Warwick, R.I. – March 20, 2020 – The Rhode Island Association of Realtors and its subsidiary, State-Wide Multiple Listing Service (MLS), released its February home sales data today which relayed a median price of single-family home sales in February of $274,900, a ten percent increase from 12 months earlier. The number of closed transactions also increased by 14 percent year-over-year. The data however, which represents all sales transacted by Realtors through the MLS last month, also highlighted a 12 percent decline in the supply of homes for sale compared to February 2019.
The median price of Rhode Island’s condominium sales rose 13.8 percent and closing activity rose 8.8 percent compared to 12 months prior. However, with only 611 condos listed for sale last month, inventory in that segment of the market fell to its lowest point since MLS began tracking supply in 2007.
In the multifamily home market, the median sales price increased ten percent year-over-year to $280,500 and sales activity increased six percent, though only 360 multifamily homes were on the market in February, a 15.5 percent drop from the prior year.
“As of February, despite extremely low inventory levels, Rhode Island’s housing market remained active. Obviously, the coronavirus is now creating a paradigm shift in all aspects of the economy and real estate will be no exception. The steps needed to limit the spread of the virus will most certainly reduce the number of buyers in the market, at least temporarily, and cause some potential sellers to hold off from listing their homes.
“It’s important that we don’t panic while we wait and see how this plays out. Our priority right now is keeping our clients and associates safe and healthy to minimize the effects of the virus. We also need to realize that the shortage of housing on the market should help insulate home prices,” said Shannon Buss, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.
“We’re hopeful that the impact of the coronavirus will be short-lived and minimal on the housing market. That will depend on each of us doing our part in stopping it from spreading,” commented Buss.