Low inventory, high demand boosts real estate prices in July

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Originally published by Seacoastonline.com

PORTSMOUTH — The pace of residential real estate sales eased in July, owing more to a decline in inventory as opposed to a decline in demand, according to the Seacoast Board of Realtors.

Its analysis of monthly sales trends in the 13 communities it tracks shows a decline in single-family home sales of 20.5 percent when compared to July of last year. Sales were down 38.1 percent compared to the month of June.

The board’s sample communities include Exeter, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, North Hampton, Newmarket, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook and Stratham.

According to the board, inventory of available homes off what it called “a hefty” 22 percent from a year ago. As a result of low supply and high demand, median prices are up – $440,900 in July, the second highest median price in 2017. It was the seventh straight month median sale prices have exceeded $400,000. In fact, the board said the 43 sales in the $400,000 to $700,000 category far exceeded the 30 sales in the less-than $400,000 category. According to the board, that is the first time in recent history that sales in this category have logged such a substantial margin over the more affordable range.

“Despite declining sales, it’s pretty clear that demand for Seacoast single-family homes remains substantial, hence sharply rising median sale prices,” said Seacoast Board of Realtors President Todd Hudson, founder/broker at Red Post Realty in Portsmouth. “Declining inventory is a national problem, not just a Seacoast one. It’s a great time to sell.”

The board found residential condominium sales were up in its sample communities – 14.2 percent from July 2016. It said the July median sale price for condos was $303,000, up $47,000 from a year ago. Although not a yearly high, according to the board, it was the fourth time in nine months that median sale prices have exceeded $300,000 for condos.

A Seacoast Media Group analysis of July sales in 17 communities it tracks shows a slightly different trend – single-family home volume was up 4.7 percent over last July, while residential condom volume was down 6.2 percent.

SMG tracks deeds recorded at the Rockingham County Registry of Deeds for sales in Brentwood, East Kingston, Epping, Exeter, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, North Hampton, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook and Stratham.

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