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Moving to South Valley Guide | Why You’ll Love Living in South Valley NM!
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Ryan Goodman

Moving to South Valley Guide | Why You’ll Love Living in South Valley NM!

Last Updated on: 17th August 2023, 12:40 pm

Are you considering moving to South Valley? Check out this comprehensive guide on everything you need there is to know about this Albuquerque suburb! South Valley is a town and CDP situated in Bernalillo County, south of Albuquerque. It’s part of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area, and since it’s a small CDP, all locations in South Valley have an Albuquerque address. It was established around the 1690s and early 1700s, but the area’s history began long before that; nomadic hunters and gatherers lived there nearly 12,000 years ago! Overall, living in South Valley is great; it’s a small quiet town, but it’s located very close to Albuquerque and the other attractive amenities the largest city offers.

Where Is South Valley New Mexico?

South Valley, New Mexico, is located south of Albuquerque in Bernalillo County. Sunport, Old Town, Los Volcanes, and Pajarito Mesa border the town. It’s a suburb of Albuquerque and is only 6.4 miles from the city’s center. It’s also part of the Albuquerque metropolitan area, which is commonly referred to as Tiguex. The terrain here is typical of New Mexico; it’s very rocky, with Salicaceous and Ulmaceae trees lining the streets. The Rio Grande, a US principal river, runs through the town’s center.

The Rio Metro is a rural and intercity public transportation service provided by Bernalillo County, serving South Valley, New Mexico. They provide train and bus transportation and shuttle services for trips between the airport and the train station.

Helpful transportation links:

South Valley Population & Demographics

South Valley has seen a 2,638-person decrease since 2010; its population dropped from 40,976 to 38,338. The median household income is $40,976, compared to New Mexico’s median household income of $54,020 and America’s median household income of $69,021. South Valley has the 3rd highest population in its county.

Additional demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 51 males to 49 females
  • Median age: 40.7
  • Racial makeup: 81% Hispanic, 60.0% White (16.1% non-Hispanic or Latino), 80.6% Hispanic or Latino, 18.5% two or more races, 2.4% American Indian or Native Alaska, 1.4% Black or African American, 0.2% Asian
  • Educational attainment: 79.6% have high school diplomas or higher, and 15.4% have bachelor’s degrees or higher
  • Foreign-born population: 14.6%
  • Veteran population: 7.3%

South Valley has a large Hispanic population, 71% of the homes are owner-occupied, and 58% of its population is married.

South Valley is a small CDP, so FBI crime statistics are unavailable; however, analyzing the crime in its large neighboring city, Albuquerque, can provide a good idea of what to expect when living in South Valley.

According to the FBI, Albuquerque has a crime rate of 6,356 per 100k people, New Mexico has a crime rate of 3,620 per 100k people, and the US has a crime rate of 2,346 per 100k people. Albuquerque’s crime rate is 75.6% higher than the state and 170.9% higher than the country.

While Albuquerque’s total crime rate is higher than the state and US average, If you look at this interactive crime map, you’ll see South Valley sees very little crime compared to the rest of its metro area. The highest crime area in Albuquerque is its downtown (or inner-city), whereas South and North Valley are much safer, according to the crime map.

Here are additional crime rate statistics for Albuquerque, NM:

  • Albuquerque violent crime rate per 100k people: 1,344
  • New Mexico violent crime rate per 100k people: 778
  • US violent crime rate per 100k people: 388
  • Albuquerque property crime rate per 100k people: 5,012
  • New Mexico property crime rate per 100k people: 2,842
  • US property crime rate per 100k people: 1,958

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department Field Services Division patrols three areas, North Valley (NACC), South Valley (SVCC), and East Mountains (EACC). Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department has 315 sworn personnel working hard to protect its citizens. 

Cost of Living in South Valley

Similar to Albuquerque, South Valley, NM, is very affordable! The Cost of Living Index (COLI) in South Valley is 13.6% below the US average of 100. Its cost of housing index is 30.1% lower than the US average, whereas its cost of utilities index is 4.2% above the US average.

Typical South Valley living expenses:

  • Inexpensive restaurant meal: $18.00
  • Gallon of milk: $3.72
  • Loaf of white bread: $2.75
  • Dozen eggs: $4.23
  • Pound of chicken filets: $4.41
  • Pound of apples: $2.05
  • Average South Valley utilities per month: $363 (per Doxo)

Source: Numbeo; these figures are for Albuquerque, which has a cost of living index of 90.8 (4.3% higher than South Valley’s 86.5); its cost of groceries index is also 2.7% higher than South Valley’s, whereas utilities are 7% lower. You can expect slightly lower prices in South Valley than the above figures. However, the average utilities per month may be higher.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, it costs $74,053 a year for a family of four to live in Bernalillo County. 

South Valley real estate is affordable; the South Valley median home price is $224,000. The median price per square foot has increased 12.4% since 2022 and is now $158. Homes typically sell within 16 days, and 12 homes were sold in June. Most people moving to South Valley are coming from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. If you’re interested in relocating to this wonderful suburb, take a look at the various homes for sale in South Valley, Albuquerque!

South Valley rentals are another affordable option. According to RentCafe, the average rent in South Valley is $931 for an 840-square-foot rental. A similar-sized rental will cost you $1,281 in Albuquerque and $1,380 in Rio Rancho. Most rentals in South Valley are single-family homes; most apartment complexes are located in larger nearby cities like Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.

South Valley Neighborhoods | Where to Live in South Valley

Are you in search of South Valley, New Mexico neighborhoods? Here are the best neighborhoods we could find in this Albuquerque suburb.

Abode Acres | Family-friendly South Valley community

Abode Acres is an established South Valley, NM neighborhood. It’s part of the South Valley Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, which meets monthly to ensure the South Valley neighborhoods maintain their cleanliness and appeal. It’s rare to see homes for sale here, but the median sale price is $253,000 (slightly above the town’s average.)

This neighborhood provides a tight-knit community most people desire when moving to South Valley. It’s situated near appealing attractions like the South Valley Aquatic Center and Nick Vitale Park.

Sunny Suburbs | Affluent South Valley neighborhood

Sunny Suburbs in one of the best South Valley neighborhoods. Because of its attractive attributes and ideal location, homes are rarely for sale here and can be more expensive; the median sale price is $309,000, and they typically sell within nine days of being listed. The neighborhood is within walking distance from the town’s beautiful river, The Rio Grande, and is around the corner from delicious eateries like Twisters Burgers and Burritos. While pricier than most neighborhoods in South Valley, Sunny Suburbs provides a tight-knit community, optimal location, and dedicated HOA

Valle Verde Estates | Exclusive area to live in South Valley

Valle Verde is a rural neighborhood located in South Valley with a median home price of $503,000. Homes are rarely for sale and usually sell for 10% over the asking price. People living in Valle Verde Estates find the equine and other agriculture industries appealing, as most lots are larger with pastures and barns on the premises.

If you’d like to venture out of your neighborhood, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is 10 miles away, and Gutierrez-Hubbell House is 2.5.

South Valley Weather & Climate

South Valley, NM, has a Köppen climate classification of cold semi-arid climate, or BSk. Summers are hot and dry, and the winters are cold, snowy, and short. It’s hot most of the year, but South Valley does see an average of 8 inches of snow a year. It’s typically clear and sunny in South Valley; however, its rainiest month is August, which sees an average 1.3 inches. South Valley’s annual rainfall is 10 inches, and the wet season goes from July 4th to September 8th, with an 18% chance of rain on any given day.

The temperature in South Valley, Albuquerque, varies from 93 degrees Fahrenheit and 27 degrees Fahrenheit. During the warm months (May to September), the average high is 84 degrees; during the cold months (November to February), the average low is 29 degrees.

The Albuquerque metro area has some of the nicest weather in New Mexico! And due to its optimal temperature, low chance of rain, low humidity levels, and overall comfortability, the best time to visit South Valley is from late May to late September. You can partake in outdoor activities without overheating or having to schedule around the rain or snow.

Things to Do in And Near South Valley

As one of the best Albuquerque suburbs, South Valley has plenty of things to do; however, a characteristic that makes this town so great is its proximity to other (larger) cities. Here is a list of things to do in the South Valley, as well as neighboring attractions. But, before you start your day of fun-filled excursions, stop by the Valle Del Sol Shopping Center or Centro Comercial La Bonita shopping center.

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

The breathtaking Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is positioned along the Rio Grande River. Its 570 acres of protected land provide the optimal space for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. If you enjoy hiking, bird-watching, or other outdoor activities, this park is a must-visit family-friendly attraction. 

7851 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, (505) 248-6667

Isleta Resort & Casino

Located a few miles outside of South Valley is the Isleta Resort & Casino. This is a popular attraction for locals and tourists; and is an ideal romantic getaway destination.

11000 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87105, (505) 724-3800

Gutierrez-Hubbell House

Gutierrez-Hubbell House is a must-see museum when living in South Valley. It boasts exhibits explaining the history of the Gutiérrez and Hubbell families. There are interpretive gardens showcasing ancient southwest traditions like the culinary and medicinal herbs of the southwest, rainwater harvesting, and pollination stations.

6029 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, (505) 244-0507

Additional Attractions Near South Valley

Bernalillo County Parks and Recreation maintains the parks in South Valley, NM. The county and South Valley host many events each year, which you can keep track of with their special events calendar.

South Valley Restaurants

Here are the top South Valley Restaurants!

Abuelita’s New Mexican Kitchen

Boasting authentic Mexican cuisine and perfectly curated cocktails, Abuelitas is the place to Indulge in New Mexican favorites like huevos rancheros and stuffed sopapillas.

6083 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, (505) 877-5700

Bob’s Burgers

Bob’s Burgers puts a unique spin on your typical burger joint. They’re serving up dishes you can’t get anywhere else; entrees like their green chili burgers, and appetizers, beef taquito boats.

1690 Rio Bravo Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, (505) 877-8589

Albuquerque City Limits Restaurant

ABQ City Limits is a colorful Mom and Pop eatery providing traditional Mexican and American dishes. Whether you’re craving a traditional Mexican burrito or a hearty American-style burger, ABQ City Limits can accommodate you.

3211 Coors Blvd SW Suite F4, Albuquerque, NM 87121, (505) 873-8959

South Valley Jobs

Before moving to South Valley, let’s take a closer look at the economy, average hourly wage, common professions, and more! The unemployment rate in this CDP is 1.3% above the US average, but it has seen a 3.3% jobs market increase since 2022. Its predicted future job growth by 2033 is 34.3%, which is 1.4% above the US average. The income tax rate is 0.3% above the US average, whereas the income tax rate is 0.9% below the US average.

South Valley jobs pay an average hourly wage of $21.15 hourly and an average salary of $44.15. 6.2% of residents earn under $15,000 a year, 14.8% earn between $20,000 and $30,000, and 12.4% earn between $100,000 and $150,000 a year. Keep in mind, City or county jobs are always a great option as well; explore Bernalillo County jobs and what they have to offer!

The average commute is 25.3 minutes, meaning most people travel to nearby cities like Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo for work. The economy of South Valley employs 16,800 people, and the largest industries are construction, health care, social assistance, and retail trade. The largest employers in Bernalillo County are Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico, and Lovelace Hospital.

People working in the following industries earn the highest income in South Valley: 

  • Mining, quarrying, & oil & gas extraction ($73,971 salary)
  • Professional, scientific, & technical Services ($52,935 salary)
  • Public administration ($44,167 salary)

South Valley Schools

Whether you’re interested in attending a nearby college or need to find the best South Valley schools for your young children and high schoolers, this section will help you do so. South Valley has top-rated universities and grade schools to choose from!

South Valley is part of the Albuquerque Public Schools district, which has 174 schools and 83,031 students. Notable schools within the city limits are South Valley Academy and South Valley Preparatory Community School. South Valley Prep is rated the 23rd-best middle school in New Mexico! Some South Valley students attend schools in neighboring cities.

The school district has a very diverse student body! Racial makeup: 19% White, 2.5% Black, 2.1% Asian or Pacific Islander, 66.7% Hispanic/Latino, 5.3% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and 3.5% two or more races.

Colleges near South Valley include the University of New Mexico and Carrington College. Home of the Lobos, UNM is ranked #212 among US universities. The student-to-teacher ratio is 13:1, and there is a 34% graduation rate.

South Valley provides the necessary resources a student needs to thrive; the South Valley Public Library is a terrific place to study, relax with a book, or bring your children.

South Statistics & Information

  • County: Bernalillo County
  • South Valley area: 30.3 mi²
  • South Valley zip code: 87105, 87195
  • South Valley area code: 505
  • South Valley elevation: 4,925′
  • South Valley time zone: Mountain Daylight Time (North America) MDT
  • Closest airport to South Valley: Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) is 6.5 miles from South Valley

Map of South Valley

Explore more things to do in and near South Valley with this map!

If you’re moving to South Valley but need a helpful hand during your transition, Pro-Move Logistics is the team for you. Call us at 505-471-3434; our trusted South Valley movers will gladly answer the call!


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