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Market Insights

Huge August overshadows sales retreat


by John Rice 

PORTSMOUTH-Single-family sales in the 13-Sample Seacoast towns "retreated" last month to the best August since 2002. The 122 transactions are actually off from last month by 23.7% ending a streak of seven straight months where sales topped the previous month.

The 13 Sample Seacoast Towns are Exeter, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, North Hampton, Newmarket, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook and Stratham.

Still, there was no denying that August was in many ways just as impressive as July, when weighed against August totals going back 13-years. Sales are up 20.7% from a year ago. July was real estate's biggest month ever for at least the past five years. Meanwhile, inventory numbers remained virtually even with July and pending sales were off by a modest 5% assuring that September could be another huge month as well.

Condominium sales were up 21.2% from a year ago although, like single family sales, off 32.1% from last month. The 57 transactions in the month are also a modern record, the most for August in at least five years.

Not lost in the gaudy volume numbers are significant median sales price milestones as well. The median monthly single family sales price in August was a five-year-best $420,000-up 16.6% from last year. The eight-month cumulative median sales price of $398,068 is up 7.87% or almost 1% per month appreciation. By contrast, the August median monthly condominium sales price of $250,000 actually is a decline from the previous month's $251,750 and down 11.3% from last year's record $282,000.

For the year, single family sales volume has reached 775, up 7.34% from 2014. Condominium sales are up an impressive 18.1% from a year ago at 411 transactions. And, despite fluctuating monthly median sales price figures, the cumulative median sales price now stands at $242,000, up 1.6% from 2014.


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