Like many parts of the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Town of Stratham, the Greater Seacoast Region, and nearly all parts of New Hampshire are experiencing significant growth in housing costs and residential property values. For example, in the last year alone median housing prices across the state increased by more than 25 percent. In New Hampsire, housing costs are highest by far in Rockingham County; it is the only county in the state where median housing sales levels currently exceed $500,000. Moreover, housing costs in New Hampshire are among the highest in the country, typically ranking among the five to seven most expensive states.
While these developments can be welcome news for existing homeowners, as home equity levels rise to new highs, they also present some concerns. Housing costs in the region have consistently increased over the last 10 years, and now large segments of the population including many middle class families, are shut out of home ownership. The lack of more affordable housing options has also emerged as a significant economic development issue, with employers raising concerns about a lack of workers and a lack of affordable housing to house them.
As Stratham moves closer to buildout status and developable land becomes even more limited, the Planning Board wants to ensure remaining lands are put to the best use to meet the Town's needs now and in the future. The Board also wants to encourage redevelopment of underutilized properties, such as the former NH Technical College campus. To that end, the Board is focused on housing issues this year and will consider potential zoning amendments for consideration of the Town's voters at the 2022 Town Meeting. More information related to the current housing situation is included below. Additionally, draft zoning language will be completed this summer and posted to this page. As always, the Planning Department welcomes your input. For more information, or to provide your input, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.