by John W. Rice, 2011 NHAR President Elect
PORTSMOUTH-A huge month for high end transactions helped push single-family sales numbers to their best monthly totals in at least two years, according to the Seacoast Board of REALTORS. The Seacoast saw 10 sales of $1 million dollars or more, the best month in more than a year for that price range.
"The high end sales show an increase in consumer confidence," said James Therrien, president of the Seacoast Board of REALTORS. "Year to date we have had 22 - $1,000,000-plus sales versus 11 in all of 2010."
Generally speaking, June usually trends out to be the best month for Seacoast residential real estate sales. This year was no exception. The 106 June sales represent a 35.9% increase from May and just does top June 2010, which saw 104 sales. The bulk of the activity for the month, however, remained in sales less than $400,000, some 74 transactions, twenty more than last month.
Overall, the year's 365 single-family sales through the end of June are almost exactly what were registered in 2010: 367 transactions.
"June was a huge month for real estate in the Seacoast," Therrien said. "We exceeded last year's sales which were boosted by the first time home buyer's tax credit that expired at the end of June 2010. It's another encouraging sign of recovery for our real estate market. We have the inventory, lower prices and low interest rates to keep momentum going."
Condominium sales in June improved a healthy 23.3%--the best month since August 2010 but two less than last year at this time. While 62% of the sales were for less than $300,000, there were two sales that exceeded $1 million, the first time that has happened in more than a year. There were 11 sales of units in the $300-$600,000 range, the best total since last August.
Overall, the 152 sales to date in the 2011 condominium market represent a 15.6% decline from 2010's 180 transaction at the end of June. Still, none of that could dampen the momentum to the seacoast market brought on by the June sales surge.
"When you look at the Seacoast vs. the State of New Hampshire, we are doing well," Therrien said. "The state was down about 15% for June and down about 10% year to date. Rockingham County was even for June and down about 3% for year to date."