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NH real estate market improves, again, Realtors say

CONCORD - The state's real estate market continued its slow but steady recovery in the first quarter of 2013, according to January-March statistics released on Wednesday by the New Hampshire Association of Realtors.

The number of single-family homes sold statewide in the first three months of 2013 was up 8.4 percent over the first quarter of 2012, with 2,426 sales compared to 2,238. Condominium sales volume improved from 512 units in the first quarter of 2012 to 605 in the first quarter of 2013, an 18-percent increase.

The median sale price of a single-family home was $187,400 in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $194,700 in the same period for 2013, a 3.9-percent increase statewide.

Condos sold at much better prices in the first quarter of 2013, going from a median price of $137,000 to $150,000 year-over-year - a 9.5-percent increase.

"Things are improving, but let's not break out the punch bowls just yet," said NHAR President Bill Weidacher, a 30-year veteran of the real estate industry and a managing broker at Keller Williams Metropolitan Realty in Bedford. "We want to temper our enthusiasm with the reality that this is slow growth, not exponential growth."

The total dollar value of sales was $538 million for the first quarter of 2013, an 8-percent jump from $499 million in the same period last year.

Despite a declining inventory, Weidacher said, buying prospects remain strong in terms of affordability, while sellers feel increased leverage that comes with fewer properties on the market.

Seven of the 10 New Hampshire counties saw residential unit sales increases in the first quarter. Median price, meanwhile, increased in seven of 10 counties.

The median price of a single-family home in Hillsborough County was $210,000 in the first quarter of 2013, compared to $200,000 in the same period last year. In Merrimack County, the median price declined from $180,000 in 2012 to $172,450 in 2013.


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