Albuquerque, N.M., has recently exploded as a housing market, according to local remodeler Tom Poulin. During the past couple of years, land and home prices have skyrocketed, with many of them more than doubling in value and homes appreciating 30% in three years. Long obscured by the shadows of nearby markets such as Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, and Albuquerque and its suburbs have seen a huge growth in development. Poulin recalls seeing passenger vans with California license plates pulling up to real estate offices all over the city. That frenzy has ended, but remodelers are still feeling the effects.
Although being in a hot housing market sounds like a winning proposition for remodelers, the truth is that there are some downfalls. “When there are more homes on the market,” Poulin says, “people tend to just move on to the next one,” rather than remodel. Some homeowners buy new houses and sit on them, waiting for them to appreciate, with designs on “moving up” in a few years. The remodeling projects they do choose to pursue are more often “updates” to boost the value of the house, not larger projects designed for long-term enjoyment.
This phenomenon has reinforced for Poulin the importance of a healthy relationship with past clients, as his company has been as busy as ever. “We get repeat business year in, year out,” he says.