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Lakes Region Real Estate Trends 2016

Lake Winnipesaukee Waterfront Home with Dock and BeachFor centuries, people have been attracted to real estate in New Hampshire's Lakes Region. The Lakes Region is famous for its many lakes and ponds, including Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire. Lakeside towns like Meredith, Moultonborough, Wolfeboro, and several others offer the idyllic combination of waterfront real state in New Hampshire and small town charm that is quintessentially New England. For this reason, and the Lakes Region's convenient access to larger cities like Manchester, New Hampshire, Boston, Massachusetts, Hartford, Connecticut, and others stretching down the Northeast corridor, the Lakes Region of New Hampshire has continued to remain both a popular vacation destination and a desirable place to buy a home in New Hampshire.

Below is a collection of data points and real estate trends for New Hampshire's Lakes Region that are useful for both buying and selling a home in the Lakes Region. If you're interested in buying real estate in New Hampshire or learning more about the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, you can also click on the links below to browse available and recently sold Lakes Region real estate.

Contact Nicole Watkins to learn more about Lake Winnipesaukee real estate and the Lakes Region, or if you're interesting in buying or selling a lake home in New Hampshire.

2016 Real Estate Trends

2016 saw a continuation of many of the recent Lakes Region real estate trends, including increasingly limited inventory and demographic changes putting pressure on the New Hampshire real estate market. Trends included:

  • Real estate in New Hampshire's Lakes Region is continuing to boom, experiencing high demand across all property types, especially Lakes Region real estate under $750,000 and waterfront homes for sale on Lake Winnipesaukee and in the greater Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Several factors such as low interest rates, high quality of life, more acceptance of remote work, and low gas prices have made the Lakes Region even more appealing to many, from first time buyers, to retirees, to families and investors looking to buy a second home.
  • Overall residential real estate in New Hampshire's Lakes Region continues to be tight.
  • Continued difficulty for first time home buyers and people looking for affordable housing - Lakes Region homes in the $200,000 to $300,000 range sell extremely quickly and this year was no exception.
  • Single family homes for sale in the Lakes Region are the primary type of Lakes Region real estate, accounting for over three-quarters of total units.
  • Lakes Region homes are not as old as other regions in New Hampshire, but with the average age of a Lakes Region home for sale being over forty years (1978 is the median year built), there is high demand for new construction on Lake Winnipesaukee and in the surrounding Lakes Region New Hampshire towns.
  • The median value of owner occupied Lakes Region homes was $231,400.
  • Household incomes are projected to rise, indicating potential opportunities to buy up.
  • There is a lot of vacancy in Lakes Region homes, but it is largely due to seasonal vacancy and does not indicate a surplus of housing inventory. About 85% of Belknap County vacant homes are seasonally vacant.
  • Only about a quarter of homes in the Lakes Region are rented as opposed to owned. Most vacation properties in the Lakes Region are seasonally occupied.
  • The population over the age of 55 is projected to grow significantly in New Hampshire's Lakes Region, mirroring overall trends in the state and in New England, which will put increased pressure on the housing market and increase demand for age-appropriate housing such as single level, smaller footprint retirement homes, and waterfront homes with easy access. In addition, demand will increase for condos for sale in the Lakes Region, as well as apartments for sale in the Lakes Region. Empty nesters will look for walkability to local shops and amenities, benefiting the communities that offer those lifestyles.
  • It is also expected that many of the people who have rented Lakes Region properties for years and are ready to retire will look to purchase Lakes Region retirement homes as opposed to continuing to rent homes seasonally.
  • Additionally, older individuals with the ability to invest have increasingly been looking for multifamily homes where they can live and earn rental income.
  • Housing values are projected to increase in the Lakes Region over the next five years. Most of the growth will be in homes under $750,000. The median housing value in the Lakes Region is expected to jump nearly 13% ($29,900) over the next five years. The number of housing units will remain relatively flat, increasing by a small amount (less than 2%) over the next five years.
  • There is very limited inventory in the Lakes Region, which is resulting in rising prices and making it difficult for many to stay in the area and "move up" as they need more space. Putting additional pressure on the inventory limitations is the fact that young families and professionals are often competing with older couples from out of the area looking to buy a second home in the Lakes Region or to downsize. 

The Lake Winnipesaukee luxury home market has also been booming, seeing:

  • The median price in Gilford was up 52% in 2016 (vs. 2015) and Laconia saw 48% year over year growth. The average selling price for Meredith and Wolfeboro real estate was also up year over year. This trend is expected to continue.
  • Holderness and Laconia luxury homes sell quickest, with Alton and Wolfeboro homes for sale taking the longest time to sell, likely due to there being more luxury homes for sale in Alton and Wolfeboro, as well as in Moultonborough, than in other Lake Winnipesaukee and Lakes Region New Hampshire towns.



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