Home sales have increased while population has decreased

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FARMINGTON — Property owners throughout San Juan County who were mailed notices of valuation recently may see a difference in the assessed value of their holdings.

Property owners have 30 days to protest the valuation if they believe it is too high or too low, according to County Assessor Jimmy Voita. He said people also have 30 days to claim tax exemptions.

While values didn't increase, Voita said the number of properties sold in 2017 did rise — and he doesn't know why those sales increased.

“The housing market seems to be doing pretty well,” he said.

Existing structures led the rise in home sales, Voita said. He said he has not seen a lot of new construction.

“New construction has slowed on residential property,” Voita said.

The notices of valuation are sent out annually and help calculate property taxes. Property tax is a third of a property's value multiplied by the mill rate.

Voita encouraged people to let the county know within the 30-day time period if they believe the valuation is wrong. Voita said the notice of valuation is based on the sales of similar property in the area.

“We didn’t see a lot of change in the market this year in terms of values,” Voita said.

The trend of increased property sales has been noticed across New Mexico. According to a press release from the Realtors Association of New Mexico, 3,468 home sales were reported between January and February of this year. In comparison, 2,491 houses sold during the same time period last year.

In February, 1,949 homes sold. In the press release, Connie Hettinga, the association’s president, said this year was the best February for home sales since the Realtors Association of New Mexico started keeping statewide statistics in 2008.

In San Juan County, 838 homes were sold in 2017 with a median sale price of $175,000. According to the Realtors Association of New Mexico, San Juan County was one of the New Mexico counties that saw the largest increase in home sales in 2017. The other counties include Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Santa Fe and Valencia.

In comparison to the 2017 sales, a total of 721 homes were sold in San Juan County in 2016.

In January and February this year, a total of 124 homes were sold in San Juan County, according to Realtors Association of New Mexico data. The median sales price for the first two months of 2018 was $198,375.

The increase in home sales did not translate to an increase in population in San Juan County. According to U.S. Census data, the county’s population decreased by more than 800 people last year.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email hgrove@daily-times.com.

 

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