N.H.'s Housing Market Is Expected To Grow Steadily But Slowly

Sep 5, 2013

The housing recovery in New Hampshire is expected to be slow but strong. That’s according to industry experts who took part in a panel discussion hosted by the Business and Industry Association Thursday afternoon.

BIA panel at Manchester's Radisson included (from left) Ignatius MacLellan, Bill Weidacher, Chris Davies and Kendall Buck.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The New Hampshire Association of Realtors says consumer confidence is up and it expects housing appreciation rates to be about 4% over the next five years.

And New Hampshire’s rental market plays a role in how quick that recovery might be. Ignatius MacLellan of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority says rental costs in New Hampshire have remained relatively high with a median rate of about $1,100 for a two bedroom apartment.

“But the vacancy rates remain very low. 3.2% so far for 2013 which means that rents are not going to come down. It will mean that it is hard to find an affordable apartment for folks in the working world.”

MacLellan says a low supply of affordable apartments means fewer people on the ladder towards homeownership. Also, panelists pointed to high building costs for the slow recovery, but they said the cost of building materials has begun to drop this year.

Other causes for slow housing growth include New Hampshire’s aging demographics and high student debt. A recent National Delinquency Survey estimates foreclosures in New Hampshire will be 20% lower than last year.