CONWAY — The latest annual review of real estate sales in New Hampshire is available now and shows higher prices and swifter sales than ever over the past year.
The New Hampshire Real Estate Year in Review provides statewide and county-by-county statistics on residential and commercial sales for 2021, along with graphic illustrations and articles on current real estate conditions.
This is the third year that JW Publishing Inc. has collaborated with the N.H. Association of Realtors and the New England Real Estate Network to provide the report.
In North Conway, Keller Williams Realtor Theresa Bernhardt says the publication is an essential tool for Realtors, buyers and sellers and anyone who follows the housing market. And this year, the information is more helpful than ever.
With 28 years of experience in real estate, Bernhardt says, “This is a totally unprecedented market, and there are things that make it that way. There’s a lack of inventory, largely because people want to sell, but where are they going to go?”
That leads to an incredibly strong seller’s market, with property values climbing daily.
“People are bidding several thousand dollars over list price, eliminating contingencies as much as possible, adding clauses for appraisal deficit (meaning the buyer will pay the difference between an appraisal and the bidding price if there’s a gap),” Bernhardt says. “This kind of stuff is totally crazy and it has increased exponentially with COVID.”
The Review puts numbers to the stories that Realtors see every day. The boom that began in 2020 show no signs of letting up.
“We were on this trajectory, going into a sellers market before COVID, but COVID accelerated it,” Bernhardt said.
For example, the median price of a single family home in New Hampshire rose to an all-time high of $395,000 — nearly twice the price a decade earlier and a 17.9 percent increase over 2020 alone, when the median price was already a new record at $335,000.
Prices for condos, too, rose with median prices of $250,000 in 2020 and $288,530 in 2021.
In Carroll County, those increases are even more startling, with the median price for a single family home rising 23.4 percent from 300,000 to $370,338 in one year. And condo prices rose even more sharply from $237,750 to $322,250, an increase of 35.5 percent.
Bernhardt said people have to jump on a listing if they want to get a property. “If it comes on the market Monday or Tuesday, it likely won’t be available on the weekend,” she said.
The inventory of houses for sale today is the lowest on record at a little over 1,000 houses available for sale at the end of December 2021. Compare that with over 10,000 houses for sale at the end of 2011.
New Hampshire Realtors Association President Adam Gaudet notes in the Review, “We’ve never seen such a lack of homes on the market as we had in the final months of 2021, and that trend doesn’t seem to be going away so far in 2022.”
The low inventory and high demand make for all-time high prices and unbelievably quick turnaround times.
While 2020 was already remarkable for the speed of sales with an average home on the market for 47 days, that “days on the market” number dropped by nearly half in 2021 — to just 26 days from listing to sale.
Bernhardt has not doubt that COVID is behind the boom. She said many people are looking for a new place to live because their priorities or life circumstances have changed — it’s time to make that move they always wanted to make, they need more space to work at home or they now have extended family moving in.
“Multi-generational housing is growing across the country,” Bernhardt noted.
All of this is true for the Mount Washington Valley, she said, “And it’s true across the U.S.”
As articles in the Review points out, New Hampshire is the 12th fastest growing state in the nation, and ranks high on lists of educated citizens, quality of life, health care, best states to retire, and greatest personal and business freedom.
Luxury homes continue to sell well in the Granite State, where the top 10 single family home sales in 2021 ranged in price from $4.9 to $8.5 million. Three homes in Carroll County made that list: a $6.4 million home in Tuftonboro, a $5.4 million home in Moultonborough and a $4,997,100 home in Wolfeboro.
The lack of inventory and high prices are difficult for buyers.
Gaudet notes, “The good news for some was – and continues to be – tempered by not-so-good news for buyers being left behind because housing isn’t available or, possibly, affordable.”
“When the workers that the state needs to fill jobs are being priced out of our communities, that’s a crisis, and a real indication that something needs to be done to increase housing stock. Our economy depends on a healthy housing inventory,” he says.
And Bernhardt, who works with buyers and sellers in every price range, says it’s not “doom and gloom” for buyers who don’t have infinite resources. She routinely helps them find homes they can afford.
Sometimes, she says, they have to put in two or three offers before they win a bid but she says she has strategies to help them be the winning offer and recommends they “shop at a price point up to $50,000 less than what they’re qualified for.”
Bernhardt said she is happy to get a copy to anyone who would like one. Contact her at Theresa@TBrealtypartners.com or (603) 986-5286.
Theresa Bernhardt is a Realtor with Keller Williams Lakes and Mountains Realty in North Conway and a member of the board of directors for the White Mountain Board of Realtors. She is the team leader for TB Realty Partners, which includes Theresa’s daughter, licensed Realtor Sharrene Henderson, and fellow licensed Realtor John Devaney. For a consultation or more information, go to tbrealtypartners.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (603) 986-5286.