CONCORD, NH – With New Hampshire residential home prices just under $400,000 and showing no sign of slowing, affordability in January hit an all-time monthly low for the New Hampshire Association of Realtors’ 17-year recording period.
Affordability is measured by comparing household income with housing prices. An affordability index of 120, for example, means the median household income is 120 percent of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. A higher number means greater affordability.
That number hit 98 in January, dropping under 100 for the first time since NHAR’s records began in 2005. For context, it has been as high as 220 within the last 10 years.
Inventory has been the primary driver of the steep price increase, and that continued to plummet in January as well, with only 931 single-family residential units on the market at the end of the month – a 35 percent drop from a year ago and also an historic low for NHAR data.
As a result, the median price in New Hampshire hit an all-time January high of $399,700 – 14 percent up from last year.
“Demand isn’t slowing down,” said NHAR President Adam Gaudet, broker-owner of 603 Birch Realty in Concord. “If New Hampshire is going to tackle the affordability and availability crisis in a meaningful way, it means increasing that inventory.
“This isn’t a local issue but a statewide one. Lack of housing is constraining job growth and making New Hampshire unaffordable for too many workers. Our economy depends on a healthy housing inventory.”