Albuquerque real estate jobs hit all-time low in May, but wages are still up
Albuquerque, New Mexico — Real estate jobs are down as much as 11% in May as a slowdown in construction activity has the real estate industry facing a major shortage of workers.
The Albuquerque Journal reported Wednesday that there are 4,100 vacancies in Albuquerque’s downtown office space.
That’s down from the peak of 5,100 openings in May 2017.
Construction is down by more than half a million dollars since last year.
In other words, a quarter of all jobs are now at risk of being eliminated.
“We’re in a very challenging time for our industry,” said Jim Dyson, president of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.
“The demand for real estate has been very, very strong over the past year.
There are very few vacancies, and we have been trying to fill them with people.
We’re trying to get our workforce to a place where we can attract the best and brightest.”
Dyson said construction companies in the region have been doing “really well.”
The company that manages the building at the former Alameda and Alameda Parkway in the city’s east side said it expects to start construction on a new office tower this week.
A company spokesperson declined to provide a breakdown of the number of vacant vacancies or how many people have applied for jobs.
Construction of a new tower will require nearly $50 million in public subsidies, which the city has been trying desperately to get through the legislature to make up for lost revenues from a state budget cut.
The state Department of Economic Development says that since May 2017, the city and the local government has received $3.9 billion in public aid to pay for infrastructure projects and public safety, including $1.4 billion in housing assistance.
Dyson told the newspaper that he believes construction is expected to begin this month, but that it will take about two months.
“When it gets started, we’re going to have a really strong workforce and a strong job market,” he said.
Albuquerque is a hub for construction and real estate.
The city has had an active real estate market since the 1970s, when a new condominium development was built there.
But construction of a high-rise office building was a slow-burn, with the construction of the tallest building in the United States, the 555-foot, 1,000-unit Manhattan Bridge, not happening until a decade later.
Albuquerque, like most cities in New Mexico, has struggled with the economy and construction slowdown.
The median home price in the metropolitan area fell 11% between the end of 2016 and the end and end of 2017, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Albuquerque.
The average rent rose 7% from 2016 to 2017.
“This is a very important time for the city,” Dyson explained.
“There’s an abundance of construction activity and jobs in Albuquerque, and that’s why we’re seeing a drop in vacancy rates.”