NH home sales reached new heights in 2017
By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader
January 16. 2018 11:44PM
Home sales in 2017 hit a record high for the second straight year in New Hampshire and prices neared their 2005 peak.
The median price for single-family homes statewide came in at $266,000 in 2017 — only $4,000 short of the 2005 record and far ahead of the 2011 low of $201,700, according to the New Hampshire Realtors.
“There’s certainly more buyers than sellers,” said Moe Archambault, owner and real estate broker at Moe Marketing Realty Group in Bedford. “When something comes on the market, it gets a lot of activity.”
The median price in 2017 varied widely by county, ranging from $100,000 in Coos County to $350,000 in Rockingham County.
Statewide, the median price climbed by $64,000, or nearly 32 percent, over the past five years.
“We certainly expected the market values to rebound, but I think it’s probably slightly faster than we anticipated,” said Rachel Eames, the immediate past president of New Hampshire Realtors.
“The reality is that New Hampshire still remains a very desired place to live and our cost of living is considerably lower than probably our largest competition, which is Massachusetts,” said Eames, who operates Eames Realty Services in Concord and Newmarket.
Federal tax changes taking effect this year could slow growth because some people buying a second or vacation home may run up against limits on tax deductions for property taxes.
“It definitely will affect vacation and second homes and that’s 1 out of 10 homes,” Eames said.
The Realtors association said 17,733 single-family homes sold in 2017, compared to 17,623 the previous year, according to statistics that date back to 1998.
According to Archambault, “2017 was a stronger year than 2016” both in terms of sales and prices.
Interest remains strong so far into 2018. He listed a colonial home in Bedford for $447,000 on Jan. 2 that was under contract the next day. He showed it five times on Jan. 2 and Jan. 3.
For five other showings, “I had to give them the bad news because they didn’t act fast enough” to see the place and submit an offer, Archambault said.
Statewide figures showed properties stayed on the market an average of 15 fewer days last year compared to 2016.
“I still feel inventory is going to be the same issue” in 2018, said Archambault, in part because of “still great (interest) rates.”
Eames said this year “might see a slight uptick in prices” but could be constrained by some people not buying a second home.
The near-record median price “underscores it’s a sellers market,” Eames said. “For sellers, that’s very exciting. For buyers, that’s a bit more stressful.”firstname.lastname@example.org