2015 Southern New Hampshire Housing Report
Sales up 11.7% and Prices up 4.7%
The Southern New Hampshire housing market experienced robust growth in 2015, much like Massachusetts housing market!
2014 – 2015 Homes Sales By Month
There were a total of 11,767 homes sold in Rockingham, Cheshire, Hillsborough counties in 2015, which is an 11.7% increase over 2014 when there were 10,532 homes sold. The significant increase this year is the result of several contributing factors, including: mortgage guidelines loosening, interest rates remaining low and giving buyers more purchasing power, home equity increasing giving sellers more flexibility to sell, and a stronger overall economy.
Additionally, home sales in early 2015 were heavily impacted by the record breaking snowfall which brought the housing market to a near standstill in February. Once the snow was finally behind us home sales started to ramp up in late spring. The biggest month of the year was July, standing out with 1,590 home sales, a remarkable 27% increase over 2014’s biggest month, also July with 1,252 homes sales.
2014 – 2015 Home Prices By Month
The average sales price of all three home types (Single, Multi-Family, Condominiums) in 2015 was $269,188, which is 4.7% higher than the 2014 average of $257,193. The average price for single family homes in Southern New Hampshire was $284,828, while condominiums sold for an average of $233,825 and Multi-Family homes sold for an average of $271,877.
2014 – 2015 Home Prices Per County
Southern New Hampshire experienced a 5% overall increase in average selling price, from $257,193 in 2014 to $269,188 in 2015. There were some significant year over year monthly swings in average selling price with April being the lowest annual price drop of -33%. This appears to be a fluke that came from April 2014 being unusually high, which was likely caused by a few unusually high sales that pulled up the average. May 2015 had the highest average selling of the year at $306,543.
Looking Back Over Last Decade
Sold Homes 2005 – 2015
2005 was by far the biggest year for the number of home sales in Southern New Hampshire. The number of homes sold trended downward reaching its lowest level in all counties in 2011. Since then every year every county (except 2014 in Cheshire) has been experiencing a continued increase in the number of homes sales.
Average Selling Price of Homes 2005 – 2015
The average selling price in these counties mirrors the annual number of homes sold trend with 2011 being the lowest average selling price (except Cheshire was 2012). Since then, every year each county has been experiencing a continued increase in the average selling price, however none of them have returned to their respective levels in 2005. Looking back from 2005 to 2015 average annual selling price in Hillsborough remains down -12%, Cheshire down -11% and Rockingham down -4%.
% Change Home Prices Per 2005 – 2015
There are clear trends in the percent change per county annual average selling prices each at its own pace. Cheshire is the only one not persisting with an upward trend. Hillsborough and Rockingham are heading in a positive direction:
Inventory of Homes for Sale
The year began with the lowest inventory levels in 11 years. This was the first March since 2003 that inventory was actually lower than January’s level. We attribute this to the record snow fall that we experienced in February. From that point on inventory seemed to stay on average about 5-10% lower than it was in 2014 for the rest of the year.
2016 Real Estate Outlook
2016 is off to a better start than in 2015. There were many very positive Mortgage Guideline changes in 2015 that aided the housing market that will persist into in 2016. There are additional mortgage changes that are being considered such as updating credit models and loosening of condominium purchase guidelines to bring more buyers into the market. Barring another February full of blizzards we expect the housing market to heat up sooner and likely sales to soar ahead of 2015 for the remainder of the year. If inventory remains low, we foresee the onset of bidding wars on homes that are priced correctly just as we have seen in the late winter and early spring for the last three years.
We anticipate that 2016 will be a great year with continued market strength.