SEABROOK — The nation's real estate market may still be in turmoil, with prices dropping, but in Seabrook, things appear to be stabilizing.
According to Seabrook assessor Angela Silva, sales of local real estate appear to be holding their own, with 25 good sales so far this year, about the same as this time last year.
In 2010, 63 properties were sold, Silva said, a marked improvement over only 38 in 2009. In addition, the town's ratio of selling prices to assessed value is at 96 percent, she said, meaning local homes could be selling a bit higher than they are valued.
According to her report, the overall market has improved 4 percent. Not all neighborhoods are experiencing the same success rate with sales, she said; some are neutral, some going down, others up.
"It seems like we've hit bottom," Silva told selectmen yesterday. "Properties are selling at about what they're assessed. A few ocean (front) properties have sold. I haven't seen an industrial sale for a while."
A new residential subdivision, Beckmen's Woods, is selling reasonably well in an economy tough on buyers and sellers alike. About half the lots are sold so far, she said, and the prices are holding to their original asking price.
As a result, the town's taxable value has increased by almost $17 million over last year, she said, adding that tax bills went out May 27 and are due July 1.
There's also good news on the foreclosure front, for they're down a bit year to date, she said. As of April, there were seven foreclosures, two fewer than the same period in 2010, Silva said.
Unemployment in Seabrook — which always runs higher than the New Hampshire state average — has dropped significantly since it hit a high of 10 percent in 2009. Seabrook's unemployment rate has dropped to 7.7 percent, down almost 2 percentage points since last year.