Results of a poll conducted by the New Hampshire Association of Realtors show that while most registered voters in New Hampshire are generally content with their current housing situation, they recognize that the cost of housing would likely prohibit their ability find adequate housing if they had to move.

Over one-third of registered voters in New Hampshire have a desire to move to a new home, but most of those potential movers are not confident they can afford the kind of home they want in their community (51 percent) or elsewhere in New Hampshire (47 percent). 

Current statistics from NHAR show a statewide median sales price of $296,000 through the first six months of the year, up nearly 6 percent from one year ago, and a 3.4 months’ supply of available homes, down 17 percent from a year ago. And data from Applied Economic Research estimates over 2,000 new homes are needed to normalize existing statewide housing demand, and nearly 10,000 new rental units are needed to provide adequate labor force for the state’s employers. 

Sixty-five percent of all New Hampshire residents indicated they are dissatisfied with the cost of housing, and even larger numbers want local, state, and national elected officials to start talking more about the housing crunch and make it a priority.

“Policy makers need to hear these concerns about the cost of housing and the impact it might be having on our state,” Said NHAR President Dan O’Halloran. “While New Hampshire is trying to keep and attract younger workers in order to expand our economy, the lack of housing is taking its toll. Too many of our young people are saying they might leave the state due to high housing costs.”

The poll shows that:

  • Thirty-eight percent of registered voters say their rent or mortgage payment is a strain on their monthly budget, including 15 percent who say it is a significant strain. 

  • One in 14, or 7 percent, say that the cost of housing makes them seriously consider leaving the state.

  • One in eight registered voters between ages 35 and 50 are considering moving out of state due to high housing costs. 

New Hampshire voters are open to building both single-family, detached homes and single-family, attached townhomes in their community in order to reduce housing prices. Eighty-two percent support building single-family, detached homes, and 67 percent support building single-family attached townhomes. Support for building single-family detached homes is stronger than support for building townhomes (42 percent compared to 27 percent). 

Voters are more divided on building apartments (55 percent support, 43 percent oppose) and condominiums (48 percent support, 50 percent oppose). Younger people are more likely to support these developments than older people. 

“Millenials, especially those with families, want more housing options and they are open to living in more densely developed projects,” O’Halloran said. “The tension is between long-term homeowners who are satisfied with the status quo and younger workers who don’t feel they have sufficient access to housing. The consequences on our economy are significant.” 

There is equal support for building more housing for families with school-age children (84 percent) and building more housing for residents age 55 and over (84 percent). Significant majorities of voters under age 50 strongly support building more housing for families with kids (64 percent strongly support for ages 18 to 34; 57 percent strongly support for ages 35 to 49). 

Although older residents also support building more housing for families with school age-children (48 percent “strongly,” 81 percent “total support”), they do so with less intensity than younger voters. 

While the state is experiencing an historic level of low housing inventory, it is the view of the New Hampshire REALTORS that communities are creating obstacles to housing starts out of concerns that a certain type of housing will lead to increased rates on property taxes.

The legislature has recently created two study commissions which are expected to begin meeting in September to look at obstacles to density in land development as well as the impact of conservation land on housing affordability. A representative of the New Hampshire REALTORS will participate to inform both commissions on the serious nature of the housing shortage.

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This poll of registered voters in New Hampshire was conducted March 20-25, 2019 by American Strategies on behalf of the New Hampshire REALTORS. Margin of error is ± 4.4 percentage points.

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Organized in 1933, the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS is a professional trade organization with more than 6,000 members.

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