DOVER – In a sign that Strafford County’s white-hot real estate market might be cooling somewhat, both current sales and pending sales were down in July.
Prices for single-family homes and residential condominiums were still up, according to the July report from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors, but other data suggests a bit of a cool down from previous months, including fewer new-home shoppers.
“There are not as many buyers coming to open houses,” said Lee Ann Parks, president of the Dover-based Strafford County Board of Realtors. “Where we would have 30, it is more like eight to 10. Some of it is summer vacation; however, some is buyer frustration. ”
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In July there were 140 single-family home sales. That compares with 181 sales last July and 164 sales in June. Pending sales – where an offer has been accepted but the deal hasn’t closed yet – numbered 154, down from 178 in July 2020.
For condominiums, too, there’s been a bit of a slip: 19 sales in July versus 26 last July and 28 in June. But pending sales were up: 32 compared to 21.
Sales volume dipped for both homes and condos – by 0.2% to $ 59.5 million for single-families, by 6.9% to $ 5.4 million for condos. That’s the first time since May 2020 – in the depth of the COVID-19 pandemic – that a loss in volume was recorded for both single-family homes and condos.
But the median prices continue to rise. The $ 369,950 recorded in July is the second highest median price ever for a home in Strafford County. The highest – $ 378,000 – was recorded in June. In May of 2020, as a point of comparison, it was $ 100,000 less.
The NHAR data shows a median price of $ 255,000 for a condo, a record for Strafford County. It wasn’t that long ago – October 2020, to be exact – that the median price was less than $ 200,000.
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Lately, analysts have wondered whether the current market can continue to sustain itself. There are some indicators that the hot market might be cooling, as more inventory has come online and as frustrated buyers have decided to step away for a while.
The Home Buying Institute, in a July 29 report, declared: “It’s official: The real estate market is slowing down.”
Indicators of a slowing housing market
“We’ve seen a decline in home sales, an increase in inventory, and other indicators that suggest the housing market is slowing,” the institute’s report said, adding that “a July 2021 report from the National Association of Realtors revealed a nearly 2 % drop in pending sales for existing homes, from May to June of this year. ”
But certain factors in this area indicate that the hot market is far – very far – from shifting from what is now a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.
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One indicator is the days on market – how long a property is on the market before it sells. The days on market for a house and for a condo in Strafford County in July was 15. In a normal real estate economy, it’s usually between 30 and 45 days.
Neighboring Rockingham County continued its streak of having the highest median price for a house among all 10 counties in the Granite State.
The $ 520,000 for a single-family easily topped No. 2 Hillsborough County at $ 415,000.
The county’s median price for a condo – $ 405,450 – was also the highest recorded in the state.
Volume increased by 8% to $ 241 million in single-family sales, while it increased 3.8% to $ 62.6 million for condo sales.
For Rockingham County in July, the days on market for a house was 13 and for a condo it was 19.
For the entire state, according to the NHAR data, the median price of a single-family in July was $ 402,000, up 18.2% from a year ago. The price of a condo was up 20% to $ 294,000.