As I drove around the other day with my kids, I was looking at some of the developments around the Lake’s Region and reminiscing about “what used to be there.” I remember listening to some of the older folks, when I was a kid, telling stories about the many changes they’ve witnessed in their lifetime. I guess I’m one of “the older folks” now. I’ve only been in the Lake’s Region for about 23 years, but even in that time, I’ve witnessed so many changes. Some could argue for better or for worse, but overall, we’ve seen some amazing changes over the past 20 years. In contrast, there are many areas of the country, for any number of reasons, that have not seen growth or have indeed seen a decline.
I can’t speak for every area of the country, but I can surmise that here in the Lake’s Region, and to a great extent, the entirety of New Hampshire, we have been a place of high desirability for quite some time. If you ask some of the “older folks,” I bet you’d find they have always felt that way about the Granite State, and why shouldn’t they? New Hampshire is a special place and is almost always ranked at the top of the list when it comes to quality of life, opportunity, total freedom, and economic freedom. Additionally, we generally rank among the lowest in unemployment. We were recently named as the state with the second-highest average credit score. Our median income rose to $88,235, the third highest in the US, and this year, we were ranked “smartest state in the country.” I mean, what an honor!
Much of that change has been driven by the allure of the lake and the many recreational activities that make the Lake’s Region so appealing. Maybe it’s a bit of a chicken and egg; I mean, was it an increase in population and tourism that brought more development, or did development drive population growth and tourism? Maybe it’s more of a seesaw. In any case, the Lake’s Region is, without question, one of the hottest markets in the country. In fact, many moving companies report a steady uptick in relocations to New Hampshire.
Although the Lake’s Region is an all-around 4 season destination, as winter is about to set in, let’s look at how winter impacts the region.
As you may have heard, meteorologists are forecasting an exceptionally snowy and cold winter this year, and the predicted record-breaking winter has put winter sports directly in the spotlight. Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing are just some of the winter activities that draw many to the region.
Many events over the winter help draw in crowds and boost tourism as well, which impacts restaurants, shops, hotels, short-term rentals, and much more. It also entices many to look at the lakes region as a place to live or have a second home. From the Great Rotary Fishing Derby to back-to-back Pond Hockey Tournaments to the World Champion Sled Dog Derby and so much more, draw tens of thousands to the Lake’s Region every winter.
As the Lakes Region gears up for a memorable winter, its standing as a year-round destination continues to draw homebuyers and vacationers. This unique blend of seasonal activities not only enriches the lifestyle of its residents but also solidifies the region’s status as a sought-after real estate market.
This was especially pronounced during the past three years as COVID drew many to New Hampshire as a place to work remotely and distance themselves from dense population centers. Back to the chicken and egg conundrum, perhaps in this season, population growth spurred on commercial and residential development. You may have also noticed a massive uptick in the storage space, with literally tens of thousands of square feet of self-storage units being built, as well as many new boat storage facilities and toy garages. There’s no doubt that people are relocating here on a much longer-term or even permanent basis.
As the Lake’s Region continues to be a highly desirable place to live, work, and play, real estate will continue to be a valuable commodity. Home prices continue to hold strong as available units are sparse at best. Land has reemerged as a desirable option along with modular buildings as home builders are, in some cases, booked out a year or longer. These are all signs that the overall market is not only strong but has no intent of slowing. Even as interest rates have put pressure on lending, prices have held and even grown in some cases. And with talks of interest rate retraction in 2024, there are indicators that the market will begin to climb again in the middle of next year.
Alas, as winter sets in and the holidays approach, many are excited to hit their favorite trail at their favorite ski resort, place their Bob house in their favorite fishing spot, watch the planes land on the unique ice landing strip in the middle of Alton Bay, explore the many trails that make up the massive snowmobile trail system, or… settle in by the wood stove and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa while reading their favorite book.
However, you enjoy winter, this year is poised to be a great one, and I can’t think of a better place on earth than right here in the Lake’s Region of New Hampshire. It’s no wonder so many have chosen to visit or call it home. Here’s to a wonderful winter season! May you and yours enjoy it to the fullest!
This article was written by Randy Miller. Randy is a sales associate at Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.