Shortage of Houses Behind Surge In N.H. Real Estate Market

Jun 24, 2018

Credit TaxRebate.org.uk/Flickr

If you are having trouble buying a home in New Hampshire right now, you are not alone.

New data released by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority shows that a dearth of single family homes is driving up prices, with many sellers receiving multiple offers above the listing price.

The lopsided buyer’s market has pushed the median sales price above $250,000 in the state, the highest levels in 15 years. The report finds that the number of homes for sale, while up from last year, is still approximately 35% lower than previous levels.

“The current climate for...housing consumers in New Hampshire is one of the most challenging they’ve experienced,” writes Robert Tourigny, executive director of NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire, in the report. “The lack of “for sale” inventory creates great opportunities for sellers, but puts enormous pressure on first-time home buyers who can be at a severe disadvantage when trying to compete for what little affordable inventory is available.”

Credit NH Housing Finance Authority

The rental market remains red hot as well, with vacancy rates around 2 percent. A “balanced” market is around 4-5 percent, according to the report. Statewide, the median rent, including utilities, for a two-bedroom unit is around $1,300, which is up almost 15% in the past 5 years.

Credit NH Housing Finance Authority

The housing imbalance, experts warn, has broader consequences for the state’s economy.

“The impact of our tight homebuyer and rental market is seen as a potential constraint on growing our labor force and growing our economy,” says Dean Christon, executive director of the Housing Finance Authority.

With low unemployment, New Hampshire businesses need to attract more workers from out of state to fill jobs. That’s made harder when there are limited affordable housing options.