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High-end sales remain strong in Seacoast housing market

Reprinted from Seacoast On-Line

PORTSMOUTH — The Seacoast’s higher end real estate market continued its remarkable rally in July with eight sales exceeding $1 million.

That would be two more than last July, according to the Seacoast Board of Realtors, adding up to a year-to-date total of thirty $1 million-plus sales. There were just 14 through the end of July last year.

Overall, though up 20 percent from last year, July sales retreated 32 percent from last month. July is very often the slowest of the four summer months. Still, it was the best month this year for sales in $400,000 to $700,000 category. The 20 sales in that price range were the most since last October.

Condominium sales fell 19 percent from July, although the 30 total transactions were 30.4 percent better than July 2010. The story on this side, however, was the 34 pending sales for the month, the highest monthly pending total in more than a year. And that comes despite rigid lending guidelines for condos. It was good news for oft-struggling condo market.

Be that as it may, condo sales were off 11.6 percent for the year, while the Seacoast single-family market — with no tax incentive to help as there was through June 30 last year — remains up a healthy 4 percent.

Inventory was at its highest level in more than a year, giving buyers ample choices to take advantage of still-record-low mortgage interest rates.

“We have people willing to buy, the lowest interest rates ever and plenty of inventory,” said Seacoast Board of Realtors President James Therrien. “But financing has become the most difficult factor in home buying. The pendulum has swung too far. We have to get back to sound common sense lending to provide loans to credit worthy borrowers who are buying homes well within their means. Banks are flush with cash and reluctant to lend.”

August 12, 2011 11:35 AM

Roger is an owner and licensed Loan Officer at Blue Water Mortgage. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and has been a leader in the mortgage industry for over 20 years. Roger has personally originated over 2500 residential loans and is considered to be in the top 1% of NH Loan Officers by leading national lender United Wholesale Mortgage.