The New Hampshire Association of Realtors came out with numbers today comparing housing sales from this past August to August of 2010 and found an increase of 14 percent. The group also reported that housing prices dropped two percent during the same time.
But these numbers don’t necessarily give the full picture of New Hampshire’s real estate market.
According to Dennis Delay, an economist with New Hampshire Center For Public Policy Studies, it’s better to look at numbers that cover several months. He says if you look at housing prices and sales for 2011 so far and compare them to the same 8 month period in 2010, the picture for the state is not so positive.
“New Hampshire has actually seen a 6.4 percent decline in housing prices and a 3 percent decline in sales as compared to last year,” says Delay.
But he adds that New Hampshire never had the housing boom that other states experienced and therefore did not have the same declines either, “We didn’t get as far out in the real estate gravy train as the rest of the country.”
Since 2007 housing prices have declined 30 percent nationwide. But in New Hampshire, housing prices have only dropped 20 percent below what they were at their peak in 2006.
But financial pressure on individual homeowners could amplify problems for the state’s housing market. Delay says by the end of the year, New Hampshire is expected to foreclose on 4,000 more homes. “This will put more downward pressure on the housing market, which I expect to continue for the next several years.” he says. Right now, New Hampshire’s home foreclosure rate is 2 percent–which is lower than the national average of 4.4 percent.
You can check out coverage of the housing market by NHPR’s Jon Greenberg here.