Market Trends

R.I.’s Housing Supply Shows February Gains

Warwick, RI — March 21, 2019 — February sales data recently released by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors and its subsidiary, State-Wide Multiple Listing Service show signs of promise for buyers who have been hindered by low inventory in Rhode Island’s housing market for the past several years.

With 5.9 percent more single-family home listings than a year ago, increased supply appears to be taming sales price growth. At $250,000, February’s median sales price was identical to that seen a year earlier. Sales data also reflected a 7.8 percent decrease in February’s single-family home closings which helped fuel the increase in supply, an indication that buyers may get some relief this spring from the fierce competition they faced last year.

“We’re starting to see a shift,” said Dean deTonnancourt, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. “More homes are coming on the market. Though sellers still have an advantage, as the supply of homes increases, buyers will gain a competitive edge. Sellers who adjust their price expectations accordingly will still find plenty of eager buyers but they need to be aware that those buyers will have more choices.”

The supply of condominiums available for sale also increased, rising seven percent from a year ago. The median price of condominium sales fell 1.5 percent from a year earlier to $207,500 and closing activity rose 11.6 percent.

Unlike the single-family home and condo markets, the supply of multifamily properties decreased by 5.5 percent last month while the median sales price reached $255,000, an 11.6 percent increase from the same time a year ago. The number of multifamily home sales remained relatively the same, falling less than one percent.

“As the supply of single-family homes becomes more abundant and accessible for first-time buyers, we’ll likely see multifamily sales begin to moderate as well, but more slowly as rental units continue to be a fantastic investment given the market’s continued low interest rates and high rental rates,” said deTonnancourt.