Warwick, RI, May 20, 2016… On the heels of record-breaking activity in the first quarter, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors reported that Rhode Island’s housing sales remained strong in April. Association data portrays a 34.7 percent year-over-year gain in single family home sales activity last month. April’s median sales price rose 21.4 percent to $241,000.
While sales activity has skyrocketed during the early months of 2016, a slowdown in sales under contract in April showed signs of impending market restraint. Pending sales, which were up by more than 16 percent in March from the previous year, and nearly 19 percent in February, increased by just 2.5 percent in April. Pending sales are typically the most current indicator of the market in the months to come.
The number of single family homes for sale also fell by 9.9 percent from the prior year, a sign that sales could be restrained by insufficient supply in the future. Anticipation of a June interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve however, may drive more buyers into the market, helping to maintain sales activity.
“We’ve seen a hyper-active market but there are a number of factors that could affect how long it will last. Rhode Island currently has a five-month supply of homes for sale, which, while slightly favoring sellers, remains nearly balanced between supply and demand. That could easily change however, depending on inventory, interest rates, and even the upcoming elections. My advice to buyers and sellers would be to take advantage of the market as it stands today. With rising homeowner equity and incredibly low mortgage rates, it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Arthur Yatsko, president of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.
In other sectors of the market, condominium sales also showed significant gains with closed sales increasing 18.5 percent from 12 months earlier and median sales price rising 9.7 percent. Multi-family home sales fell 13.7 percent, though median price increased since last year, rising 9.9 percent from April, 2015 to $180,000. April marked the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in median price in the investor-driven, multi-family home market.