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NH home sales continue to surge - median price gap narrows

Bill Lydon - President of the White Mountain Board of RealtorsThe New Hampshire Association of Realtors has just released the latest statewide sales statistics for July. Once again, sales are up, inventory is shrinking, and median prices are leveling out, indicating that home values are remaining stable. When comparing year to date median prices (Jan - July 2011 compared to Jan - July 2012), Carroll County's median price was the best showing in New hampshire, with a rise from $169,950 to $179,000, or 5.3%. July was a particularly good month - when comparing July 2011 to July 2012, Carroll County saw a median increase of 14.8% from $155,000 to $178,000. We also realized a 16.4% increase in the number of sales in July 2012. Here'sthe reportthat gives an overall view of the market conditions throughout New Hampshire.
July home sales were substantially ahead of the pace from a year ago for the seventh consecutive month, according to data released this week by the New Hampshire Association of Realtors (NHAR). The median price of those July sales, meanwhile, was within $1,000 of the median price in July 2011, further evidence, according to NHAR, that values are stabilizing. This data supports what were seeing in our daytoday interactions, said NHAR President John Rice, a 40year veteran of the real estate industry and an agent with Tate & Foss Sothebys International Realty in Rye. Were seeing more and more multiple offers all the time, he said. It seems buyers really are getting the picture that conditions are pretty close to ideal right now, and as a result they are becoming ever more aggressive in terms of purchasing. Each month in 2012 has seen a doubledigit gain in terms of unit sales compared to the same period in 2011. Residential sales in July hit 1,260, which is 20 percent higher than the 1,052 sold in July 2011. Thats been a relatively consistent trend, as the 7,044 homes sold through July 31 is 20 percent higher than the 5,851 sold in through the first seven months of 2011. In the states largest county, Hillsborough, July home sales were 21 percent ahead of a year ago, and 25 percent up for the first seven months combined. The median price of New Hampshire homes sold in July 2012 was $215,000, just a halfpercent lower than the $216,000 median sale price in July 2011. Inventory data continues to point toward stabilizing median prices trends as well. For the third consecutive month, the state months supply number was in single digits. Months supply is the number of months it would take to sell off the current housing inventory at the current rate of sales. Typically, six or seven months is considered a balanced market, while less than that is a sellers market and more is a buyers market. The last five years have been decidedly a buyers market, with months supply reaching as high as 22 months, but July showed 9 months supply, following 9 months supply in May and 9.4 months supply in June. Its simple economics, Rice said. Less supply, greater demand. In terms of local markets, eight of the states 10 counties saw a July increase in unit sales, and all 10 have seen doubledigit percent increases in the first seven months combined, compared to that of last year.

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