January is a slow time for real estate sales, but things were really slow last month. Only 870 homes were sold in New Hampshire, a 15.5 percent fewer Granite State homes were sold than January 2021, according to the latest data from the NH Realtors Association.
by Bob Sanders
Yet, prices rose 14.2 percent from a year ago, although the median price of a single-family home dipped to $399,700 from December 2021, only the second time since last May that the median has dipped below $400,000.
Condos? Pretty much the same thing. Sales went down 17.2 percent, but the median unit price rose 18.8 percent, to $300,000.
As usual, the problem was not the lack of buyers but a lack of sellers. Those homes that do go on sale are on the market for an average of 33 days. There were only 931 homes for sale in January, a 35.4 percent decrease from the previous year, and there were 706 new listings, a 25.3 percent decrease.
Homes were selling for 1.4 percent more than the asking price, the Realtors said.
Homes in Carrol County appreciated the most, at a median price of $445,000, a 33.9 percent increase from a year ago. Rockingham County homes sold for a median $540,000, a 17.4 percent increase. The biggest slowdown in sales came in Sullivan, where 28 homes were sold, – a 47.2 percent decrease from 2021.
As inventory continues to sink, what next?
Housing remains scarce, and it continues to hit new lows.
“In terms of inventory, it has been the lowest and it certainly feels that way,” said Adam Gaudet, president of the New Hampshire Association of Realtors board of directors and founder of 603 Birch Realty in Concord.
No crystal ball
Observers and stakeholders say the end of New Hampshire’s housing market spike is impossible to predict.
The Realtors Association uses one metric above others when assessing the health of the housing market, Director of Communications Dave Cummings said. That measurement is the time it would take to sell all of New Hampshire’s housing inventory if no new houses came on the market. The hypothetical number – which factors in both inventory and demand – can speak volumes, Cummings said. A healthy market would take six months to sell all houses. Currently, New Hampshire sellers would take only 26 days.
But Cummings argued it was only a matter of time before the pattern must reverse, if only because the state’s housing stock can’t get much lower.
“You know, we’re still just seeing it level, level, level out,” he said. “It can’t get too much lower, because essentially you’d have zero inventory.”
Contributor Ethan Dewitt , New Hampshire Bulletin
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