Market Trends

R.I. housing market remains strong in July

Single-family home sales rose ten percent from July 2018 to July 2019 while the median price of those sales increased 6.5 percent to $297,500, according to sales data released today by the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® and its subsidiary, State-Wide Multiple Listing Service.

While sales and prices continue to climb, the market remains constricted by low inventory. The number of homes for sale last month fell 10.6 percent from the prior year leaving a 4.1-month supply of homes for sale, nearly two months less than what most industry experts consider a balanced market.

In the condominium market, sales decreased marginally while prices continued to rise. The median price of a condo last month reached $240,000, the highest monthly median sales price in that sector in the past eight years.

New Federal Housing Administration loan policies for condos have been finalized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and will go into effect in mid-October. The new guidance extends certifications from two to three years, allows for single-unit mortgage approvals, provides more flexibility with owner/occupancy ratios, and increases the allowable number of FHA loans in a single project.

“Condos are a great alternative for first-time homeowners but until now, those buyers were hampered by cumbersome lending requirements. The new rules should help spark increased sales activity in that market,” said Dean deTonnancourt, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Multifamily home sales rose 18.7 percent in July from the prior year while the median sales price increased eight percent to $270,000. Multifamily home sales began to slow at the end of last year, but prices have risen steadily since December of 2014.