Market Trends

Rhode Island Housing Market Continues to Break Records in Second Quarter

Warwick, RI – July 28, 2016… Rhode Island’s housing market continued to break records with more single family homes sold during the second quarter than in any other quarter since record keeping began in 1986.  Single family home sales rose 14.8 percent and at $240,000, the median sales price of those homes also increased, rising nearly 6.7 percent higher than the previous year.

At the same time, foreclosure and short sales of single family homes also experienced an upturn in the second quarter, rising 1.7 percent from the same time period last year.  Though the increase is marginal, it represents the first quarterly rise in distressed sales since the last quarter of 2012.

“Sales are moving along and prices are inching up.  Even lingering inventory of distressed properties are moving out of the market. Low interest rates, a diminishing supply of properties for sale, and programs geared toward removing foreclosure and short sale inventory, are having an effect on sales.  RI Housing for example, offers up to $20,000 in down payment assistance for first-time buyers who buy distressed properties in 10 Rhode Island towns,” said Arthur Yatsko, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Sales were also vigorous in the condominium sector where closings were 16 percent ahead of the prior year from April through June.  The median price of those sales however, fell 6.9 percent to $200,000. Unlike the single family market, the number of distressed sales continued to decline, falling 15.2 percent.

Condo sales have seen a boost since financing guidelines eased but prices haven’t yet been affected by the upward pressure caused by shrinking inventory,” commented Yatsko.

Multi-family home sales rose 4.6 percent and median price rose 9.1 percent in the second quarter. Distressed sales fell 27.7 percent from second quarter, 2015.

“Though prices are rising, they’re still below their peak, interest rates are almost non-existent, and rents are on the rise. These conditions make the current housing market one of the best I’ve ever seen for both buyers and sellers.  In addition, with a wealth of new financing programs available for first-time and returning buyers, we’re seeing thousands of buyers take advantage of these ideal conditions. The challenge now, is making sure that we have enough properties on the market to satisfy demand,” said Yatsko.

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