By John W. Rice, Broker, NH/Maine
PORTSMOUTH-The first numbers from the 2009 spring Seacoast real estate market have registered a marked increase in activity over the winter months.
The total active March residential listings in the nine sample seacoast towns jumped from February's 393 to 451, which is also a 7.3% increase from March 2008. Pending sales increased 38% from last month and closed sales registered a healthy 44% gain. Still, the 23 transfers were 25% less than March 2008.
"These days you take your victories when you can," says John Rice. "It's nice to see sellers coming out of the woodwork in better numbers than last year, as well as an overall increase in activity."
Active condominium listings, while showing a modest increase from February, actually declined 13.9 percent from March 2008. Nevertheless, pending sales were up 38% for the month and closed sales a robust 50%. The 18 closed transactions exactly matched the total from a year ago.
"This is a side of the market that may be telling us something," Rice notes. "Everyone seems to feel the bottom of the market is a few months off. After several quarters of poor performance, condo numbers have been relatively flat over the past three months."