Monthly Home Sales

Tight Inventory Continues to Plague Housing Market

Homes Nearly 20 Percent Less Affordable Than in 2020

Single-family inventory hit 1,083 in December, the lowest level on record.

With inventory at historic lows, 2021 closed out with fewer single-family sales in any given year in New Hampshire since the end of the Great Recession. 

Despite a 2 percent increase in the number of single-family homes sold in December over the same month in 2019, last year ended with a total of 14,213 single-family sales according to the Warren Group, publisher of The Registry Review. That’s 5 percent down from 2020’s tally and a 13 percent decline over 2019’s pre-pandemic benchmark. 

The median price of those home sales was $375,000, while the 1,202 single-family homes sold last month traded for a median price of $380,000. Those figures both represent 17 percent increases over their respective 2020 counterparts, and 32 percent jumps over the December 2019 median sale price and the year-end median sale price for all of 2019. 

The low sales totals are, in part, a reflection of how few homes were on the market last month. 

Total statewide single-family inventory hit 1,083 last month, 34 percent fewer than December of 2020 and a “staggering” 70 percent less than just two years prior according to the New Hampshire Association of Realtors. The association said there were roughly five times as many homes on the market in New Hampshire in December 2017. 

The mark is the lowest inventory on record, NHAR said. 

“Affordability and availability, those are our watchwords,” 2022 NHAR President Adam Gaudet said in a statement. “This is a wonderful environment for those who want to sell their homes, until they have to buy something on the other end.” 

Only 691 new single-family homes hit the market in December, 15 percent down from December 2020. Pending sales, however, hewed closer to last year’s mark, with 904 compared to 971 in the same month in 2020. Year-to-date, new listings have declined markedly as well, with 19,013 single-family homes coming on the market in 2021 compared to 20,293 in 2020 and 22,075 in 2019.  

The ultra-tight market has meant prices keep getting bid up.  

The average share of list price sellers received in December was 101.5, up slightly from December 2020 but essentially flat over the course of the fall. At year-end, the figure stood at 102.5 percent, compared to 98.3 percent for all of 2019. 

After months of home prices being bid ever-upwards, NHAR has calculated that the state’s single-family homes were 18 percent less affordable in December than they were a year ago. 

 “More than ever, the winning deals have been cash, tens of thousands over asking price, often sight unseen,” Gaudet said. “When the workers that the state needs to fill jobs are being priced out of our communities, that’s a crisis, and a real indication that something needs to be done to increase housing stock. Our economy depends on a healthy housing inventory.”