The Hyper Local Market A Snapshot Of Two School Area Boundaries In Albuquerque

Dated: 01/19/2018

Views: 251

By Scott Albright

Associate Broker,

The M Real Estate Group

📞 (505) 247-1002 ext. 156

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! I hear this basic real estate mantra almost every day, but what’s important to you about location? Is it your proximity to work? What’s within walking distance? Is it about being in a buyer’s or seller’s market? Or is it about the school area boundaries your kids will live within? If it’s the latter, then take a look at this snapshot of market data for two school area boundaries in Albuquerque – the Sandia High School & Highland High School area boundaries I created using InfoSparks.

The housing market is hyper-local and can change from neighborhood to neighborhood, but I chose to highlight these two school areas for a couple of reasons. One, because it’s a bit more complicated to compare each neighborhood within a city like Albuquerque. Two, because a school area boundary is easier to define and I think it’s good to know the market for the area where your kids go to school, as the people living here include the parents, teachers, and neighbors making decisions regarding your local community and children’s education. And three, because I live in one of these areas and my brother lives in the other. As a disclaimer, I need to tell you I created the boundaries for these two school areas using’s School Boundaries Maps (School Attendance Zones) and InfoSparks, so they may not be completely accurate, but they are pretty close based off the maps I’m familiar with. Below you will see the boundaries for these areas I created in InfoSparks:

Sandia High School Area Boundaries Enrollment Zone (approximate)

Sandia High School School Area Boundaries

(Created using InfoSparks & High School Area Boundaries Enrollment Zone (approximate)Highland High School School Area Boundaries 

(Created using InfoSparks and

The first thing you’ll notice is the Sandia High School zone boundaries are on the north side of the freeway while the Highland High School boundaries are on the south side. According to the InfoSparks boundaries I drew, The Highland High area attendance zone includes about 16.2 square miles, while the Sandia High School area includes about 9.1 square miles. Highland High boundaries include parts of Kirtland Air Force Base, while Sandia High School does not have any major federal lands within its boundaries. So, although we are not comparing apples to apples here, we are still comparing different market data for residential homes between two high school area attendance zones. The following is a chart showing the median sales price for these two areas over a ten-year period time using InfoSparks:

The next major thing I noticed using this data, is that in June of 2015 the median sales price for homes in the Highland High area surpassed the median sales price for homes in the Sandia High area by $7,900 before dramatically dipping to lower levels over the next two years. In May of 2017 homes in the Sandia High School area were selling at a median price of $193,900 while those in the Highland High area were selling at a median price of $173,000. That’s over a $20,000 difference! What happened over that time to make prices change so dramatically? What does that mean for home owners and the equity they hold in these two areas? How will those prices change in the future based off new construction, infrastructure changes, and other factors? As a realtor I can’t predict the future, but I will certainly take a closer look at the data . . . Looking deeper, it seems supply is much higher in the Highland High area compared to Sandia’s,


And in the Sandia High area demand seems higher when comparing the amount of days homes stayed on the market, as homes in the Highland High area spent more time waiting to be sold over the long term:

Economists will tell you supply and demand dictate prices. Does the demand seem higher in the Sandia High area because it is a better school? Is it because it’s a smaller area? Does it have to do with demographics, crime, stigmatizations, or other factors? Does supply seem to be higher in the Highland High area because the Air Force base influences the rate at which people move in and out of this area? Whatever the reasons, it’s hard to pinpoint a causality vs. a correlation. What I can say, is I live within the Highland High School area boundaries I drew up and I’m personally more excited about where I live compared to where my brother’s at. Just look at the price change in these two areas since last year:

In October of 2017 Sandia High area homes were outpacing median sales prices of Highland High area homes at $189,900 to $185,506, respectively. By December of 2017 the median sales price of Highland High area homes surpassed the median sales price of Sandia High homes by $13,000 at $187,000 compared to $174,000. So why the sudden price change again?In my opinion it’s simple - there’s more diversity of architecture here, and we’re closer to the university, Nob Hill, and downtown areas, while also being closer to more roads that cross the river. My brother has one nice park within walking distance to his house, while I have one really big park within a short bicycle ride, and four smaller ones within walking distance. I’m closer to more medical facilities, businesses, bicycle paths, and government offices, yet we both live close to major roadways with high traffic volumes.But I guess it’s all relative anyway. Where one chooses to live cannot always be based off desire, as necessity will usually come first. What’s important to know is that markets fluctuate and one side of the freeway isn’t always better than the other, and understanding the market and looking for patterns in the data can be useful for knowing when to buy or sell. The data I’ve shown here is a tool for anyone reading this to figure out for themselves when they should do just that.

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