The below is a guest post from Joe Burns, Partner at Coldwell Banker Lifestyles.

Welcome to our first column on the state of the real estate market and how our different regions compare to each other and the rest of the U.S.

I wanted to start with a general statement that the pandemic has created one of the most unique times in real estate history. We have a historic supply vs. demand imbalance that has been impacted by several factors, including all-time low mortgage interest rates and a desire of so many to escape the urban areas for the incredible lifestyle we enjoy.

The lack of inventory – the number of homes on the market – is THE story in real estate. Simply put, active buyers do not have enough to choose from. Consider this — The National Association of Realtors just reported in its Existing Home Sales report that there are only 1.04 million homes for sale in the U.S., down 25.7% from last year. This means that buyers have more ¼ fewer homes to choose from.

The New Hampshire Association of Realtors reports that statewide there are only 1,207 homes on the market, down an incredible 63.1% from last year. I’m blown away by that number. I’ve been in real estate for over 19 years and I have never seen our supply so low. 

It is important for potential sellers to understand that we have unprecedented demand and that they do not have to wait until spring to put their home on the market. If you have been considering a move, I encourage you to talk to any of our 134 of agents who can answer questions you might have. Obviously, if you are moving locally, we can help you with the purchase of your next home. And, if you are moving out of the area, we have a robust referral network and can find you qualified agents both nationally and globally. 

The supply vs. demand tug-of-war is seen in three ways:

  • Nationally we have seen sales jump by 23.7% in January over last January. Normally, January is a slower month in our industry, but as I said earlier, these are very different times. New Hampshire sales are up 18.7% over last year.
  • More buyers and fewer means higher prices. And that is exactly what has happened. The national median price (the middle of all January home sales) was $303,900, up 14.3% over last January. Since June, the median U.S. home price has been above $300,000. In New Hampshire, we have a higher median price of $350,000 and we have been at or above that mark every month since August. 
  • Sales are happening quickly. Nationally, homes are selling in 21 days, with 71% coming off the market in 30 days or less. For comparison, last year at this time it took 43 days to sell at traditional home. It takes about double the time to sell a home in New Hampshire (38 days). 

Did you know that if you bought your house 20 years ago in New Hampshire, you may have more than doubled your financial investment? Statewide, our median price at the end of 2020 was $335,000. Back in 2000 it was $157,500 and that was off of a spectacular 15% increase over 1999. We have also made steady strides since 2012 as we came out of the Great Recession with homes priced at $202,000. 

Those who are interested in “moving up” may now be earning more in their careers and can use their equity while taking advantage of the historically low mortgage rates that remain below 3% to buy more home for the money. Those who are considering downsizing, many of whom are “empty nesters,” may be able to enjoy a similar priced home with modern amenities or a smaller home. 

This is one of the reasons we encourage potential sellers to take a look at our Home Value Estimator. I know you would agree that our wonderful region is different from the rest of the nation. Therefore, I believe it’s critical to not rely on Zillow to get a handle on what your home is worth. We can give you the most accurate and timely information. 

I wanted to close with a chart that showcases exactly what is occurring nationally compared to close to home. You will notice that in almost every area of the region, homes are selling at least two times as quickly as last year. The exception is the North Country where it’s almost three times as fast. 

Looking at prices, the North County followed by Okemo Valley are our most affordable markets in the areas Coldwell Banker Lifestyles serves.

 

United States Compared to New Hampshire

 

Our Local Regions

 

I hope you have enjoyed this blog. I wanted to remind you that our Coldwell Banker Lifestyle agents are some of the best in the business. They would be happy to answer any questions. Of course, you can also reach out to me at joe@thecblife.com and I can help too.

See you next month!

United States data derived from the National Association of Realtors. New Hampshire and Vermont data derived from NEREN, Inc., for the period of 1/1/2020-1/31/2020 versus 1/1/2021-1/31/2021. Main data derived from Maine Real Estate Information System, Inc.(d/b/a Maine Listings) for the period of 1/1/2020-1/31/2020 versus 1/1/2021-1/31/2021.

Capital Region towns include: Concord, Bow, Boscawen, Pembroke, Hopkinton, Loudon, Canterbury, Weare, and Dunbarton, NH.

Upper Valley towns include: Hanover, NH; Lebanon, NH;Enfield, NH; Lyme, NH; Grantham, NH; Norwich, VT; and Hartford, VT.

Lake Sunapee Region towns include: Grantham, Croydon, Newport, Sunapee, Goshen, Newbury, Bradford, Warner, Sutton, Wilmot, Andover, New London, and Springfield, NH.

 

White Mountains Region towns include: Littleton, Franconia, Lincoln, Woodstock, Benton, Bath, Easton, Lyman, Lisbon, Bethlehem, Whitefield, Dalton and Sugar Hill, NH.

Mt. Washington Valley towns include: Albany, NH; Bartlett, NH; Chatham, NH; Conway, NH; Eaton, NH; Freedom, NH; Hart’s Location, NH; Jackson, NH; Ossipee, NH; Tamworth, NH; Fryeburg, ME; and Brownfield, ME.

Okemo Valley towns include: Ludlow, Plymouth,Chester, Cavendish, Mt. Holly, Reading, Weathersfield, and Weston, VT.