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New Mexico oil country sees more realtors than housing

April 6, 2019

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — The heart of New Mexico’s booming oil country has more real estate agents than homes to sell.

The numbers come as officials in Lea County worry about a housing shortage for workers employed in the state’s lucrative oil industry.

Hobbs Realtors Association Kali Taylor president estimated this week there are around 100 realtors in the Lea County and only around 84 residential homes available. Taylor says 61 of those homes were listed this week in Hobbs, the Hobbs News-Sun reports .

“It’s changing daily,” Taylor said. “We’re in a market that’s crazy. It has been going down. We have a surplus of buyers right now.”

Taylor said even 100 listings in Hobbs would be insufficient for the number of buyers already waiting to purchase a place to live.

Robbie Robinson, owner of Robinson and Associates Real Estate, said many of the newer real estate agents in the area are considering other fields of employment.

“For several years, we were at about 60-65, maybe 70 tops, as far as broker count,” Robinson said, “and it’s really jumped up here lately. There are a lot of folks getting in the business. They’re learning it’s not all peaches right away.”

Meanwhile, realtors are taking action to encourage adding homes to the listing.

“We’re trying to find houses that are off-market and anybody that’s willing to sell,” Taylor said. “We have buyers lined up the second we hear a listing coming up.”

Real estate agents would like to see at least three times as many homes on the market.

“A normal market would be great. We’d see 200 houses on the market,” Taylor said. “That would give us more inventory to show people. I mean, options versus ‘You have to take it right away or it won’t be around.’”

Realtor Martha Thomas of Casa Oasis Realty puts the number even higher for a viable housing market.

“I would think we need at least 300. That’s just my opinion,” she said. “The way Hobbs is growing, we need more than that. We need at least 500, but I would say 300 for an average.”

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Information from: Hobbs News-Sun, http://www.hobbsnews.com