The following is a summary of condominium sales trends we see happening in NH’s Lakes Region. This data is based on Belknap County; it also includes the Carroll County towns of Moultonborough, Tuftonboro & Wolfeboro.
- If you take the last 12 consecutive months from 9/4/2013 to 9/4/2014 there were a total of 221 condo sales in the areas mentioned above.
- If you go back 4 years ago (9/4/2009 to 9/4/2010), there were a total of 168 sales for the same area. This was an increase of 53 sales – or to put it simply, there was roughly a 30% increase in unit sales compared to the same period four years ago.
- As of 9/4/2014 there are 345 active condominium listings for sale in the same market area. If you take the number of sales during the last 12 months it basically translates into a 1.5 year supply of inventory based on the number of sales compared to active listings.
- It appears that the number of available condo listings is shrinking because of the active second home market and the number of baby-boomers who are looking for condos for semi-retirement in the Lakes Region. Additionally, there is not as much new construction or new projects as compared to the peak years around 2004 and 2005, which gradually reduces the inventory levels.
- During the past consecutive 12 months from 9/4/13-9/4/14 the average number of days on the market for a sale of a condo in the Lakes Region was 151 days. Comparing this to the period 4-years earlier from 9/4/2009-9/4/2010 the days on the market were 197. This is showing a clear direction that properties are selling faster than 4 years ago.
- From 9/4/13-9/4/14 the average sales price was $194,533. Compared to 9/4/2009-9/4/2010 the average sales price during that period was $186,384; roughly a 4% increase in the average sales price over the 4 year period. If you go back to what might be considered the peak of the market (9/4/2006-9/4/2007) there were a total of 279 condo sales at an average sales price of $212,793.
These trends are showing us that the market is recovering gradually from the market peak and the after effects of the market downfall in 2008.
The Lakes Region market for condo sales is quite different from the southern NH market where condominiums are utilized for primary homes and rentals. In the Lakes Region, the majority of sales pertain to the discretionary vacation and second home market as well as semi-retirement sales. Buyers still seek financing, however the amount of financing that they are generally asking for is less, because it’s a second home purchase and we see quite a few cash transactions occurring throughout the region. Financing for condominiums has become a little bit more difficult with the passage of the new banking laws. There are more requirements for appraisals as well as closer scrutiny on condominium budgets, bonds for officers and directors, condominium riders, review of condo docs and insurance coverage etc. The requirements for Fannie Mae to sell into the secondary market are more in depth compared to years ago. We have, however, been able to navigate through the new requirements and have not encountered any major problems or difficulties. We just know what is required before we proceed.
The Lakes Region is poised to perform well during the next several years on condo sales. We have an aging population throughout the northeast. The demographics of the baby boomers are pointing the direction of the Lakes Region, as well as places like Cape Cod, and NH & ME’s coast. The Lakes Region is within an easy commute of many metropolitan areas for semi-retirement use as well as vacation/second homes. Additionally, many of the condo developments throughout our region feature beautiful water access communities with beaches, yacht clubs, pools and other amenities for recreational purposes. Numerous architectural designs are available including single family, as well as attached units; all with varying degrees of square footage and price points. There are tremendous product choices at different price ranges. A majority of them are eye appealing and look a lot like single-family homes under a condominium form of ownership.
In communities such as South Down Shores and Long Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee, we’ve seen an exceptional strong market this past season with many buyers coming from all over New England. They love this gated community, which offers close to a mile of shorefront on Lake Winnipesaukee and gorgeous landscaping.
– This article was written by Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc.