Warwick, RI – February 20, 2020 –The first month of 2020 saw significant growth in Rhode Island’s housing market. The Rhode Island Association of Realtors reported a double-digit increase in the median price of single-family homes sold last month. January’s median sales price of $296,750 represented a 17 percent hike year-over-year.
Last month’s price increase did not curb sales activity which rose more than 14 percent since January 2018. Despite the escalation in closings, pending sales, or those under contract, decreased by the same amount. A slowdown in pending sales is often a sign of diminishing closed sales in the following months.
“Inventory continues to be a problem. We saw a huge jump in sales in December and January. Now that those properties are off the market, our supply of homes is near an all-time low. With less than three months of inventory, our supply is half of what it should be,” said Shannon Buss, president of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.
“Typically, the spring selling season brings a surge in inventory. Hopefully this year, it will be significant. The irony is, it really is a great time to sell and with interest rates remaining low, when you find the right property, it’s also a good time to buy,” she added.
The multifamily home market, which is often a cost-saving alternative for first-time buyers, also followed the same trends. The median sales price in that sector saw an annual increase of nearly ten percent in January. At $290,000, January’s median sales price was not far off from that of single-family homes. Closed transactions also increased, rising nearly four percent from the prior year.
Only the condominium market showed more tempered activity. RI Realtors reported a gain in median price of three percent and a year-over-year decline of two percent in closed transactions in January. Pending sales, however, were up from last year, indicating a potential boost to sales activity heading into the spring market.
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