The current market is showing signs of life! Both the number of sales and the average selling price was up in NH in May 2013. In fact more homes were sold this May than in any other May since 2005. With the exception of Coos, Hillsborough, and Cheshire, every county in NH saw increases in unit sales in the month of May, and Year to Date EVERY county has seen an increase. The statewide total sales Year to Date went from 4,446 in 2012 to 4,869 this year. Prices of New Hampshire homes have seen a bump as well. The statewide median price has risen from $193,000 in 2012 to 203,000 in 2013 and the average price in the month of May rose from $205,000 in 2012 to $215,900 in 2013. The counties that proved to be anomalies lower prices were those away from the coast and water bodies- Sullivan County was down 18.7%, Cheshire was down 10.7%, and Carroll was down 8.4% in Sale price May 2012 to May 2013. Every other county showed an increase in selling price.
Good news! But what do these numbers tell us? Is the housing market out of the woods? Are things booming? Certainly rising numbers of sales and higher prices are a positive sign. As Realtors© we love to be busy and more transactions keeps us busy. Busy is better! But is it a true uprising market? Well you gotta go down to go up, and what I believe we are now seeing is the long awaited bottom of the housing recession- which is a good sign. If you want to sell, people now are buying. If you want to buy, there has never been a better time with low, low prices and interest rates at historically low levels. We have homes on Lake Winnipesaukee listed for sale in the mid three hundreds to mid five hundreds. A few years ago no one would believe you could own lakefront for that price. The key to the market today is value or what people perceive to be value. Value shoppers are in the market right now buying. As always, the stuff that’s desirable and selling has to do with water. Lakefront or lake access properties always lead our market and they are doing so today.
However, as much as it bothers some folks, we have to remember that Real Estate is sold in a “Market” and as such is subject to the whims of that that mechanism. Just like in any market, people shop. If the price of two similar pieces of merchandise (read: properties) is vastly different, people will buy the least expensive. Today there are 120 properties listed for sale in Meredith alone. That’s a lot of inventory. If you want to sell and make a big profit on you property, it’s probably not going to happen. Odds are there’s a comparable out there with a seller who needs or wants to move on, and has looked at the market and priced their property properly.
Things are improving, but we have a way to go. The current inventory needs to be cleaned out so that the supply matches or, better yet lags the demand and creates a better market. Again, there are buyers out there. They just are not going to overpay. If you want to sell, price correctly. If you are looking to buy, there are deals out there still, but the market is working and the deals won’t last forever.
Kim Cedarstrom is a licensed residential and commercial Realtor© and consultant and president of Great Northern Real Estate and Business Consultants, an affiliate of Roche Realty Group offering a lakefront/residential real estate practice as well as commercial property and business sales services. Kim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at 603-520-6609.