FILE - Housing Houses Home Sales Money Costs Affordable Trends Townhomes Condos

(The Center Square) – New Hampshire housing costs are continuing to skyrocket with the median price of a single-family home in one month jumping 10% to $440,000 in March, according to a new report.

The latest monthly report from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors found the median price for a home in the state increased by 20.5% from the same period last year. The median price for townhome and condo units was $350,500 last month, a 31% increase from March 2021, the association said.

As home prices continue to climb, the number of closed sales has dwindled, falling by 23.1% since last year. Only 811 single-family residential home sales were closed in March 2022, the report noted. That's compared to 1,055 single family home sales in the same month a year ago.

The report's authors noted that New Hampshire homebuyers are "feeling the bite of inflation and surging mortgage interest rates" which increased to 4.6% last month.

"Monthly payments have increased significantly compared to this time last year, and as housing affordability declines, an increasing number of would-be homebuyers are turning to the rental market, only to face similar challenges as rental prices skyrocket and vacancy rates remain at near-record low," the report's authors noted.

New listings for single family homes last month decreased by more than 14%, according to the report, highlighting the ongoing shortage of market-priced properties.

Properties that come onto the market are getting snapped up quicker, the report noted. The average days on the market for single-family homes dropped by 17.5% last month, while the number of days on the market for townhouse/condo properties dropped by a similar amount.

Nationally, home sales dropped recently to a six-month low, falling 7.2% last month as buyers struggle to find a home amid rising prices and a lack of inventory.

Pending sales are also down, falling by 4.1% during the most recent measure, according to the National Association of Realtors.

"Builders are working hard to ramp up production but higher construction costs and increasing sales prices continue to hamper new home sales, despite high demand for additional supply," the report's authors noted.

New Hampshire needs to build at least 20,000 more housing units to meet current demand, according to a 2020 report by the state's Housing Finance Authority.

Lawmakers are considering a proposal from Republican Gov. Chris Sununu to invest $100 million in federal pandemic relief money to create a new housing fund that would provide state grants to municipal governments, developers and property owners to build new homes. The proposal, which has cleared several hurdles, is pending approval by the Executive Council.