New Hampshire – Hoping for a Housing Market as Strong as Granite
During the Great Recession, New Hampshire residents were counting their blessings. After all, they didn’t sink into the hole that many other states did. All things considered, the Granite State handled the recession pretty well.
Now, if only they could get back on track.
Surprisingly, it’s been the aftermath of the recession that has been the hardest on New Hampshire. Industries that weathered the roughest parts of the economic storm – like health care and education – are suffering now that the rain has stopped. Instead of going down, New Hampshire’s unemployment rate spent the second half of 2012 going up.
So, what does that mean for the housing market here?
That’s the other surprise – houses for sale in New Hampshire haven’t suffered as badly as you might think. In fact, the number of sales in 2012 was up 20%, when compared to 2011. Realtors around New Hampshire say they sold more than 13,000 houses last year, which is comparable to what they were selling before the housing boom of the mid-2000’s.
Prices are up as well. So, just to look at things from a housing perspective, you’d be hard-pressed to notice that there was an unemployment problem here!
However, the jobs market is the one thing that’s preventing New Hampshire’s housing market from becoming as strong as granite.
Because some of its strongest industries are still struggling to recover, there has been a trickle-down effect. People have moved out of the state looking for work. As a result, there is less of a demand for newly-built homes, so the construction industry has taken a hit.
And since jobs are harder to come by, so are rental properties. Since work here has been uncertain, people are opting for apartments to rent, instead of buying houses. In fact, the apartments for rent in New Hampshire have become scarce and expensive, thanks to the surge in demand!
Experts say if more people were committed to the state for the long-haul, the housing market here would be on a much faster road to recovery.
In the meantime, though, realtors in New Hampshire are making do with what they’ve got – and what they’ve got right now is a sellers’ market!
Thanks to that drop in new construction, there is a low inventory of homes for sale around New Hampshire. So, thanks to basic supply and demand, sellers can afford to charge more for their homes. The end result is higher selling prices, higher home values, and a bigger incentive for other owners to list their own homes for sale.
It’s that cycle that’s going to get New Hampshire’s housing market operating back at full-speed – and as strong as granite once again!