Black Flies and More Listings -Lakes Region of NH Real Estate Market Report -5/7/09
It is May and black flies are multiplying. So are the listings. We are up to 1083 residential listings in the Lakes Region of NH. That is up from the 900 homes available back in January but only slightly more than last May which came in at 1064. There are 287 homes available under $200,000 compared to on 203 last May, so there is a definite trend toward more lower priced homes on the market with many of those being bank owned properties. The number of high end homes on the market has dropped about 7% with 516 homes currently available over the $300,000 price point compared to 553 last May.
The National Association of REALTORS® compares a number of factors including home costs, mortgage rates, and family income and calculates a Home Affordability Index. The higher the index number, the more affordable the housing is in that area. On a national level, the index stood at 166.7 in March which is near an all time high. That number has improved from the 135.9 rating in March of 2008 and 107.6 in 2006. Housing in the Northeast has always been a little more expensive than the South or the Midwest so it really is no surprise that our index rating would reflect that. In March we came in at 136.1 or well below the national average in affordability. Back in March of 2008 the index rating was even worse at 101.4. So while housing in the Northeast may not be quite as affordable as other places we are at least headed in the right direction. Since mortgage rates aren’t likely to go lower, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that in order for houses to be more affordable either prices have to drop or you need to get a sizeable raise. I’m betting there may be no raise in your future given these hard economic times so prices will have to come down some in order to improve our rating.
But there are some great deals on housing out there in every market. That coupled with the $8,000 tax credit for first time buyers has resulted in first time buyers coming in to the market in relative droves. They accounted for 53% of the transactions nationwide in March. That’s the good news, we just need more of it. Hopefully the trend will continue, especially around here…
The Lakes Region Residential View Contest will end next week, so if you live in a home with a view send a photo of it along with your contact information to my attention at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post them at http://www.lakesregionhome.com/ and on May 13th we will pick the best view submitted. Judges will be Jen Serrano from Wells Fargo Mortgage, Wanda Keenan from Paramount Title, and Sheryl Foss from Image Appraisals. The winner will receive $100.00.
Report covers the towns of Aton, Barnstead, Belmont, Center Harbor, Gilford, Gilmanton, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, New Hampton, Sanbornton, and Tilton