The Granite State real estate market is heating up.
The Manchester-Nashua market was ranked among the top 20 hottest markets in the nation last month, according to Realtor.com.
Jerome Duval is president of the Greater Manchester-Nashua Board of Realtors.
He joined Morning Edition to talk about the rebound of the New Hampshire real estate market.
I imagine you’re pretty busy these days, with the heart of the buying season now in full swing. What are you seeing out there?
About a year ago, we started to see things begin to stabilize and there was an upward trend. But this spring, despite just a devastating winter, people came out of the gate early. Sellers came on the market early this spring to put their properties on the market. For those retirees, those looking to downsize, this was a great time for them to pull the trigger and put their home on the market. The results were just unbelievable. Anything that was priced where it should have been and in a decent neighborhood and had any qualities to offer a buyer at all were being scooped up in single-digit days.
Was this a sign of some pent-up demand from years of lackluster market conditions?
I think so. Interest rates are still highly competitive, so from a buyer’s perspective, I think it’s still very advantageous to jump in now. There’s always the threat of interest rates going up. I think a pent-up demand, but also, despite the fact that a number of sellers have chosen to put their homes on the market seeing the change in market landscape, there’s still not enough sellers who are making that decision to put their properties on the market.
More buyers than sellers means that the values have spiked considerably and sellers are finding immediate success with the sale of their properties.
Do you think inventory is catching up with demand at all?
Not yet. For example, I took at a look at the updated stats in the Nashua area – you’ve got 77 pending and only 49 on the market. That’s a bit of a problem for a buyer. In the Manchester/Goffstown/Bedford area, which is quite huge, you’ve got 101 pending and about an equal amount active on the market. But interestingly, of the ones that are pending, half of those - about 50 - went under contract in single-digit days. In less than 10 days, those properties were under contract.
So clearly, it’s a seller’s market right now. What kind of advice do you give to buyers?
Be prepared. Work with an agent who is up to their noses in the business; someone who’s really experienced and can give you really good counsel and best prepare you to be ready to pull the trigger if and when that opportunity presents itself. In this market, it’s best to have an understanding if you’re buying with a partner or a spouse or a relative, have details worked out so you know what you’re looking for, you know what areas you’re looking for, so you’re pretty much a step ahead of your competition. You should pre-approved with a really good lender. Your finances should be in order so you can really pounce on a property if it presents itself.
Who are your typical buyers right now? Are you seeing more millennials?
It’s really all across the board. Younger buyers certainly are out there and are active, but people are making moves from now being in a position to maybe sell their condo that they’ve been in for longer than anticipated because of the depressed value of condos throughout Hillsborough County and the rest of the state. Now they’re ready to make a move and have decided it’s time to own a single-family property. Prices for condos have stabilized. They’re starting to creep up now. That was really the last segment to recover. We’re seeing a lot of action and again a lean inventory for the more desirable condo associations in Hillsborough County.