Last week I was driving through Loudon Road in Concord in the busy heights area, and I passed a couple of large apartments complexes I sold back in 1979 with Jim Aberg. It reminded me of how affordable real estate was in those early years. I thought I would pull up the sales activity for multi-family housing units in the Lakes Region during the past two years and see how they compared:

Laconia

There were 57 multi-family buildings sold from 10/25/20 to 10/25/21 compared to 31 the previous year, an 83.9% increase! The median sales price was $280,000 compared to $200,000 the previous year, a 40% increase! Total sales volume was $21,929,028 compared to $6,957,300 the previous year a 215% increase! The median days on the market was eight compared to 45 the previous year. The highest sales price was $4,985,000 for 30 luxury apartments at 72 Landing Lane at $166,166 per unit.

Franklin

There were 25 multi-family buildings sold from 10/25/20 to 10/25/21 compared to 13 the previous year, a 92% increase! The median sales price was $222,600 compared to $189,000 the previous year, a 17.8% increase. Total sales volume was $6,792,040 compared to $2,227,550 the previous year a 204.9% increase! The median days on the market was 39 compared to 13 the previous year. The highest sales price was $675,000 for 11 apartments at 406 Central Street at $61,364 per unit.

Meredith

There were seven multi-family buildings sold from 10/25/20 to 10/25/21 compared to four the previous year, a 75% increase! The median sales price was $410,000 compared to $388,500 the previous year, a 5.5% increase. Total sales volume was $3,130,000 compared to $2,359,000 the previous year a 32.7% increase! The median days on the market was 8 compared to 12 the previous year. The highest sales price was $910,000 for 10 apartments at 143-147 Main Street at $91,000 per unit.

Tilton

There were eight multi-family buildings sold from 10/25/20 to 10/25/21 compared to three the previous year, a 166% increase! The median sales price was $266,450 compared to $225,000 the previous year. Total sales volume was $2,138,050 compared to $760,000 the previous year, a 181% increase! The median days on the market was 13 compared to 33 the previous year. The highest sales price was $352,500 for four apartments at $88,125 per unit.

Alton

There were four multi-family buildings sold from 10/25/20 to 10/25/21 compared to 0 the previous year. The median sales price was $432,500. Total sales volume was $1,850,000. The median days on the market was 16. The highest sales price was $725,000 for two apartments.

Northfield

There were four multi-family buildings sold from 10/25/20 to 10/25/21 compared to two the previous year. The median sales price was $332,500 compared to $278,000 the year before, a 20% increase. Total sales volume was $1,219,995 compared to $556,000 the previous year, a 119% increase! The median days on the market was 17 compared to 83 the previous year. The highest sales price was $340,000 for four apartments at $85,000 per unit.

Belmont

There were two multi-family buildings sold from 10/25/20 to 10/25/21 compared to two the previous year. The median sales price was $232,500 compared to $252,000 the previous year. Total sales volume was $465,000 compared to $504,000 the previous year. The highest sales price was $300,000 for two apartments at $150,000 per unit.

So overall, you can see strong activity with some impressive increases in unit sales, price appreciation, days on the market, and total volume. Prices have certainly shot up since 1979 when Jim Aberg and I sold 200 apartment units (Lexington Manor Apartments and the Lord Baron Apartments) in Concord to a group of investors from California. The total purchase price back then was $2,741,000 for 200 apartments in multiple brick buildings. Yes, the cost per apartment was much less back then, only $13,705 per apartment. That’s a big difference from $166,166 per apartment at 72 Landing Lane, Laconia, or even $91,000 per apartment at 143-147 Main Street, Meredith.

This exercise tells me one thing… you were lucky if you invested in apartments years ago, and it still holds true today. During inflationary periods like we’re seeing today, hard assets like apartments are an excellent hedge against inflation. They increase in value because of the excessive cost to build new apartments, they provide tax advantages, benefit from leverage and create cash flow. That’s why real estate builds wealth more consistently than other asset classes.

•••

This article was written by Frank Roche. Frank is president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at 603-279-7046. Sales data was compiled by a NEREN search on 10/25/2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST and is subject to change. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.

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