There were 89 single-family residential home sales in December in the Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price for the month came in at $354,880, with a median price point of $277,000. Those numbers are down from the 113 sales posted in December 2017 and the average sales price is down a bit, from $473,283 to $354,800. It is really a matter of what properties sold during the month.

For the year 2018, there were a total of 1,418 single-family homes sold in the 14 communities comprising Belknap County plus Moultonborough, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro. Total sales were off about 8 percent from the 1,541 in 2017, but the average sales price did go up a little, to $397,557.

The number of homes sold under the $100,000 and the $200,000 marks have dropped again this year, while the mid-range properties have increased in each price category. Inventory levels are down, particularly in the lower price points, so this trend may continue.

Laconia once again posted the most residential home sales, with 243 transactions, followed by Moultonborough with 150, Gilford with 141, Barnstead with 136, and Alton with 133. Center Harbor had the fewest sales, with 15.

The towns with the highest average sales prices were Moultonborough, at $732,217, Center Harbor, at $529,766, and Meredith, at $504,819. It is amazing what some waterfront sales can do for the numbers!

For those looking for more affordable housing, the towns with the lowest average sales prices were Tilton, at $208,214, and Barnstead, at $229,040.

The average price has climbed back to within just 1.32 percent of the peak average in 2017. Some towns look to have improved more than others in the rebound, but some of the disparity is most likely due to the effect of waterfront pricing in towns like Alton (-19,95 percent) and Center Harbor (-25.5 percent.) I think the market is back! What will 2019 bring?

Visit www.DistinctiveHomes.NH.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and sign up for a monthly newsletter. Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system. Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty. Contact him at 603-677-7012.

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