wellness of the entire city," said Louis Kolker, the GAHP executive director. "It empowers families living in these areas by providing access to the American dream of homeownership." Though the Santa Barbara-Martineztown houses are not large, each has two or three bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, a single-car garage and a front porch. Kolker says the houses' exteriors are as important as their interiors in the eyes of neighbors, who likely have lived in the neighborhood for years, often generations. Community residents repeatedly suggested that the new houses should blend in with the styles, colors and sizes of older houses in the neighborhood. Some residents, in fact, are buying the new homes, breaking a history of renting dictated by income level. "Eyes on the street" is the GAHP's philosophy for home design, Kolker said. "When people move in here, we want them to be part of the community. That's why we put on front porches. That's why we design homes with the living areas toward the front of the house. It's deliberate. We want people to have their eyes on the street and enjoy it. We want neighbors who can talk over the fence. That's why the garages are to the rear— so there is room to park a couple of cars in the driveway and get them off the street." The 11/2-story house has 1,300 square feet of living space, with a market price of $135,500. The first level has the living room, dining room, kitchen (with stove and dishwasher furnished), bathroom, and a downstairs bedroom or study with a walk-in closet. Upstairs, under the steep-pitched roof, are two more bedrooms, another bathroom and generous storage spaces. Old-fashioned touches, reflecting the neighborhood's pre-1900s style, include transoms over interior doors and windowsills. Design work was done by Isaac Benton & Associates Architects.

Monday, February 07, 2005


Monday, February 7, 2005 Home Permits Reach Metro Area Record By Rory McClannahanJournal Staff Writer Growth on the west side of the Rio Grande drove metro-area home building permits to a record in 2004, a 12 percent jump above the previous year. The hottest spots in 2004 for new home construction compared with 2003 were Rio Rancho with 43 percent growth, the Southwest Mesa with 26.6 percent, and Valencia County with 46 percent. Albuquerque's Northwest quadrant fell by a half-percent and the city grew by only 0.6 percent. During 2004, 7,719 permits were issued in the metro area, according to the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico. In 2003, 6,879 permits were issued. "I knew we would be over last year's numbers, but not that much," said Jim Folkman, vice president of the association. In addition to the cities of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, the metro area includes Los Lunas and unincorporated Bernalillo and Valencia counties. Rio Rancho, the West Side and the Southwest Mesa together accounted for 48 percent of the home building market last year. Of that, Rio Rancho accounted for about 22 percent of the market. In the city of Albuquerque, 5,071 permits were issued— a 0.6 percent increase from 2003— and unincorporated Bernalillo County dropped 9.6 percent. "Construction (within) Albuquerque has leveled off," Folkman said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Rio Rancho construction is exploding." Folkman is predicting Rio Rancho probably will issue more than 2,500 permits during 2005. The city is off to a fast start with 204 permits issued in January, according to the city's planning department. Despite Albuquerque's lackluster growth, developers have not abandoned the Duke City. The Northwest quadrant accounted for 2,482 home construction permits during the year and the Southwest quadrant had 1,525. What really isn't surprising, Folkman said, was that construction in Rio Rancho has increased. During 2004, 1,715 home building permits were issued, compared with 1,198 in 2003. Los Lunas and Valencia County also had a record-breaking year with more than 46 percent growth in the number of permits. The growth in Rio Rancho and Valencia County, he said, indicates builders are looking outside Albuquerque for land to develop. Albuquerque doesn't have much land left for home construction and some builders complain about the difficulty of developing within the city, Folkman said. Outlying areas offer cheaper land and less restrictive development, he said. Builders in Albuquerque expect 2005 to be as good as 2004. Mark Kinsley, president of KB Home's New Mexico Division, said he expects building in the Albuquerque area will continue at a steady pace. During 2004, KB Home got construction permits for 606 homes compared to 452 in 2003. Kinsley said the company likes the area because it can count on growth. "Some places tend to have peaks and valleys in home growth," he said. "Albuquerque has been slow and steady. It's a healthy market." KB Home has started a new subdivision on the Southwest Mesa called Anderson Hills, which will have 1,300 houses, three parks and a trail system. The company will also continue work in Enchanted Hills in Rio Rancho, as well as several other smaller subdivisions. "We are expecting a very good year," Kinsley said. The top home builder in the metro area for 2004 was D.R. Horton Homes, which got 788 construction permits during the year. The company was also the top builder in 2003 with 750 permits issued. Folkman said the overall new home market will probably slip in the coming year with interest rates the main culprit. For most of 2004, rates stayed under 6 percent for a home mortgage. Folkman said he expects rates to climb to at least 6.5 percent, which could drive some consumers out of the market. "Some people just won't be able to pay the higher rates, which will trickle down to builders," he said. Copyright 2005 Albuquerque Journal

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Double Eagle Airport and Eclipse Aviation

Saturday, February 5, 2005 Double Eagle Gets Funds for Upgrades Journal Staff Report The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a $201,184 grant for upgrades to Double Eagle II Airport. Funds will be used to help bring electricity and natural gas to the airport, which is undergoing improvements to become a center for economic development in Albuquerque. "It is important to ensure that Double Eagle II airport is ready to accommodate Eclipse Aviation when they move into their new home in Albuquerque," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., in a prepared statement Thursday. Bingaman helped secure the funding in a 2003 spending bill and has also worked to secure millions for other airport-related expenses, such as road and runway improvements and construction of a new control tower. Last year, the airport received a $3.13 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to begin runway improvements to the airport as part its phase II project. Eclipse plans to open a production facility at the West Side airport in 2009 in a 300-acre Aerospace Technology Park. Eclipse currently employs 380 people in Albuquerque. Additionally, two other aviation firms have announced plans to manufacture jets at the airport.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Possible opportunity for new jobs New Mexico Remains In Running For Aircraft Plant POSTED: 10:31 am MST January 25, 2005 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico is the only state still in the running for a plant that could employ 2,500 people. The Albuquerque Journal on Tuesday reported that Canada's Bombardier Aerospace wants to open a new plant that would make commercial aircraft. The company's board is expected to decide in March whether they will open the proposed plant -- and, if so, where it would be located. Copyright 2005 by

Albuquerque Housing Review

It's four and counting. For the fourth year in a row, Albuquerque has set a record in sales of existing homes - and it didn't take a year to do it. The record was broken in November when 900 homes were sold, bringing the year's total to 10,347, 131 more than the 2003 count of 10,216. With the exception of January, new monthly records have been set every month this year through November. October was the sixth month in a row that more than 1,000 homes were sold, a showing unrivaled in the more than 20 years that records have been kept by the Albuquerque Metropolitan Board of Realtors. The city had never topped 1,000 homes sales in a month until July of last year, when 1,110 were sold. Some 1,054 homes sold the following month, and then sales dropped below the 1,000 mark. Sales hit 1,029 in May of this year, followed by 1,157 in June, 1,131 in July, 1,146 in August, 1,022 in September and 1,001 in October, all monthly records. The 674 homes sold in February were the highest of any February on record, and the same held true for the 833 homes sold in March and 921 in April. The total through November was 9.1 percent ahead of the same 11 months of 2003. November's sales were 32.5 percent higher than last November. First time buyers are fueling the market in homes under $135,000. At the higher end are buyers benefiting from the city's improving economic climate. With a job growth rate of about 2 percent this year, Albuquerque is one of the more thriving cities in the country. More people are buying homes as an investment. Real estate purchases are allowed within certain types of individual retirement accounts, called self-directed IRAs.On Dec. 1, there were 2,572 existing single-family homes in the board's Southwest Multiple Listing Service, which covers Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Placitas, Corrales, Los Lunas and the area in the mountains east of Albuquerque. The number of listings has topped 5,000 in other years. It's a wonderful time to learn about the Albuquerque market, and a wonderful time to start investing in Albuquerque's future.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Thinking of investing in Albuquerque?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005 December 2004 December 2004 was the eleventh consecutive month in which the number of sales reported by SWMLS for the month is the highest number ever reported for home sales in the Albuquerque area in that month! There were 916 sales reported for December 2004. The number of sales rose slightly from November to December (from 900 to 916), a rise of 1.78 percent. The increase in the number of sales from December 2003 (731 sales) compared to December 2004 was 25.31 percent! The number of sales reported from the beginning of the year (12,263) was 10.25 percent higher than the year-end number in 2003 (10,216). The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in New Mexico was 3.37 percent lower in December 2004 than it was in December 2003 (5.37 percent cf. 5.54 percent in December 2003). The average and median prices for R1 homes continued to rise compared to the corresponding values in December 2003. The data are presented below. Class R1, average price: $167,578 in December 2003$189,803 in December 2004, an increase of 13.26 percentClass R1, median price:$141,000 in December 2003 $150,000 in December 2004, an increase of 6.38 percentClass R2, average price:$113,577 in December 2003$112,621 in December 2004, a decrease of -0.84 percent Class R2, median price:$98,250 in December 2003$110,500 in December 2004, an increase of 12.47 percent. For the full report from SWMLS, click on December statistics.Posted at 02:48 PM Fourth Quarter Statistics The number of sales reported in the Albuquerque area for the fourth quarter of 2004 (2,817) was remarkably high for this time of year, even exceeding the 2,274 sales reported during the fourth quarter of 2003! This was a gain of 23.88 percent over the fourth-quarter sales for 2003, which was a record-breaking number for the fourth quarter! For the full report from SWMLS, click on fourth quarter 2004 report. This report includes a graph showing the sales overview of sold and closed single-family homes in the years 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. Posted at 02:45 PM

Linda DeVlieg, ePro Posted by Hello

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