Market Trends

Strength of Rhode Island’s 2016 Housing Market Continues in December

Warwick, RI, February 3, 2017 — RI Realtors released December home sales statistics today which showed year-over-year increases in both sales activity and the median sales price of single-family homes. Realtor statistics showed that more homes were sold this past December than any other December on record.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors reported that the number of single-family homes sold in December increased 6.2 percent from December of 2015 and median sales price increased 3.7 percent to $235,900.

“We saw a tremendously active housing market last year which continued right up to the end. The result of that was a growing shortage of inventory. We’re thankful for the conditions that have encouraged people to buy but we’re hopeful that we’ll see more of a balance between supply and demand in the spring market. The number of single-family homes for sale in December fell almost 19 percent from 12 months prior, leaving just over a 3-month supply of homes for sale which put sellers firmly in the driver’s seat,” commented Brenda L. Marchwicki, president of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Sales under contract but not yet closed fell for the first time all year. The 4.1 percent decrease in pending sales may be the first sign of a market slowing due to a supply of homes for sale which was inadequate to keep up with demand.

Sales of multifamily properties fell 11.8 percent from 12 months earlier, while the median sales price rose 21.3 percent to $201,950.  The number of listings followed a year-long trend of decreasing listings. Pending sales in December also fell as well.

On the other hand, the condominium market saw double-digit growth in sales activity and median price, rising 36.8 percent and 20.8 percent respectively. Though the number of condos available for sale has fallen year-over-year every month since March and sales under contract fell slightly in December, condominium sales are not expected to slow significantly. This sector of the market had been hampered by stringent lending regulations through the first half of 2016, but laws enacted to provide some relief to borrowers has allowed potential buyers to flood the market.

“Overall, we’re in good shape heading into 2017.  As prices rise, more people will see gains in home equity which will give them more freedom to move. That should provide some relief to our supply shortage,” commented Marchwicki.
Months Supply: Click here for interactive display

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