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Market Insights

Tax credit sustains November sales pace



By John W. Rice, broker, Tate and Foss

PORTSMOUTH-The homebuyer's tax credit continues to sustain the seacoast residential real estate market. November sales of single-family homes and condos, like last month, were stronger than normal in the nine sample seacoast towns.

November single-family sales were up 11.7% from last month, while condo sales slipped by 21% but only after a year-high 29 sales in October. Despite the slippage in condo sales, November was still the 4th best month of the year at a time when sales usually dip much lower.

 The effect of the tax credit appears to be reflected in the price ranges that saw the most activity. All but one of the 22 condo sales were for units costing less than $300,000, while the single-family market showed strength not only in sales under $400,000, but also between $400,000 and $700,000.

While available inventory showed normal fall declines (8% for single family and 9% for condos) the total unit sales were a substantial improvement over November 2008. Single-family sales were up 29% and condo sales a whopping 92%.

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