Sales slow, prices rise as home inventory hits record low in Seacoast

PORTSMOUTH — With inventory at record low levels, February sales of single-family homes and condominium units in the 13 sample Seacoast towns slid significantly downward, according to the Seacoast Board of Realtors.

Sample towns are Exeter, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, North Hampton, Newmarket, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook and Stratham.

The 38 single-family sales for the month are the fewest since February 2018. The sales occurred while inventory dropped to an all-time low for the month of February at 181 units. Still, the monthly median sale price reached a three-month high at $493,750, more than $100,000 higher than last year’s $391,000.

Condo sales were the slowest since January 2019. The 29 transactions for the month were the fewest for February since 2014. Inventory for the month was off 12.9% from last year. Contrasting with that grim news was the median sale price of $410,000 — a new record high for any month.

For the first two months of 2020, single-family sales are off 15.7% while the median price of $487,500 is nearly unchanged from last year’s $484,950. Condo sales are up 23.3% and the median sale price is a robust $345,000, up 23.7%.

“There’s no question that low-inventory levels are hurting sales totals on the single-family side,” said Seacoast Board of Realtors President Adam Gaudet. “But prices remain on an upward trajectory — a scenario that very much favors sellers and reflects how strong our market really is.”

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