Realtors: N.H. home sales remain on upswing



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Home sales in New Hampshire continued to increase in April, further evidence that the state's residential real estate market may indeed be rebounding.But the median price of those transactions remains on a downward slide, according to data released by the New Hampshire Association of Realtors.According to the association, home sales statewide rose 20.7 percent, from 811 in April 2011 to 979 in April 2012. Likewise, sales of condominium units rose 20.9 percent in AprilSales rose in seven of the state's 10 counties, with only Coos (25 transactions in April 2012) and Sullivan (34) seeing decreases (10.7 and 2.9 percent, respectively). In Carroll County, sales remained unchanged at 66.In other counties, increases in home sales ranged from 3.6 percent in Strafford (87 transactions in April 2012) to 43.5 percent in Grafton (66). Sales increased 36.6 percent in Belknap (56); 29.4 percent in Rockingham (229); 28.4 percent in Hillsborough 267); 23 percent in Merrimack (91); and 11.5 percent in Cheshire (58).As for condo sales, they increased in five of 10 counties, ranging from an increase of 133.3 percent (from 3 in 2011 to 7 in 2012) in Cheshire to 23.8 percent (from 63 in 2011 to 78 in 2012) in Rockingham. Other increases: Belknap, 69.2 percent (13 in 2011, 22 in 2012); Hillsborough, 39.1 percent (69 to 96); and Merrimack, 33.3 percent (15 to 20).Condo sales remained the same in both Grafton (24) and Sullivan (1). Decreases were reported in Coos, down 100 percent (2 in April 2011 to zero in April 2012); Strafford, down 47.4 percent (19 in 2011, 10 in 2012); and Carroll, down 27.3 percent (11 in 2011, 8 in 2012).Median prices, however, remain weak, with an average drop of 5 percent across the state, falling from $199,900 in April 2011 to $190,000 in April 2012.The lowest median home price was in Coos -- $50,500, down 35.5 percent from April 2011. The highest was in Rockingham -- $240,000, down 7.7 percent from a year earlier.Increased median sales prices were recorded in Carroll ($165,450 in April 2012), Strafford ($183,000), and Sullivan ($128,750).Nevertheless, John Rice, president of the Realtors Association, said the numbers as a whole were another sign of a real estate recovery in New Hampshire."We've seen occasional flickers over the past four or five years, but this appears to be the first real flame," he said. -- JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

 

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