Market Trends

Pent up demand created strong foundation for RI Housing market in first quarter

During the first quarter, Rhode Island home sales and prices rose compared to the prior year, according to statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors and its subsidiary, State-Wide Multiple Listing Service. All sectors of the housing market started the year off on a solid foundation due to pent-up demand. That demand helped Rhode Island’s housing market remain strong despite the widespread COVID-19 restrictions which became commonplace in March.

“Realtors were incredibly busy in the first quarter, even through the end of March. The economy was strong, and buyers were out in full force. We had to figure out the process for getting the transactions that were in the pipeline closed very quickly. We’re grateful that everyone involved pulled together to help buyers and sellers reach the closing table, even if a literal closing table was non-existent,” said Shannon Buss, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Among single-family home sales, closing activity rose 8.3 percent from the first quarter of 2019 and the median price of those sales increased to $290,000, a 13.7 percent gain from the prior year.

Multifamily homes followed suit with a 3.1 percent rise in year-over-year rise in sales activity and an 11.6 percent hike in median sales price.

The condominium market realized a 6.5 percent increase in closed transactions and at $233,950, this year’s first quarter median price was 4.2 percent higher than that seen 12 months earlier.

The number of distressed sales remained flat in the condominium sector and fell among both single-family and multifamily home sales.

“We’re really fortunate that we were able to adapt quickly and push through a high volume of transactions right out of the gate in 2020. With so many people out of work, it’s very likely that we will see some downward trend in the months ahead.  It’s important to note that we’ve adopted a number of things like live-stream house tours and virtual open houses for those potential buyers and sellers who are still in good financial shape and we’re following all the guidelines put in place by the Governor and the CDC. Financial security is the key to a feasible home search right now, all other components of a transaction can be worked out,” commented Buss.

See accompanying statistics here.

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