Condo living has always been a great alternative for many home buyers in the Lakes Region of NH. Many people, especially retirees, enjoy the low maintenance lifestyle that living in a condo can provide for them. Those looking for a vacation home don’t want to have to cut grass and paint the trim when they are up on weekends, they want to be out on the boat or the golf course! Others like to take advantage of the amenities that may come as an added benefit in many condo complexes. Access to the lake has always been a driving force behind many condo purchases. For many buyers, a condo with a beach access, dock space, or a mooring is much more desirable than those without. A “shared access” condo has always been a highly desirable and an affordable vacation alternative to buying a much more expensive property located directly on the water. The affordability factor is also appealing to anyone who may be just getting into the housing market. There has been an abundance of entry level type condos constructed in the Lakes Region over the past five to six years so there is a lot to choose from…
How have condo sales faired over the past few years? Well it seems that the same pain that has inflicted the single family home market has also radiated into the condo market as well, at least when it comes to the total number of sales. That dreaded yellow fever has affected many condo buyers as well! Gilford, Laconia, and Meredith had a total of 139 condo sales in 2008 and 142 sales in 2009. That is 30% off the total sales number of 200 in 2007 but down a whopping 56% from 2004.
Surprisingly though, the average sales price of condos in Laconia and Gilford have held up pretty well with Gilford posting its highest average in the last six years at $208,197 and Laconia posting a gain over last year at $193,646. The $182,481 average sales price in Meredith is down considerably from the $300k plus numbers posted in 2004 and 2007, but that is due to the majority of the sales being lower priced bank owned units at Meredith Bay Village. These units have all sold at about 60% of the tax assessed value making them pretty good deals!
As with single family homes, there are some deals out there to be had in the condo market for those buyers willing to take the plunge. Will buyers go swimming in 2010? It is anybody’s guess, but those that do will find good values and great investments in the Lakes Region.