Market Trends

Median sales price continues ascent in October in R.I.’s housing market

Single-family home closings also increase in October

With a year-over-year hike in both median price and closing activity last month, Rhode Island’s single-family housing market continued to gain momentum heading into the last quarter of the year. According to statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors and its subsidiary, State-Wide Multiple Listing Service, the market’s $287,225 median sales price represented a 5.7 percent increase from 12 months earlier. Realtor data also showed that completed sales rose 3.5 percent.

Despite the rise in closing activity and an 11.9 percent drop in inventory, the number of days that homes remained on the market rose to 61, up from 55 a year earlier.
As of mid-November, State-Wide MLS listed 3350 single-family homes available for sale, resulting in a market that at October’s rate of sales, would deplete in 3.7 months without an infusion of new listings. Most industry experts quantify a six-month supply as a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

“Sales activity slowed down a bit in 2018 following two record-breaking years but activity is on the upswing again. We’ve seen more home sales in the first ten months of the year this year than last, and the number of sales put under contract and expected to close in the coming months has also been rising. Though home prices have increased, this year’s reduced interest rates have helped keep buyers in the market. Still, sellers have an advantage because demand continues to outstrip supply,” said Shannon Buss, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Steeper price gains coupled with falling sales in other housing sectors

Last month’s $275,000 median price of multifamily properties represented a 9.6 percent increase from October of 2018. Sales activity remained relatively stable with 188 multifamily homes sold last month compared to 190 12 months earlier.

The median price of condominiums sold in October rose by 23.3 percent from the prior year, while sales dropped by 10.2 percent. The number of days that units stayed on the market increased by 31.9 percent. It should be noted however, that the pricing models, buildout and promotions of single developments can cause significant price and market fluctuations in monthly condo sales statistics.

“There’s no doubt that 2019 will be another historically strong year for home sales and we’re optimistic about the year ahead. The economy continues to move in a positive direction and all indications are that interest rates will remain low,” said Buss.

See accompanying statistics and infographics on rhodeislandliving.com/pressreleases.