CONCORD, NH – Median sales price for a single-family home in New Hampshire in October decreased for the second month in a row, and new listings, pending sales and inventory were up slightly, but those positive signs were overshadowed by an all-time low in affordability for potential home-buyers.
The median sales price for a single-family home in New Hampshire was $477,000 in October, down from September’s $486,000, but up from last October’s $429,250, the New Hampshire Association of Realtors said in its monthly residential real estate report. Median sales price means half of the homes sold for more, and half for less. The New Hampshire single-family home median sales price reached an all-time high of $499,000 in June, dropped to $480,000 in July, but then was back up to $490,000 in August. It has dropped the past two months. [Last month’s monthly market article erroneously had the September MSP as $490,000 as well].
The median sales price for a townhouse-condo also dropped, and was at $401,750, in October, down from the September MSP of $405,000, but way up from the $360,000 of a year ago.
While inventory remains tight, the months’ supply for single-family homes hit 2.0 for the first time since July 2020. Inventory for condos remained steady at 1.6. The inventory indicator is how many months it would take all the properties on the market to sell at the current sales pace if no new ones were added. An ideal inventory is 6-8 months, something New Hampshire has not had for more than a decade.
There were 1,175 pending single-family home sales at the end of October, up 3.1% from this time last year. There was also a slight uptick in new listings – 1,335, up 3.5% from this time last year. Pending sales for condos are also up from last year. There were 371 pending sales in October, up 15.9% from October 2022. There were 405 condo new listings, up 14.1% from this time last year.
Affordability, though, continues to decrease and is at an all-time low. The affordability index for a single-family home dropped to 58, which means that the state’s median household income is 58% of what is needed to pay the monthly cost of a median-priced home, including mortgage payment and insurance. An ideal affordability index is 100 or higher. Last month it was 59; a year ago it was 69. The much-smaller condo market used to be an affordable option for home buyers, but as the single-family home inventory gets squeezed, condo affordability has plummeted. The affordability index for a condo purchase was 69 in October, down from 82 a year ago and 71 the month before.
At the end of October, there were 1,951 single-family homes for sale in New Hampshire; in October 2022, there were 2,065. There were 523 condos for sale, down from 550 at the end of October 2022.
Volume of closed sales, another key indicator of the health of the real estate market, was also down from this time last year. There were $625.4 million in closed sales in October, down 12% from $710 million in October 2022.
Nationally, existing home sales fell to a 13-year low, dropping 2.0% month-over month and 15.4% year-over-year, according to the National Association of Realtors. “Surging interest rates and elevated sales prices continue to make homeownership unaffordable for many prospective buyers,” the NHAR said in its monthly report. “Purchase activity is down significantly compared to this time last year, but rising interest rates are also keeping many current homeowners from selling, causing inventory to remain at historically low levels nationwide.”
Nationally, inventory was at 1.13 million units, up 2.7% from September, but down 8.1% compared to the same time last year. There is a 3.4 months’ supply. “The shortage of homes for sale is making it harder for buyers to find a home to purchase while at the same time pushing sales prices higher nationwide, with the median existing-home sales price rising 2.8% annually to $394,300, the third consecutive month of year-over-year price increases,” the NHAR said.