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Unit Sales Finish Strong in 2011, Prices Continue to Lag

New Hampshire was home to a 2 percent increase in residential unit sales in 2011, while the median price of those homes fell by 6 percent, according to data released by the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS.

There were 10,714 residential unit sales in 2011, following 10,529 sales in 2010. The year‐over‐year increase was, in part, fueled by an 8 percent jump in December 2011 (923 sales), compared to 2010 (855).

The median price of New Hampshire residential home sales, meanwhile, dropped from $215,000 in 2010 to 201,700 in 2011.

“We’re certainly seeing stabilization in terms of the number of sales,” said NHAR President John Rice, a 40‐year veteran of the real estate industry and an agent with Tate & Foss Sotheby’s International in Portsmouth. “On the price side, we have a continued inventory issue. With so many homes available in most New Hampshire markets, buyers are still able to be very selective, and many are reluctant to buy if the price isn’t just right.”

The standard for evaluating inventory is “months supply,” meaning the length of time it would take to sell off the current inventory based on the number of sales in the prior month. Typically, six to eight months is considered a balanced market, while less than that constitutes a sellers’ market and more is indicative of a buyers’ market.

There is currently an 11‐month supply of housing inventory in New Hampshire. “It’s been as high as 21 months supply within the last two years,” Rice said. “We’re generally trending in the right direction, but we still have a gap between where we are and a balanced market.”

In local markets, December unit sales increased in eight of the state’s 10 counties, including an 8.5 percent jump in Hillsborough County, the state’s largest. Median price fell in all but three counties, Cheshire (22 percent increase), Belknap (22 percent) and Coos (4 percent).

December 2011 data residential

As for condominium sales in New Hampshire, there was a 3 percent drop in unit sales from 2010 (2,635) to 2011 (2,549), while the price of those sales fell 6 percent, from $165,000 in 2010 to $155,000 in 2011.

December 2011 data condo

Source: Dave Cummings, New Hampshire Association of REALTORS® Director of Communications


May the simple joys of the season fill your home with warmth and good cheer.  Thank you for your referrals.


Community Events and Entertainment at Colby-Sawyer College

Have you taken advantage of all the cultural events at Colby-Sawyer College in New London?

On November 17th at 7:30 p.m. in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Center, don’t miss Randy Armstrong and Venezualan percussionist, Jose Duque,  transform and uplift people from all walks of life with their music.  Their music draws from sources as diverse as mainstream American jazz, Native American flute playing, West African drumming and North Indian sitar motifs – all blended by the ingenious combination of acoustic, high-tech, synthesized technology. Come see a vibrant performance of original fusion music played on a spectacular array of instruments from around the world!  Free admission.

To find out what other events are coming to the college click here.

Who Says a Home is Not a Good Investment?

There are plenty of reasons why buying a home IS a good investment.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun sent the following response to the Letters editor of The Wall Street Journal in reaction to a July 11, 2011 article, “A Home Is a Lousy Investment.”

Click to read his response.

Spring has come early…

Here are the first quarter real estate statistics from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors. Although these are statewide stats, they certainly reflect to a degree what has been going on in New London, NH, real estate and the Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Region so far in 2010.

Here are three things New Hampshire REALTORS® can celebrate this spring:

  • Home sales are up 13 percent, condo sales are up 30 percent, and prices are up over the first quarter of 2009;
  • New Hampshire non-farm employment is rising: we’re only state in region to see an increase; and
  • Our state still leads region in the key index of economic activity, and it is also rising

Not only are New Hampshire home sales up over the first quarter of last year, but median home prices have also risen 6 percent statewide and are up in seven of our state’s 10 counties. Condominium prices are also 4 percent above the first quarter of last year.

The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS®. NHAR has taken no officlal position on the matter of expanded gambling in New Hampshire.

Half the counties in our state saw double digit home sales increase over last year, which suggests an awfully fast start for the year, no doubt aided by the homebuyer’s tax credit. But economic indicators in our state are so much better than other New England states that tax break or none, we are likely to fare better than they will in terms of home sales, unless we choose to follow their lead with expanded gambling.

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in February (the latest numbers available), which was more than two points below the national rate and the second lowest in New England (Please see charts below). But the unemployment rate only looks at the small part of the picture.

The full part is measured by total non-farm

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employment, which in New Hampshire has been increasing since the middle of last year. Since then, 11,000 more people are working in our state, and we’re the only state in the region where that’s happening.

These indicators of New Hampshire’s economic health both point in the same direction. Our state is on track to lead New England out of this awful recession, and our real estate market is also likely to recover faster than other nearby states.

New Hampshire was again voted as the safest state in the nation, and we are still ranked fourth in terms of economic activity index. That index is also rising and is up almost three points since mid-2009. Again, we are the only New England state where that measure of our economic well-being has increased since then.

On nearly every measure of quality of life, as well as many other indicators, New Hampshire leads the nation and all other New England states. But our longstanding New Hampshire advantage is being threatened as never before by the rush to permit slots and casinos. To lose our substantial advantage would be an irreversible tragedy.

Here’s just one example: Property taxes per person in 2007 in Connecticut were $2,313.42, compared to $1,917.83 in New Hampshire (17 percent less than Connecticut), according to the Census Bureau. Adding lots of gambling venues certainly hasn’t done much to lower Connecticut’s property taxes.

The bottom line is this: Both demographic and economic trends are quite negative for the Southern New England states. Income taxes and sales taxes, along with slot machines and casino gambling, have not improved either their economy or their demography. Do we really want to do what they have done and go where they have gone?

Table I: New Hampshire unit sales and median price first quarter 2010

County Unit sales
1Q 2010
% change
Median $
1Q 2010
% change
Belknap 11 +16% $180,000 +10%
Carroll 107 -7% $178,000 +5%
Cheshire 88 -1% $159,950 -3%
Coos 57 -7% $100,000 +67%
Grafton 125 +24% $170,000 +14%
Hillsborough 482 +4% $217,450 -1%
Merrimack 227 +38% $190,000 +3%
Rockingham 437 +19% $252,000 +4%
Strafford 181 +20% $190,000 +7%
Sullivan 62 0% $131,500 -9%
Statewide 1,885 13% $207,000 +6%

Hello world!


Our area is fortunate to have 8 State Parks within easy distance. The Sculptured Rocks Natural Area, consisting of 272 acres, features a narrow canyon carved into curious shapes by the Cockermouth River on its way to Newfound Lake. Gardner Memorial Wayside Park is part of Gile State Forest, which spans 6,675 acres and does offer some mountain bike as well as hiking trails. There is a scenic picnic area with picnic tables, and it’s also a popular place for hiking. Mt. Sunapee State Park is a major recreation area for winter alpine skiing, plus a wonderful place for hiking, picnicking, and camping, as well as swimming, boating, and fishing on Lake Sunapee from the Mt. Sunapee State Park Beach. Once of the “lesser known gems” is Pillsbury State Park where a great variety of wildlife share the bounty of its heavy woodlands and ponds and wetlands. There is a hiking trail network which actually connects Mt. Monadnock with Mt. Sunapee (51 miles), as well as mountain

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biking trails. Also available are canoeing, fishing and picnicking. Rollins State Park in Warner is on the south slope of Mt. Kearsarge. Drive 3.5 miles to the picnic area and enjoy the fantastic views or hike the ½ mile trail to the summit. Wadleigh State Beach offers swimming on lovely Kezar Lake in Sutton. It’s a great place for family outings. Winslow State Park is located on the northwest slope of Mt. Kearsarge in Wilmot. There is a fantastic plateau for picnicking and admiring the views, or take the 1 mile foot trail to the summit or try the longer loop trail.

For more information on any of these wonderful facilities, visit the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation at: