N.H. residential sales continue on upward trend

The trend of increased unit sales continued in January where it left off in 2012, while median price declined slightly, according to data released recently by the New Hampshire Association of Realtors.
The 800 residential sales in the first month of the year marked a 21 percent jump from the 660 sold in January 2012, while the median price of those sales, at $192,750, was 3 percent below the $198,000 of January a year earlier.
And the sales volume in January, meaning the total dollars exchanged in those sales, was 11 percent above that number in 2012 ― $174.6 million compared to $156.9 million.
"As we said throughout the upturn in 2012, steady gains are part of a process, and while the news is certainly encouraging, we envision this as a slow, deliberate recovery," said 2013 N.H. Association of Realtors' president Bill Weidacher, a 30-year veteran of the real estate industry and a managing broker at Keller Williams Metropolitan Realty in Bedford.
"We're not looking at the skyrocketing market of the early 2000s, when we saw over 100 percent appreciation in seven years, nor would we want to," Weidacher said. "A healthy market is based on sustainable growth, not a manic boom."
Weidacher also pointed to a decrease in housing inventory that has begun to create a more balanced market, in contrast to the strong buyers' market of recent years. December and January showed the fewest available units since NHAR began tracking inventory in 2006.
"If you are a potential seller waiting to put your home on the market, now might be the time to stop waiting," Weidacher said. "There's simply less competition out there than there has been in at least six years."
Locally, nine of the 10 New Hampshire counties saw unit sales increases in January, compared to the same period a year ago, with the only exception being Sullivan County, which saw an equal number of residential units sold. Four counties saw a median price increase, while Belknap and Merrimack counties saw the most significant drops in median price, at 19 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
Coos County saw the most substantial increases, with a 41 percent jump in unit sales and a 55 percent hike in median price ― albeit a relatively small sampling, with 24 January sales.