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Market Insights

Mild weather spurs hot Seacoast sales pace



by John W. Rice, President, New Hampshire Assoication of REALTORS

PORTSMOUTH-Last month's single family and residential condominium sales enjoyed their best January in at least three years. According to the Seacoast Board of REALTORS, the 52 single family sales in the month exceed 2011 totals by 40% while the 29 condominium units transferred represent an eye-popping 70.5% improvement from January 2011.

            Across the board, sales exceeded last year's numbers in both categories except for sales above $1 million. None were recorded for the month.

            "Normally" January sales (along with February) represent the least sales activity for the year. But spring-like weather may have helped produce March-like results.  Be that as it may, condominium totals were actually up a solid 11.5% from December, while residential units slid -14.8% from December when 61 units were closed.

            "Without a doubt, the favorable weather conditions are helping the Seacoast real estate market, especially compared to a year ago at this time," said Lauren Kane, president of the Seacoast Board of REALTORS. "The residential sales decline for January is not cause for alarm.  The average sales contract takes 30-45 days to close, and shoppers were likely busier with the holidays than their home search in December."

             "January's pending sales for both single family homes and condominiums are up slightly from a month ago and there are fewer condominium listings which should help values," Kane added. " Overall, both are encouraging signs that the market is moving in the right direction."

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