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Market Insights

May home sales surge

by John W. Rice

PORTSMOUTH-Pending sales of single-family homes in the nine sample seacoast towns surged 28% in the month of May over April numbers. The 64 pending transactions was the most since last June 2007 when 66 pending sales were recorded.

            For the third straight month, the number of closed sales were up as well, although the gain was a more modest 7.5%. The 43 sales was the most since November, but still 34.8% less than a year ago. The number of pending transactions were off by 20.9% from May 2007.

            "There's no question that this is a more difficult and challenging market than last year," Seacoast Board of REALTORS President John Rice said. "But we'll take our victories where we find them. It was a much better May than April."

            The number of active listings climbed 6.9% to 511, the most since October. Still, that's 29 fewer listings than last May.

            "I think that the modest inventory numbers have helped keep the supply and demand factors in balance," Rice said. "It helps bring relative stability to values."

            Meanwhile, sales of single-family condos actually declined by 27.2% from April to May and were off 29.4% from a year ago. Pending sales also declined by 13.5%, reaching the lowest level since January.

            "The decline in condo sales may have as much to do with the market as it does with the lending environment for condominium units," Rice said.  




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