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Market Insights

September single-family sales surge




PORTSMOUTH-September sales of single family homes in the nine sample seacoast towns registered a 28.2% gain over 2007 numbers. It was the first time since January that monthly totals exceeded those of a year ago.

             Sales also exceeded August figures by 11.1%. Of the 50 closed transactions, thirty were for homes priced below $400,000.

            "This is certainly encouraging news, " said John Rice, president of the Seacoast Board of REALTORS. "I think buyers took advantage of the greater selection of homes, attractive interest rates and moderating prices."

            Pending sales, however, slipped by 27.7% from August, reaching their lowest level since January, down from September 2007 by 22%. Meanwhile at 542 active listings, inventory was up 4% from last month, reaching the highest number since September 2007's 549.

            "While usually an increase in inventory puts downward pressure on prices, our inventory numbers have consistently lagged behind 2007," Rice said. "It is unusual to see a September spike. It is more common to see numbers decline starting now and through the winter months."

            The condo market continues to have its problems. Single-family condo sales declined 29% for the month and 37% from a year ago. Meanwhile condo inventory, like single-family inventory, also spiked for the year, rising 1.8% from last month and reaching the highest total since last October 2007. Pendings declined 13.3% in the month, the lowest performance since December 2007.


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