Local real estate market is on a good path

  • A house for sale on Keenan Drive in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • A house for sale on Keenan Drive in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/18/2019 2:46:05 PM

There’s good news for those thinking about buying a new home or selling the one they currently own: The real estate market continued its strong showing from 2017 with another solid year on the transaction front.

In 2018, across the 16 towns of the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript coverage area, 776 houses were sold from Jan. 1 through Dec. 28, up slightly from the 764 sold during a similar time frame in 2017, according to the Contoocook Valley Board of Realtors. Peterborough had the most sales with 123 houses in 2018, while 104 changed ownership in Rindge. There were 97 homes sold in Jaffrey and another 91 in New Ipswich.

Even smaller towns like Sharon (six), Mason (20) and Temple (23) saw their fair share of real estate transactions during the previous 12 months. As of last Friday, there were 171 on the market, according to a weekly report from the Contoocook Valley Board of Realtors, led by 24 each in New Ipswich and Rindge, followed by another 23 each in Peterborough and Jaffrey. There were 75 under contract and so far in 2019, there have been 12 sales already made as of Friday’s report.

According to Andy Peterson of The Petersons Inc. in Peterborough and Larry Alvarez, a realtor at Tieger Realty in Jaffrey, housing prices did increase last year, but not to a point where they were more than the actual value of the property.

“It was a time where you could reasonably sell the one you wanted to move on from and reasonably buy the one you did want,” Peterson said. “And I think that will continue for us coming into 2019.”

Houses aren’t staying on the market as long as they did a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s a market that’s necessarily favoring the sellers.

“We’re not in a sellers market, we’re still in a balanced market,” Alvarez said. “Buyers still have some power. I don’t want to say we’ll never see a sellers market again, but we’ll need to see everything align just right for it to happen.”

Alvarez said there is a supply shortage since there have been so many people looking to buy over the last couple years, so “it’s a great time to list,” he said.

Peterson said he anticipates more homes going up for sale up between now and when people associate with the spring buying season.

“My expectations for the coming year is we’ll have a very full basket of new houses coming to the market,” he said.

The more listings that are posted between now and spring benefits the sellers.

“The buyers start earlier than the sellers are usually ready to get going,” Peterson said. “Typically we’ll see the inventory of houses on the market double from now as you get into the spring.”

Now is a good time to begin the process because there could be some deals out there, Peterson said.

“It’s an interesting time to look in a sense because buying can be had on the properties that weren’t sold last year with sellers that are motivated,” Peterson said. “There are some very attractive homes that for whatever reason they weren’t gobbled up in the fall season.”

Talking to other agents, Alvarez has come across a reoccurring theme.

“What I’m hearing from people is they need more homes,” he said.

Alvarez points to the fact that people are more educated going into the process, so they’re not going to just settle. Potential buyers aren’t just going for anything because they desperately want a house.

“They’re only buying what’s of good value,” he said.

It’s hard to forecast too far out, but Peterson has a rule of thumb after being involved in real estate for many years.

“We generally say we can reasonably predict about six months out because when you start talking about years it gets difficult,” he said. “But what I do believe is we should have a good start to the year and hopefully continue on that path.”


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