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Market Insights

2011 ends with a residential sales rally

 

DECEMBER SINGLE FAMILY SALES SURGE PAST NOVEMBER TOTALS

By John W. Rice, President, New Hampshire Association of REALTORS 

PORTSMOUTH-December single family sales jumped 32.6% over last month as buyers flocked to pick up properties priced under $400,000. According to the Seacoast Board of REALTORS, there were 61 sales last month, some 39 of which were for properties priced under $400,000.

 But the 168 total sales in the fourth quarter represented an 18.4% decline from fourth quarter 2010, while December monthly totals were off 8.9% from last year. Total single family sales declined 3.8% from 2010 (743 against 773 in 2010.)

On the condo side, there were 26 December sales, three less than in November and 10 less (-27.7%) than December 2010. But condos remained the good news story of 2011 with a strong second half of the year that saw 177 transactions compared to 163 (+8.5%) in 2010.

The surge in condo sales mirrors a state-wide trend towards more volume in what had been a long dormant market. Still, total volume for the year declined 5.4% (330 sales in 2011, 349 in 2010.)  

"While we have seen slight decline over 2010, the strong finish for December indicates that buyers are active in the marketplace, taking advantage of the affordability, inventory and low interest rates," said Lauren Kane, president of the Seacoast Board of REALTORS. "We also saw a significant increase in million dollar plus sales with 39 sales in 2011 over 19 sales in 2010, along with increased buying in the condo sector, both of which is a good indicator of recovery."

  "We are hopeful for a strong start in 2012," Kane added, "considering that last year we had considerable snowfall amounts in January making winter home buying a challenge. So far Mother Nature is on our side."

 


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