With the holiday season comes parties and socializing with friends and neighbors. This year the topic of interest seems to be the economy and more specific the housing market. People are asking me, "Scott, the market is really bad, what are people going to do?" I reply, "What do you mean?" They then proceed to say that they heard on the news or read in the paper that the market is down 20-30% and that homes are not selling. There lies the problem. The media makes statements that are general or based on the whole country.
Here in NH we have it a little better. Our economy and real estate conditions are much better than other parts of the country. We have a solid workforce that is educated and diverse. We also have people relocating to our state every day for what I and others call, "The New Hampshire Advantage"; low crime, healthy lifestyle, good schools, and recreational activities. This has helped us to date, however, the market over the next few years will be complex and require that the consumer has a trusted and experienced agent who has seen both types of markets.
Now for the proof that the market here is not as bad as the media portrays.
January-November 2007 NH residential (non-condominium) sales
|County||Units sold||% change 2006-07||Median|
|% change 2006-07||Average price||% change 2006-07|
Source: Northern New England Real Estate Network (NNEREN) and NHAR. Statistics are based on information from NNEREN for the respective periods shown for the respective regions in the State of New Hampshire or all towns in the State of New Hampshire. All analysis and commentary related to the statistics is that of Scott Beard and not that of NNEREN.
The charts states that the number of units sold is off almost 10% statewide, but theat the median price is only off 1.1% and the average sales price is only off .4%.
What does this mean to you as a seller? It means that there is a lot of competition and that buyers have choices. Your house must be in tip top condition to win that buyer over. No longer can you sell a house that is dated, dirty, or in need of repairs. Buyers will walk into your home and turn right around and go onto the next house. However, if your home is in good condition, decorated well and shows like "model" home, then you have a good chance of selling it.
What if I am a buyer? If you are a buyer, now is a great time to buy because interest rates are down around 6% and there is a lot of inventory for you to look at. Buyers can be choosy and when a buyer finds a home, they can use their contract strengths and agent's negotiating skills to strike a good deal.
So don't let the headlines scare you away from buying or selling. Instead find yourself a great agent who understands the market and can help you to succesfully navigate it.