Serving the High Plains

Tucumcari ranks No. 1 in state for home affordability

Tucumcari ranked No. 1 in New Mexico for being the most affordable place to buy a home, according to a recent analysis by

Tucumcari scored an affordability index of 76.31, substantially higher than the second-highest New Mexico town, Lovington, at 62.89.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 in order were Carlsbad, Los Chaves, Grants, Hobbs, Roswell, North Hobbs, White Rock and Los Alamos.

Tucumcari scored well with average closing costs ($2,105), property taxes ($376), homeowner’s insurance costs ($319) and average annual mortgage payment ($2,562) compared to the city’s average median income of $31,054.

The New Mexico average was $2,633 for closing costs, $913 for property taxes, $961 for homeowner’s insurance and $7,706 for average annual mortgage payment with an average median income of $51,243.

The most affordable place to own a home in the U.S. was Tuba City, Arizona, with an affordability index of 100.

That was followed by Beecher, Michigan, north of Flint. Glasgow Village, Missouri, a north suburb of St. Louis, was third.

Most of the affordable places were clustered in the Southwest or Midwest.

Tucumcari ranked 18th nationally.

SmartAsset analyzed all cities with a population of 5,000 or more by measuring the total cost of owning a home in each city over a five-year period. The cost then was measured as a proportion of median household income to determine affordability.

Tonya Rigdon, an agent for Trousdale Real Estate in Tucumcari, expressed surprise at the rankings when informed of them last week.

“I’m glad we’re No. 1 in something,” she said, laughing.

Rigdon acknowledged Tucumcari’s home market is affordable and attractive compared to many places.

“Our property taxes are reasonable, and we’ve got low crime,” she said. “As far as crime in Tucumcari, we don’t have that much.”

She said new residents like the low cost of living and the weather, save for gale winds recently experienced in late February and early March.

Rigdon said the pace of home sales has slackened since a huge surge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s slowed down a lot since December because of (rising) interest rates, people unsure what’s going on in our country,” she said.

“We still have people looking, but right now we’re pretty low on inventory. We don’t have that many listings right now. But people move around a lot in March, April and May, so we’ll have several listings coming up then.”