Across the Lakes Region property values are peaking while the number of “days on market” required to sell is plummeting. In two of the towns I analyzed for this article, the year-to-date supply of homes for sale is also the lowest it has been in years. Yes, it’s a seller’s market but this opportunity won’t last forever.
Let’s take a look at four Lakes Region towns—Laconia, Gilford, Meredith and Moultonborough—where the data suggests it’s a great time to list:
Laconia--In 2017, single family homes and condominiums in Laconia sold at the highest median closed price and the fastest median pace (40 days on market) in over a decade. Year-to-date, Laconia offers the lowest number of active listings (single family homes and residential condominiums) since at least 2007.
Gilford--As with neighboring Laconia, last year Gilford homes (single family and condominiums) sold for the highest median closed price since 2007. They also closed at the fastest median pace (38 days on market) in at least a decade. Year-to-date, Gilford offers the lowest number of active listings for single family homes and residential condominiums since at least 2007.
Meredith--Last year Meredith homes (single family and condominiums) sold at the fastest median pace in at least a decade (38 days on market). The median “closed” price for Meredith homes was also the highest since 2007.
Moutonborough--In 2017 Moultonborough homes (single family and condominiums) closed at the highest median home prices since 2007. Moultonborough homes also sold at the fastest median pace in at least a decade (44 days on market).
It’s a seller’s market but it won’t last forever…
Peaking home values are obviously encouraging to potential sellers. A low inventory of homes for sale gives you the best listing opportunity as there is less competition (especially right now… the market will inevitably be flooded with more and more competitive listings as we progress into spring). Finally, a low number of days on market suggests motivated buyers. Quick closes are a win for both buyer and seller.
But there are numerous factors working to arrest skyrocketing home prices. The real estate site Zillow predicts that home builders will start constructing more entry-level homes to meet homebuyer demand. If you wait too long to list, you may find yourself in competition with new builds that haven’t been a part of the market mix in significant proportion since before the great recession.
Then there’s the imminent threat of increasing interest rates. Mortgage rates are now at their highest level in four years and predicted to rise even higher, with some experts predicting five percent in the near future. While climbing rates indicate a good economy, they can force many potential homebuyers from the market. Rising rates also reduce the likelihood of competitive bids for your property. According to a Redfin survey of 4,000 consumers at the end of last year, a five percent interest rate would cause more than a quarter of today’s homebuyers to slow their plans.
Finally, there’s the recently passed tax legislation which limits property tax deductions to $10,000. This reality hasn’t sunk in for many buyers yet, but the longer you wait to list, the more impact these changes will have on demand at higher price points, because the tax incentives just aren’t there the way they used to be, especially for second/vacation properties.
List opportunity or missed opportunity--Lakes Region property values in Laconia, Gilford, Meredith and Moultonborough are the highest in at least a decade, while the number of “days on market” required to sell is at its lowest point in ten years. Low inventory is presently to the seller’s advantage, but only if you make this your list opportunity, not missed opportunity.
To sweeten the pot, if you contact me to list your property now there may be time and opportunity for it to be featured in the 44-page, full-color Roche Realty Group “Lakes Region New Hampshire Living” portfolio of properties, 80,000 copies of which are distributed in 240 locations statewide.