Now, five years later, as reported by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors, the city is considering a reduction in impact fees. The fees were imposed at the height of the boom when builders couldscarcely build fast enough to meet the demand for new homes. The builders did not like the added fees but kept on building and likely as not passed them on to buyers. But the downturn came and the rest is history. New home construction is almost at a standstill. K B. Homes left town; some companies merged,( Pulte and Centex most recently; and others simply ceased production.
Currently, around the city, building sites with electricity, cable, gas and water in place, are quiet, waiting for someone to bring them alive again with the sounds of hammer and saw and the buzz of Spanish dialects of roofers and tilers. The reduction of the impact fee may just be the one added incentive we need at this time for the activity to return. With the near cessation of new housing starts and first-time buyers taking advantage of the $8000 tax incentive, the drop in prices fueled by short sales and REO pricing, the Albuquerque area has been significantly whittling away at its inventory. The latest housing statistics from the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors, point to signs of recovery in the housing market.
Acdcording to the GAAR report, the reduction in impact fees for green construction would be 100 percent and for all others, 50 percent. This particular incentive plus may well be signifying the end of the downturn and the swing of the housing market pendulum in the opposite direction of recovery and I would not be at all surprised to see building construction sites around the city starting to come alive in the short run.