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Market Insights

2010: The First Eight Months


John Rice reviews the first eight months of 2010

Driven by the Federal Tax credit and record low interest rates, 2010 thus far has proven to be a year chock full of superlatives in our sample seacoast towns for both single family sales as well as for condominiums. It seems to be proof positive that despite the best of times or the worst of times, buyers still find the seacoast of New Hampshire an attractive place to purchase.

On the single family side, we still experience record inventory levels since we started keeping stats in 2007. 

March proved to be a harbinger of things to come. In spite of some rugged February weather, buyers closed on 41 units, an eye-popping 78% improvement over the previous March and the best performance in four years. Condo closings more than doubled from the previous month.

We were building to the "perfect storm" of June when sales are traditionally strong anyway, but coupled with low interest rates, attractive inventory availability, the incentive of a tax credit and good weather to shop, sales figures sky-rocketed.

Then came the loud, resounding, post Federal Tax credit under agreement deadline of June 30 and July sales plummeted. 40% , dropping behind 2009 levels. To be sure and to be fair, July is usually one of those slower months. Still, the big guys were out there buying million dollar homes like they hadn't since June 2008. The year's biggest sale, 58 Ocean Boulevard in Rye occurred to the tune of $3 million.

All of which brings us to August, when buyers seemed to collectively realize that while the tax credit was gone, mortgage interest rates were really at incredibly record low levels. So back came buyers in droves. In fact, it was the best August since at least 2007 for single family sales which also jumped 39% from July--an improvement of 29% from August 2009.

It was also the best August for condominium sales since August 2007-an 89% improvement from July's numbers. Mid higher-end units had a very strong month in fact their best since July 2007.   


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