New Hampshire Real Estate Market in 2020 and the Pandemic

Sales Down 12.3% and Prices Up by 16.1%

nh year in review

2020 home sales were down over 2019 in New Hampshire in all three categories moving from 14,441 sales to 12,664 overall.  Single families decreased by 14.8%, condos by 5.8%, and multis by 12.4%.

Prices, however, increased in all three categories moving from $316,075 to $381,830 overall.  Singles increased in prices by 17.7%, condos by 9.4%, and multis by 22.8%.

2019 – 2020 Home Sales by Month

Home sales were up and down in 2020 when compared to 2019 with large deviations during the first three months of the pandemic.  The Lakes Region along with the southern part of the state overall saw a similar pattern to that of Massachusetts performance in that the spring exhibited decreases in sales and increases in the fall, but the difference is New Hampshire wasn’t able to catch up enough in the fall to beat out 2019 like Massachusetts was able to do.

sales per month nh

Home Prices by Month

Prices in the Lakes Region, as well as Southern New Hampshire, showed price increases every month of 2020 with the largest jump being in December.

prices per month nh

Looking Back

Sold Homes 2018 – 2020 by County

For this portion of the report, we are examining the Lakes Region (Belknap County) and the three counties that make up Southern New Hampshire: Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Cheshire; and we are focusing on three property types: single-family homes, condominiums, and multi-family homes.

Sales for 2020 decreased in all four counties from 2019 to 2020. Belknap decreased by 6%, with 1,344 sales in 2020 over 1,430 in 2019. Cheshire decreased by 11% with 1,022 sales in 2020 over 1,147 in 2019. Hillsborough landed at 5,626 sales in 2020, decreasing 15% from 6,600 in 2019 and Rockingham ended with 4,672 in 2020 down by 11.2% from 5,264 in 2019.

sales per month

Average Selling Price of Homes 2018-2020 by County

Congruent with the overall state, prices increased in all four counties in 2020. Belknap increased by 20% in 2020 over 2019 now at an average price of $342,004 from $284,930. Cheshire up by 14.5% to $242,475 from $211,699, Hillsborough now at $327,629 from $287,014 with a 14.2% increase.  Rockingham is up by 15% now at $448,966 from $390,545.
prices by month nhHomes Listed

Like Massachusetts performance, the number of homes listed dropped significantly in March.  This lasted in New Hampshire until August where the number increased over 2019 for the rest of the year. 

pending nhHomes Pending (contract accepted)

Again, right when the pandemic hit, the number of homes that went pending decreased significantly.  This decrease lasted until about June where the number wasn’t over 2019 but it began to catch up.  We saw 2020 increase over 2019 in late summer and it lasted until the end of the year.

home pending nhOutlook

It was predicted that 2020 would bring about a decline in sales and an increase in prices in the 2019 Year in Review and though that was correct, foreseeing the pandemic was obviously impossible. It seemed back then that sales would trend similarly to 2019 but just slightly under and sales would also trend similarly throughout the year but about 5% higher.  The cliff that sales fell off in March and the frenzy we’d see in the market come fall was not something expected but it ultimately fulfilled the prediction.

2021 is looking like it is going to continue to be busy straight through the year as the market continues to try to keep up. It is expected that vacation areas like the Lakes Region will see an uptick in sales as people try to secure second homes with more space for a change of scenery.  New Hampshire will likely see the same increase in sales as people try to move further from especially clustered living areas in search of more space.  Getting more for your money is best further away from Boston, and that is what people are trying to do as prices have increased significantly.

Fortunately, mortgage rates are at an all-time low for buyers, so it’s keeping affordability in reach despite the rising prices.  Sellers should be advised not to list over what comps would suggest. List appropriately, and you will get more interested buyers likely willing to compete and outbid one another to win the home.

*Data provided by Warren Group and NEREN.