The sellers’ market continues for the foreseeable future

New Hampshire real estate market trends toward cooling home prices

As fall approaches, there may be a cooling trend in the near future for home prices in New Hampshire.

To be sure, home prices statewide are still up from a year ago, and the supply of homes for sale is still very low, but brokers have seen an uptick in out-of-control price increases, based on August residential real estate data.

“We still have historically low inventory across the state. As of today there were approximately 1,500 residential homes for sale. We continue to see values ​​increase in some sectors of New Hampshire,” said Ben Cushing, president of the New Hampshire Association of Realtors (NHAR). Hampshire.” “However, we are seeing a decline in some sectors of the market with homes remaining on the market a little longer than before.”

NHAR data for August confirms this.

The median sales price of a single-family home in the state was $490,000, just below the all-time record high of $499,500 set in July, but still 8.9% higher than it was in August 2022.

The supply measure rose from 1.7 months a year ago to 1.8 currently. In general, 5 to 6 months of inventory is considered a normal or balanced market.

Days on market rose from 19 days a year ago to 20 days. According to Zillow, the average time it takes to sell a home in the United States is 55-70 days.

Sellers’ market

All signs point to a continued seller’s market in New Hampshire, according to Cushing, who recently started a new job as director of training and education at Coldwell Banker Lifestyles in Hanover.

“There’s no doubt that there are still segments of the state where, when a property goes on the market, there are multiple offers and the property gets agreed upon very quickly. In some areas of the state, residential property values ​​are still increasing. I would say “It’s not increasing at the pace it was before, so it’s definitely calmed down.”

“But we are still seeing values ​​increase in some sectors. “I don’t see that changing much in the near future,” he added. “It’s still a good time to be a seller here in New Hampshire. Do I see this continuing into the fall? Yes, there is no doubt that this will continue into the fall and winter. It may also continue next year.”

In the condominium segment of the market, NHAR reported that the median price reached $385,000 in August, an increase of 8.5% from a year ago. Days on market increased from 22 to 26, and monthly supply increased from 1.3 to 1.5.

Home prices vary from county to county. Rockingham has the highest median home price at $628,000. Coos has a low of $227,500.

As for the condo, the same also applies to Rockingham at $489,000 and Coos at $124,500.

The high prices in Rockingham County are due in part to what’s happening on the coast.

The Seacoast Board of Realtors in August reported a median single-family price of $775,000, 13.9% higher than last year, but well below July’s record high of $911,500. The council takes its data from 13 sample communities: Exeter, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Northampton, Newmarket, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook and Stratham.

For a beachfront condo, the median price was $569,950, up 20% from last year.

John Rice, who compiles data for Seacoast’s board, sees a lull in rising interest rates even as all the ingredients are in place for a market that remains challenging for buyers.

“Now, with interest rates approaching 8% and inventories being very low, I think activity has actually slowed,” said Rice, a broker with Tate & Foss Sotheby’s International Realty in Rye. “Make no mistake, there is interest and demand, but affordability and availability may be more important factors than they already were. Even now, prices continue to rise, and it remains to be seen whether the lack of supply will continue to support prices or whether higher interest rates will He will lower it.

Fannie Mae’s August Economic Outlook expects the federal funds rate to fall to 4.4% by the end of 2024, and expects mortgage interest rates to follow suit and end the year at 6%.

The average mortgage interest rate was 2.96% in 2021 and 5.34% in 2022.

According to Freddie Mac records, the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fluctuates in the range of 6% to 7%. Mortgage rates entered August below 7%, but by the end of the month, they had risen to 7.23%, a level not seen in more than two decades.

Resident concerns

The latest NHAR data comes on the heels of two surveys that show how ingrained the housing issue is in New Hampshire’s psyche.

One of the University of New Hampshire Survey Centers reported on August 28 that housing is the most important problem facing the Granite State by a wide margin.

According to the survey center, 27% of those surveyed cited housing as their top concern, more than double the next in line, cost of living at 13%, followed by drugs/addiction at 9%, homelessness at 8%, and population at 8%. Jobs/Economy 7%.

Other issues that have surfaced in recent months — workforce shortages and health care — barely registered as concerns at 2% and 1%, respectively.

The other noteworthy survey came from Saint Anselm College’s Center for Ethics in Society. It showed that 78% of New Hampshire voters believe their communities need more affordable housing to build.

“Young people are particularly sensitive to the housing crisis: In particular, no voter under the age of 35 disagreed with the ‘less affordable housing in my community’ position,” the center said in its analysis of the data.

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