A booming and fluctuating oil and gas industry stimulated New Mexico’s housing market in recent years, causing shifts in home sales and valuation, particularly in areas known for extraction of oil and gas.

This year, the number of sales throughout the state took a dip, but the value of the homes grew.

All but one of New Mexico’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) tracked by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) saw growth in home appreciation in the last year.

Only Farmington in the Four Corners region of northwest New Mexico – an area where natural gas production recently began a downward trend – saw a decline, 2 percent, in appreciation.

Las Cruces was up 3 percent, Santa Fe was up 5 percent and Albuquerque grew by 2 percent.

Paul Wilson, 2019 president of the New Mexico Association of Realtors (NMAR) said Carlsbad and southeast New Mexico – where oil and gas is growing – is not tracked by the FHFA, but its appreciation likely grew into the double digits.

“The big trend right now is the oil and gas boom,” Wilson said. “You’ve got a lot of folks down there. You’ve got a lot of demand.”

Data from NMAR showed a slight decline in the number of statewide sales in January 2019, down to 1,491 from January 2018’s sales of 1,508.

That month, records show, posted the highest total sales in January in the last 10 years.

But despite slightly less homes sold, the median price in January grew from $190,000 in 2018 to $196,000.

President of the NMAR Paul Wilson said the state is largely seeing a shortage of available units driving up prices.

He said many first-time home buyers are simply priced out of the market.

“There is still a lack of adequate inventory in many areas, especially in the lower price ranges,” Wilson said. “That makes it harder for the first-time buyer to find a home at a price for which the mortgage is one for which they can qualify.

“Activity should pick up if interest rates do not rise and additional inventory is added to the market.”