July home sales up compare last year’s first-time credit hangover

Residential home sales in New Hampshire in July rose 29 percent over the same month last year, but the sharp rise might have more to do with the expiration of the first-time homebuyer credit last June than it is evidence of a positive trend. The latest figures by the New Hampshire Association of Realtors show that 1,048 homes were sold in July 2011, compared to 811 in July 2010.This was due in large part to a drop-off in sales last July that occurred immediately following the expiration of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit on June 30.”We’ve said for some time that year-over-year numbers won’t really tell us much until we’re completely clear of any comparisons impacted by the tax credit,” said Tom Riley, president of the association. “The further along we get in the year, the more relevant and telling these comparisons become.”From July 2010 to 2011, median home price dropped 2 percent, from $220,000 to $216,000. On a local level, July residential home sales increased in nine out of 10 counties, and remained the same in Carroll County.Year-to-date, 5,831 residential homes have been sold in the state, compared to 6,100 at the same time last year, and median price year-to-date is down nearly 5 percent, from $217,000 in 2010 to $207,000 this year.There was also a drop in condominium sales year over year. In July 2011, 1,447 condominiums were sold at a median price of $150,000; in July 2010, 1,595 condos were sold at a median price of $166,000.But condo sales were also up month over month, numbering 217 in July 2011, up from 171 in July 2010. –KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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