NH home sales down in May

The number of home sales and the median price in New Hampshire were down in May 2011 compared to the numbers of May 2010, during which the market was glutted by last-minute buyers taking advantage of the $8,000 tax credit, according to the New Hampshire Association of Realtors.

There were 951 sales in May 2011, a 10 percent drop from the 1,057 sales during the same period in 2010, and median sale price dropped 5 percent, from $220,000 in May 2010 to $210,000 in May 2011.

Tom Riley, president of the NH Realtors Association, said that in 2010, in order for buyers to qualify for the tax credit, contracts needed to be signed by April 30, and closings on those contracts continued through May and June, spiking the sales and median price data for those months.

A more telling comparison, he said, would be to contrast May 2011 data with that of May 2009, a period not impacted by the tax credit. Unit sales increased 8 percent from May 2009 to 2011, while median price remained flat – $210,000 in both years.

Riley also noted that home sales have steadily risen in each of the first four months of this year – from 543 (January) to 578 (February) to 764 (March) to 809 (April) to 951 (May).