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June NH home sales reflecting a steady recovery

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 31. 2013 6:34PM

CONCORD — Monthly reports from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors have been reflecting a steady recovery in the state’s housing market since the year began, and June was no exception.

The association reports 1,587 single-family homes sold in June, the largest number of sales since September 2005 at the peak of the last housing boom.

Sales prices are recovering as well. The median sale price for a single-family home was $225,000 in June, a number not seen since August of 2008 when the Great Recession was looming. That’s still a long way from the peak median sale price of $270,000 recorded in June of 2005.

June is historically one of the best months for median sale prices, which were at $208,000 in June 2012. The median price is the point at which half of the sales were for higher amounts, and half sold for less.

“We’re seeing more multiple offers, more new construction and obviously numbers that are trending upward on a consistent basis,” said NHAR President Bill Weidacher. “It’s pretty safe to say we’re in the midst of recovery.”

Homes are selling faster as well, with the average time on the market of 89 days in June down from 108 days in 2012. Signals look strong for closings in July, since the pending sales are higher than they have been at any point since mid-2005.

The association predicts that more sellers who have been sitting on the sidelines will decide to jump into a more inviting marketplace

Sellers were getting as much as 99 percent of their list price in 2005 — a number that steadily declined in the ensuing seven years and only recently began to rebound. Sellers on average got 96 percent of their asking price in June, compared to the low of 93.5 percent in October 2011.

The single-family sales volume in June of $414 million was up 16 percent from last June and the largest volume since 2007.

Condominium sales continued to trend upward as well, with unit sales 13 percent ahead of last year for the first six months, and median sales prices up 6 percent year-to-date.

The only downside to the trend has been an erosion in the affordability index. An index of 120 means the median household income in the state is 120 percent of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. A higher number means more people can afford to buy a home.

The index reached an eight-year peak of around 220 in February 2012, and dipped to 167 in June, as mortgage rates began to rise. The index low point was around 100 in June 2007.

Mortgage News Daily on Wednesday posted an average 4.48 percent for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage on an owner-occupied home. “Mortgage rates could flirt with 4 percent or 4.25 percent again,” according to the NHAR, “but the days of 3.3 percent are likely behind us.”

Real estate New Hampshire

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