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Market Insights

December '07 Listings/Sales Decline

PORTSMOUTH, NH-Single family and condominium active listings and sales in the nine sample seacoast towns declined last month from November numbers. Single family listings fell 16.4% to their lowest level of 2007. Condominium listings declined 14.2% also attaining the lowest level of the year.

            "These are deceptive numbers," said John Rice, president of the Seacoast Board of REALTORS. "Because, while some sellers may be taking their properties off the market for the winter or whatever, in other cases listing contracts, many of which typically expire at year's end, may have done just that. I don't think it would be surprising to see a surge in listings next month as sellers re-up or sign on with new REALTORS."

            "Still," Rice continued, "declining inventory can only firm prices and that's a good thing."

            Single family sales declined 21% from November figures and condo numbers were down 28%.

            "While that's a hefty number," Rice said,  "we've seen much bigger month to month swings during the year. Single family sales declined about 43% between June and July for example. Compared to the same time in 2006, single-family sales declined only 9.5%--and remember it was a very snowy month."

            Condo sales were off 23.3% from the same period in 2006. Pending single-family sales fell a more modest 10% from November numbers while condo pendings remained almost unchanged, falling 7%.

             While sales below $400,000 declined 27% from November, upper end transactions held their ground. The month saw a $4 million cash sale at 6 Dancer's Image Lane in North Hampton. The upper end market experienced 11 major sales of $1 million or more in the fourth quarter with November and December recording three sales each.


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