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Rents up, availability down across NH

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
July 08. 2017 11:15PM


Rents in New Hampshire have gone up for a fourth year in a row while the vacancy rate continued getting worse for renters.

The statewide median gross rent, which includes utilities, for two-bedroom units clocked in at $1,263 a month, or more than 4 percent higher than last year, according to an annual survey by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

A family would need to earn more than $50,400 a year to afford that $1,263 monthly payment.

Higher rents in Rockingham County meant renters there would need to earn $56,400 a year; Hills-borough County renters would need $55,400.

The statewide vacancy rate also dropped for a fourth straight year, from 1.5 percent in 2016 to 1.4 percent this year for two-bedroom units.

"It is really difficult to find an affordable place to rent," Executive Director Dean Christon said in the report.

"Addressing this need for housing requires an ongoing commitment from both the public and private sectors," Christon wrote. "In particular, it remains critical that local regulatory policies provide reasonable opportunities for housing development to meet the needs of a growing economy."

Hillsborough County, which includes Manchester and Nashua, saw the median gross rent increase $106 over last year to $1,384 a month for two-bedroom units. The vacancy rate for 2017 stood at 1.2 percent, compared to 0.9 percent last year.

The median monthly rent in Manchester itself climbed $15 to $1,280.

But in the Nashua area, rents rose $148 a month to $1,484. That encompassed 14 communities, including Amherst, Milford, Pelham and Nashua. Nashua alone grew by $144 to $1,559.

The Portsmouth-Rochester area, comprised of about 30 communities, rose $42 this year over last year to $1,363.

Portsmouth increased $118 to $1,522. Rochester climbed $62 to $1,101.

Concord increased $66 to $1,211 a month.

All 10 counties posted rent increases.

The averages ranged from $1,409 in Rockingham County to $818 in Coos County.

The statewide vacancy rate stood at 1.5 percent in 2016 and 2.2 percent in 2015.

It hit 4.7 percent in 2009 during the Great Recession.

mcousineau@unionleader.com


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