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Unpacking a Wall Street Journal Article on Las Cruces Housing Market

A recent real estate article in the Wall Street Journal, “Housing Market in This Small City Took a
Long Road to Recovery,” created a buzz among buyers, sellers, and the business community.
Written by Ben Eisen and Nicole Friedman, the article is centered around the home buying and
selling journey of a Las Cruces citizen, Dr. Meghan Downes. She is a professor at New Mexico
State University and described the financial and emotional impact on her from her home
purchase in 2007.

We’ve experienced heartache with other buyers since the downturn of the real estate market in
2008. We empathize with Dr. Downes and understand the toll these decisions make on
homeowners. She attempted to sell her home in 2017 but was unable to based on values and
her need to recover her $212,000 purchase price. Dr. Downes showed grit and tenacity in the
fact that she was able to hang onto her home even when life took her out of state. Flash forward
to today’s robust real estate market, and her home has an estimated value of $323,000
(provided by Zillow).

While we know that a REALTOR would be able to establish a more accurate comparative
market analysis by using sold market data, an estimated value of $323,000 is a positive
valuation. If we all think about our investments, whether retirement accounts, savings, or real
estate, an appreciation of approximately $111,000 in her equity over 15 years is a solid return.
It is important to note that this article follows just one home and is not necessarily an indication
of the market as a whole. We know that real estate is local, but it is also dependent on a
multitude of factors, including neighborhood, condition, updates, 2 story vs 1 story, etc.

The article states that “people who bought in these areas around the prior peak are just now
getting back to level ground.” We dug a little deeper with the help of our Multiple Listing
Service. In Las Cruces, our market actually achieved the typical home value from June 2008 in
September of 2020. Currently, our average sale price is approximately $305,000, up 15% since
spring of 2021.

We love where we live. With 220,000 residents, Dona Ana County’s industries include
agriculture, regional medical services, New Mexico State University, White Sands Missile Range
and the space industry. Living in Las Cruces offers a diverse culture, spectacular views and
hiking opportunities, exceptional weather, and affordable living that is appealing to retirees and

Real estate has a range of purposes in our consumers’ lives. It’s shelter; it’s a place to raise a
family; it can be an investment vehicle for additional income or retirement savings. It sure as
heck beats paying rent and owning nothing. We believe in the power of homeownership for all.
Want to know more about the value of your current home or interested in buying? Contact one
of our experts at BHGRE Steinborn & Associates to guide you. 575-522-3698

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