Business Quarterly: Andy Peterson – Market looks strong for 2024

Andy Peterson

Andy Peterson COURTESY PHOTO

By ANDY PETERSON

For the Ledger-Transcript

Published: 01-23-2024 8:59 AM

Modified: 01-25-2024 9:00 AM


With the passing of a joyous holiday season, the chill of midwinter’s crystalline air surrounds us and our thoughts turn to plans and hopes for the coming year. With 2023 now in the rear-view mirror, I offer this real estate market update and forecast for our regional economy in 2024.

Many signs point to a surge in business activity throughout the middle years of the present decade. A key factor will be the predicted relaxation of mortgage interest rates, which we are told by professionals in that industry are expected to drop into the 5% range by June. This will create a tremendous movement in listing and sale activity, as many homeowners that would have otherwise listed and sold their homes have been reluctant to do so in order to hold on to their existing low-rate mortgage.

Once those spreads are reduced, there will likely be a combined effect of seeing more people move ahead with their plan to sell the house they no longer want and buy the one they now desire. As most of our home-sellers remain in the region to purchase another home, the increase in available alternatives will also motivate families to proceed with their plans. The net result is a most active and interesting time ahead, ripe with opportunity.

At Four Seasons Sotheby’s, we are grateful for another outstanding year in 2023. The larger firm once again secured its position as a top luxury broker in northern New England and the Hudson River Valley of New York, with over $1 billion in sales in a tight inventory marketplace.

Our Peterborough office was again the volume leader locally with over $65 million in sales. With the addition of great new agents such as Karen Niemela, Judy Spring, Marlo Morrissey and Greg Carter, we are excited for the year to come.

The most-potent force fueling a positive view of the future is the power of the growing contributions of the younger generations in our midst. The appeal of country living is attracting the young families of Generation X and Y and many millennials as well. They nationally represent a greater combined population than the baby boomers and bring with them exciting new perspectives and valuable skills.

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Following the economic disruption of the early years of this decade by an international pandemic, there are many indications that regular citizens are steadily returning to the workplace. Recent articles suggest that shortages of critical workers in fields such as nursing, education and service fields are slowly declining and the trained workers urgently needed in many fields are coming forward to fill the available positions. All of this creates a most-opportune environment for business investment, a great deal of which is now being carried out in our region.

The expansion plans of major local companies such as MicroSpec and Millipore, the construction of affordable housing at 10 Vose Farm Road in Peterborough by Catholic Charities, the build-out of the condominium units at Trails Edge Common, the luxury units approved for the Highland Farm property, the new single-family condominiums surrounding the Shattuck Inn golf course and the single-family homes coming available soon at the former Woodman’s site on Concord Street in Peterborough are a few notable examples of this trend.

With the excitement and energy of our New Hampshire presidential primary season, the sense of changing times and uncertain outcomes are shared feelings that traditionally affect the economy during an election year. This fact, in addition to a natural inclination to hibernate and put off major decisions in wintertime, will likely continue to depress the available inventory of homes this winter despite the fact that demand to purchase remains strong. This circumstance creates a special market opportunity to sell your home for a favorable price, which several of our clients are seriously considering at this time.

As decades of experience have shown, consulting a qualified broker of your choice is the best first step in forging a favorable transaction when the time comes to market and sell your family home. Today’s fast-paced market involves a homeowner in many challenges and idiosyncrasies which may prove difficult to navigate for those not professionally engaged in the business. Like in the case of legal or medical help, the wisest course is to ask advice from an experienced full-time professional in the field.

The full process of managing the transition from living in a home you no longer want and moving to the new residence that better suits your current needs can be both daunting and filled with exciting opportunities. The best brokers employ a team approach to navigating this transition, reduce the difficulties inherent in buying and selling your home and shepherd the experience to a positive conclusion.

We are fortunate indeed to live in one of the most beautiful and desirable regions of the country, with a local welcoming culture that embraces heartfelt values and offers the freedom to allow new ideas and enterprises to take root. The coming years hold great promise for the Monadnock region. For all of us at Four Seasons Sotheby’s, we are excited for the opportunity to be a helpful partner in the enjoyment and continuing improvement of our unique quality of life.

Andy Peterson is a CCIM Broker Associate at Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty in Peterborough.