CONCORD, NH – The state’s residential market has made some slight shifts toward favoring buyers more than it has the past few years, though prices are still on the rise.
The New Hampshire Association of Realtors monthly residential market report shows that time on the market has increased, while percentage of list price paid decreased from a year ago.
Still, the median sales price for a single-family home, at $415,000, was higher than it was 12 months ago and the affordability index – a measure of how well an average buyer can afford a home – was still near record low, at 76.
The $415,000 MSP was up 4% from January 2022’s $399,000. Though it’s the lowest monthly median since February 2022, when the MSP was $405,000. MSP spiked at $460,000 in May and June, and was $425,000 in December. Median means that half of the homes sold were above that price, and half lower.
One positive sign is that interest rates were lower in January than they’ve been since September. “Lower rates should aid in affordability and may soon lead to an uptick in market activity ahead of the spring selling season,” the NHAR said.
That said, affordability is still not great for the average Granite State home buyer. The affordability index in January was 76, which means that median income in New Hampshire is 76% of what’s necessary to qualify to buy a median-priced home. The index measures home price, as well as interest rates, property taxes and insurance for a median-priced home. The January number is down from 99 a year ago. On the other hand, while 76 isn’t good – the ideal is 100 – it’s the highest it’s been since last March. The state’s affordability index dropped to a 20 year low last year and is attempting to struggle back as the market stabilizes.
Homes for sale in New Hampshire spent an average 37 days on the market in January, up seven days from a year ago. That means that buyers have more time and negotiated power when shopping for a home, the NHAR noted.
Another positive for buyers is that they are now paying an average 98.4% of the list price, as opposed to 101.4% a year ago. The average soared above 100% beginning in mid-2020, and didn’t drop below 100% since October. Since then, it’s been steadily decreasing since.
A sign things are slowing down after the frenzy of the past few years is that closed sales are down 28.5%, with 626 in January, as opposed to 875 in January 2022 and 1,030 in January 2021.
Inventory continues to be a struggle. Single-family homes were at 1.1 months’ supply in January and condos were at 1.2 months’ supply. Seven months supply is considered a balanced market, something New Hampshire hasn’t had for more than five years.
Prices dropped from a year ago in three counties – Belknap, Carroll and Hillsborough.
In Belknap County, which includes the Lakes Region, the MSP dropped to $320,000 from $368,500 a year ago.
In Carroll County, in the White Mountains, MSP dropped to $394,950 from $445,000 a year ago.
In Hillsborough County, which includes Manchester and Nashua, the MSP dropped to $405,000 from $440,000.
The lowest-priced houses in the state can be found in Coos County, where the MSP in January was $200,750, up from $189,000 in January 2022. The most expensive county to buy a home in was Rockingham County, where the January MSP was $540,000, up from $539,200 a year ago.
Condominiums, a much smaller piece of the market, were more affordable for New Hampshire buyers, with an affordability index of 93 in January. Though it’s all relative – a year ago, it was 130.
There were 196 closed sales in January statewide, compared to 287 a year ago.
The MSP statewide was $340,000, up from $300,000 in January 2022, and buyers were still paying more than 100% of list price, though “only” 100.5% as opposed to $102.4% a year ago.
Days on the market didn’t change much, with the average 34 this January and 35 January 2022.