WebHeader_Grove.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate your vehicle and help support local, independent journalism today!

New Report Shows N.H.'s Housing Market Still Tight In First Few Months of 2021

dan_moyle_flickr_housing.jpg
Dan Moyle/Flickr Creative Commons
/

New Hampshire’s single family home market is still tight. A new report from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority focusing on this spring’s housing market shows that the state’s housing inventory is extremely low and houses are often sold at or above asking price. 

In April, about 1,500 homes were sold in New Hampshire, and the median price hit a record high of $362,250. 

Dean Christon, the executive director of New Hampshire Housing, said he hasn’t seen a housing market like this one in a long time.

“It’s nothing I think that anyone has experienced certainly in the last 20 or more years, maybe even longer than that,” he said. 

Christon said at the current pace homes are selling - if there were no new listings added - it would take less than half a month to sell everything on the market in the state. 

But, he hopes to have a clearer sense in the next month or two, whether some people were less willing to put their house on the market during the pandemic. 

“If that’s the case, maybe we’ll start seeing more inventory,” he said. “But I don’t think anyone is predicting a significant change in these general trends anytime soon.” 

The Housing Authority report shows there has been a slight uptick in building permits for new single-family homes, but Christon said it’s not enough to change the dynamics of the market. 

For the past year, a lot of focus has been on out-of-state buyers from surrounding New England states.  

The report also shows that there has been a 5 percent increase in buyers from Massachusetts in the past year. 

“What we don’t really have good information on is if they’re using them as primary residences or secondary residences of some sort.” 

Christon says that he wants to gather more data on whether those purchases are happening in certain markets, like the Lakes Region, Seacoast or certain parts of the North Country. 

All of this has ripple effects for prospective buyers and for people who aren’t looking to buy a house right now. 

With a median home price of more than $362,000, Christon said that’s tough for first-time home buyers, and that means they’re staying in their rental units. 

“And the result of that is there’s more pressure on the rental market,” he said.  

New Hampshire Housing reported last year that the vacancy rate was less than 2 percent for 2-bedroom units in the state

“Individuals who might be even lower income, who might not be ready to buy a home, are stressed more,” he said, “because they're competing in that market with people that have a little more money who would normally be in the for-sale market but can’t get there because of cost and availability.”

Christon says this market makes it tough on businesses trying to recruit new workers to the state, especially with an unemployment rate of less than 3 percent. 

“Those workers aren’t going to come, and those jobs aren’t going to get filled,” he said. “And that becomes a burden, if you will, on our economy and its ability to continue to grow.” 

 

Daniela is NHPR's reporter in the Upper Valley and Monadnock regions. She also leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.