Home sales still climbing at midway mark of 2012
The upward home sales trend in New Hampshire continued in June, rising 18 percent from a year ago, while prices remained slightly behind those of 2011, according to data released this week by the New Hampshire Association of Realtors (NHAR).
June marked the sixth consecutive month of a double-digit percent gain in unit sales.
“The more months that pass with a substantial increase in sales, the more comfortable we are in talking about this as a market in recovery,” said NHAR President John Rice, a 40-year veteran of the real estate industry and an agent with Tate & Foss Sotheby’s International Realty in Rye. “I think any fair-minded person would consider this a trend.”
Residential unit sales in New Hampshire increased by 18 percent in June 2012 (1,329 sales) compared to June 2011 (1,129), while the year-to-date increase, a total of all sales for the first six months, was even more dramatic at 20 percent – 5,775 in January-June 2012 compared to 4,799 in the same period 2011.
The state’s largest county, Hillsborough, was ahead of 2011 sales by 33 percent in June, 25 percent year to date.
More slow to recover has been median price, which was down by 3 percent, from $221,700 in June 2011 to $215,000 in June 2012, and for the first six months combined trailed the same period in 2011 by 3.4 percent.
However, inventory data may be indicative of an impending change in that regard. The state months’ supply numbers dipped into the single digits in May and June, the first time that has happened in consecutive months since May and June 2007.
“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 June showed 9.4 months’ supply, following 9 percent in May.
“We are continuing to see more and more examples of multiple offers on properties,” Rice said. “Sellers are beginning to regain some of the leverage that buyers have enjoyed for the last five or six years.”
In terms of local markets, seven of the state’s 10 counties saw a June increase in unit sales, and all 10 have seen double-digit percent increases in the first six months combined, compared to that of last year.
Median price, meanwhile, increased in four counties in June: 31 percent in Carroll; 15 percent in Sullivan; 11 percent in Cheshire; and 5 percent in Grafton.