It looks like a lot of people got a new home for Christmas in New Hampshire, but the real gift seems to have gone to sellers as sales volume in the normally quiet month of December rose by nearly 50%.

According to the latest statistics from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors, December was just one more hot month during a record year, but it comes when, generally, sales cool off. But the strong seller’s market we saw through 2020 continued through the end of the year, market thanks to record-low home inventory.

The median home price remained at $350,000, but usually in the winter months that median falls, according to the Realtors’ report. That represents a 16.3% hike in the median price from December 2019 — the sixth straight double-digit monthly increase.

The reason: There is an increase in demand — probably from those seeking to escape places like Boston and New York during the pandemic — that is not nearly met by the supply. Homes, on average, now sell in 33 days, nearly half the time they took to sell a year ago. Yes, there were more than 800 new listings in December, but that’s more than half of the number in December 2019, when 1,383 homes were on the market.

The result: There is now less than a month’s supply of homes on the New Hampshire single-family-home market — nine-tenths of a month, to be precise.

On average, a home sold for slightly more (100.3%) of the asking price.

For the year, the median price of a single-family home sold was $335,000, an 11.7% increase from 2019 and the biggest jump in sale price since 2002, when it rose 15.1%, to $207,000. And the annual average of 47 days on the market was the lowest it has been since 1998, when the Realtors started keeping track of that statistic.

The story for condos was similar. The median price in December was $271,750, up 23.5% and sales rose 22.1%. On average, condos were snapped up 38 days after they went on the market, for 100.7% above the asking price.

All this doesn’t bode well, since the Realtors’ Affordability Index, which fell 5.3% for the month and 11% for the year.

The median price of a home in the most affordable county — Coos — went up 29%, to $148,750. Sullivan County had the biggest increase, with the median price rising 42.3%, to $222,000. Rockingham County had the highest single-family median price of $450,000, an increase of 13.4% pricier from December 2019.

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These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.

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