Hitting Lakes Region Real Estate Trends Right in the Numbers

Fall Season Foliage in NH

It is the season of statistics. Each Fall, inspired by the start of a new football season, many of us transform into engaged analysts and prognosticators. Even those of us who steer clear of dry facts and figures the rest of the year can find ourselves poring over the stats and asking questions like: Who’s leading in offensive yards? How do these numbers match up to last year? How do they compare to our last championship season, and what inferences can we make about performance going forward?

In the spirit of seasonal mathematical motivation, let’s look at what the real estate stats suggest about past, present and future home sales performance here in New Hampshire.

State Level Trends

  • New Hampshire’s median home prices peaked in 2005 at $270,000
  • In 2016 New Hampshire’s median home prices were 92 percent of the peak in 2005 ($249,500).
  • 17,567 homes were sold in New Hampshire in 2016, compared to 16,264 in 2005, an increase of 1,303 units and eight percent (and a 9 percent increase over 2015). That suggests an increase in real estate market strength, like a lineman improving from 27 to 29 bench press reps with 225 pounds.
  • The median number of days on market was the same in 2016 as the peak in 2005, at 83 days.

Belknap County Trends

  • At the county level, median home prices peaked in 2007 at $239,000
  • In 2016 Belknap County median home prices were 92 percent of the peak in 2007 ($219,950).
  • 1,140 Belknap County homes sold in 2016, compared to 725 in 2007, an increase of 57 percent and 415 units (and a 19 percent increase over 2015 sales).
  • In 2016 Belknap County averaged 103 days on market, compared to 140 in 2007, a decrease of 26 percent. This means homes are moving faster. For context, this would be like a wide receiver improving his 40 yard dash speed from 4.49 to 3.41 seconds.

Meredith Trends

  • At the town (Meredith) level, median home prices peaked in 2007 at $375,000
  • Median Meredith single family home prices in 2016 were 85 percent of the peak in 2007 ($320,000).
  • Meredith sold 97 homes in 2016, compared to 85 units sold in 2007, an increase of 14 percent. This was, however, a decrease of 12 percent from the 110 units sold in 2015.
  • In Meredith, days on market decreased from 138 in 2007 to 64 in 2016. That’s a decrease of 46 percent, a significant acceleration of sales speed. This is roughly equivalent to a quarterback completing 4,806 passing yards in nine games instead of 16.

So what do these stats suggest? According to Frank Roche, who has 40 years of Lakes Region real estate experience, “These stats show that the market in the Lakes Region still has a ways to go to catch up with peak selling prices. We’re still 15 percent below peak in Meredith, and based on the acceleration we’ve seen in 2017 year to date, we’re well on our way to reaching a new peak period.

“We still have a ways to catch up with Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, however, in my past 40 years of experience, I’ve always felt that the Lakes Region follows Massachusetts by about two years, in terms of seeing real estate trends materialize. If you look at the Boston real estate market, which is presently on fire, there are new skyscrapers, apartments, condominiums and commercial developments going up everywhere. Thousands of units are selling at record high prices. They’ve got a new gambling casino underway with adjacent hotels under construction. GE [General Electric Co.] relocated there. There’s talk about Amazon’s second regional center being developed at Suffolk Downs, with a projection of 50,000 jobs if that occurs.

“So there are tremendous bright spots for growth south of us, which translates to eventual expansion into New Hampshire and ultimately the Lakes Region.”

Naturally, like any good coach, Roche went on to provide even more stats.

“Add to this a new report that just came out from 24/7 Wall St.,” he said, “which ranked New Hampshire as the seventh richest state in the country. It was reported that the median household income in the Granite State is now at $70,936, considerably higher than the national median income of $57,617. The report also indicated that relatively few residents in New Hampshire experience extreme financial hardship. Only 7.3 percent of NH residents live in poverty, the lowest in the country. The report also mentioned that the high incomes could be a result of the state’s education levels, which are ranked very high nationally.”

He added, “I also want to point out that the unemployment rate in New Hampshire, at just 2.8 percent, is the second lowest in the country, which is an obvious catalyst for real estate sales and activity.

“It’s pretty amazing that we’re doing so well here in the Granite State considering we have the tenth lowest population in the United States, with only one million three hundred thousand plus residents. We are in a good place right now!”


Brent Metzger is a saleBrent Metzger, Realtor at Roche Realty Group in Meredith NHs associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith, NH.  He can be reached on his cell phone at (603) 229-8322, at the office at (603) 279-7046, or by e-mail: brent@rocherealty.com

Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.

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