There’s a lot of talk lately about the lack of affordable housing in the Lakes Region. It’s not only a local problem; it’s a statewide and national problem that will not be solved in the immediate future. According to The Registry Review, the State of New Hampshire was short 20,000 to 30,000 housing units, not even taking into consideration those units’ affordability. Due to the crisis, towns and cities throughout the state are looking into and enacting changes to increase the density in residential neighborhoods, create more infrastructure, provide local and state incentives, and modify revisions to master plans. In Laconia, we now have ‘performance zoning.’ Other cities have ‘inclusionary zoning’ or offer an incentive to construct affordable units for low and moderate-income. There’s a developer’s proposal in the Seacoast Region to construct 384 sqft. higher density ‘cottages’ on a 7.16-acre site to attract young workers at more affordable prices.
In any case, we are seeing a gradual relaxing of road frontage and lot size requirements, sidewalk construction requirements, impact fees being reduced, and setback minimums are getting reduced in certain cities throughout New Hampshire.
All Realtors® in the Lakes Region are having a difficult time finding affordable primary, second homes, or vacation properties. Back in 2007 through 2009, we had a multitude of affordable properties. Today, that selection has diminished and has dropped even lower since building slowed from its peak in 2006.
So what do we have in the interim? We’re seeing many smaller older homes being picked up and refurbished. Small cottages are getting rehabbed along the Weirs Boulevard. Investors are buying fixer-uppers that first-time buyers are afraid of. So median prices go way up, and our inventory is shrinking; as a result of the inventory shortage buyers are sometimes reaching out further to some of the smaller remote communities (primary and second homeowners) in towns like Rumney, Andover, Alexandria, Plymouth, and towns north of the Lakes Region.
Yes, we need more new construction in our region; however, until a new supply is created, here are a few local affordable condominium choices to consider for a starter, second home, or semi-retirement. Listing availability is very tight, but I hope things will open up after January 2021:
One Gilford Place had 10 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $77,870, ranging between $63,000-$105,000. There are two active listings, one listing is currently under contract, and one listing is pending.
Cedar Lodge had 5 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $101,200, ranging between $88,000-$125,000. One listing is currently under contract.
Mineral Springs nothing has sold so far this year one unit sold in 2018 for $108,000.
Meredith Bridge had 8 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $109,736, ranging between $75,000-$142,995. No active listings at this time.
Village of Winnipesaukee had 8 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $114,237, ranging between $103,000-$125,000. No active listings at this time.
Cherry Valley Condominium had 4 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $131,250, ranging between $107,000-$156,000. No active listings at this time.
Weirs Crossing had 6 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $135,000, ranging between $115,000-$147,000. No active listings at this time.
Moulton Cove had 3 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $168,300, ranging between $160,000-$175,000. No active listings at this time.
Four Seasons had 1 listing closed this year with an average selling price of $175,000. No active listings at this time.
Paugus Bay Racquet Club had 1 listing has sold this year for $183,000. One listing is currently active under contract.
Beacon Street West had 7 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $194,842, ranging between $125,000-$264,000. There is one active listing and four listings under contract.
Winnipesaukee Springs had 3 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $232,416, ranging between $221,000-$247,250. No active listings at this time and two listings under contract.
Evergreen Condo had 4 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $221,875, ranging between $187,500-$250,000. No active listings at this time and one listing under contract.
Sundown had 4 listings closed this year with an average selling price of $225,150, ranging between $199,000-$245,000. One listing is pending at this time.
In addition to the above affordable condominium communities, there are still some affordable single-family homes that come up weekly throughout the Lakes Region. Keep in touch with your favorite local Realtor®; there are always opportunities to take advantage of…keep your eyes and ears wide open!
This article was written by Frank Roche. Frank is president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046. Data was compiled by a NEREN search on 11/19/2020 at noon EST and is subject to change. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.