Lakes Region of NH Condo and Land Sales Report
We’re halfway through 2012 and it is a good time to see how a couple other segments of the real estate market are doing. Condominium sales are an important and integral part of our real estate market. Many buyers look to condos as a somewhat more affordable and maintenance free alternative to purchasing a stand alone vacation home. No one wants to spend their vacation or long weekends mowing lawns or painting trim when they could be out enjoying the lake or a round of golf. The condo lifestyle also appeals to many retirees and professionals that don’t want to deal with routine exterior maintenance issues so we are seeing units used as primary residences. We are fortunate to have a large variety of condominium associations in the Lakes Region. They range from converted motel units and cottages to the upscale gated communities that have a vast array of amenities including beaches, boat facilities, walking trails, tennis courts, and swimming pools. There are condos that will fit everyone’s taste and budget. Just as with the residential market, it is also great time to purchase a condo given the large inventory available and the current low prices found on many of the units.
So how is the condo market doing right now? Well, for the first six months of 2012 there were 76 sales within the twelve communities that are comprised of the towns in Belknap County plus Moultonborough. Most of the sales occurred in Gilford and Laconia as that is where most of the associations are. There were 40 sales in Laconia, 22 in Gilford, 5 in Meredith, 4 in Moultonborough, 3 in Tilton, and 1 in both Belmont and New Hampton. The average sales price for the units sold is $157,199.
These numbers compare pretty closely with last year when there were 77 sales in the first half of the year at an average of $156,791 and 2010 when there were 70 sales at an average of$152,083. The peak of the condominium market as far as total sales numbers go was actually in 2004 (the same as the residential peak) when there were 381 units sold for the year at an average price of $190,424. The peak of the market for pricing was in 2007 when the average sales price for condos came in at $209,417. Based on these historic numbers we have a ways to go to get back to previous levels in term of both unit sales and prices but we do have some pretty decent activity right now. The fact that prices are a full 25% off the peak makes this a really great time to step into a new condo unit!
What about land sales? Everyone that has a piece of land on the market knows how difficult it is to sell it right now. The lone exception to that is probably a reasonably priced waterfront lot. Is there such a thing? There have been only 50 land sales at an average price of $93,810 in Belknap County and Moultonborough since the first of the year and that includes commercial parcels as well. The average sales price of $93,810 is bolstered a little by a few waterfront and the larger parcels that sold. It seems that a 2-3 acre building lot that used to sell for $80-90,000 might only bring half of that today. But total sales are up a little compared to the first half of last year when there were only 34 sales albeit at a higher average of $130,126. Back in the heyday (you remember that, right?), way back in 2002, there were a whopping 536 land transactions for the year although at a much lower average sales price of $53,435. Land sales have steadily declined each year since then down to just 86 sales in 2009, a little bump to 118 in 2010, and then 76 in 2011. The year with the highest average price was in 2007 when we had 185 land transactions at an average sales price of $164,001.
So, no matter which segment of the market you are looking in; single family home, condos, or land, there are plenty of great deals and an even greater selection of properties to choose from.
Data compiled using the Northern New England Real Estate Network MLS system as of 7/26/12