Market Trends

Strong showing in R.I.’s third-quarter housing market

Warwick, R.I. – October 28, 2020 – Today, the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS released third-quarter home sales data pulled from Realtor transactions exchanged through its subsidiary, State-Wide Multiple Listing Service. Rhode Island’s single-family home sales were up 9.1 percent year-over-year and the median price of those sales hit $334,900, 13.5 percent higher than that of the third quarter of 2019.  On average, homes remained on the market for 52 days, down from 58 days in the prior year.

Central Falls saw the biggest increase in closing activity – up 150 percent – followed by Block Island, which had a 120 percent gain. Block Island topped the list of median prices at $1,262,500, followed by Little Compton and Newport. Every town in Newport County, and 22 other municipalities throughout the state, saw double-digit price gains compared to July through September of 2019.

“Pent up demand and low interest rates continue to fuel our housing market. Even the inconvenience caused by the coronavirus isn’t stopping those who want to take advantage of the lowest mortgage rates ever.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stronger sellers’ market going into the end of the year. For those thinking of listing their property for sale, there’s definitely no need to wait for spring. The market hasn’t slowed down,” said Shannon Buss, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

In the condominium market, sales increased by 4.3 percent and the median price grew by 6.4 percent to $255,000.  As opposed to the trend seen in the single-family market, condos remained on the market 8.5 percent longer than seen from July through September of last year.

Multifamily homes sales activity slowed by 9.2 percent while the median price of those properties rose by 12.7 percent to $310,000. The days a multifamily home stayed on the market remained relatively stable from year to year, rising 2.3 percent to 45 days.

Out of State Buyers Make an Impact on R.I.’s Housing Market

RI REALTORS also released a cumulative analysis of second and third quarter property purchases by out of state buyers to help gauge the pandemic’s impact on migration to the Ocean State. Despite a 12 percent drop in total Rhode Island residential property sales during that time period, Rhode Island saw an increase in purchases from out of state buyers of 9.7 percent.

Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Florida followed typical trends of supplying the most buyers to the Ocean State and three out of four of those states, sent markedly more buyers to Rhode Island since the onset of the pandemic.

From April through September, Massachusetts buyers who purchased a Rhode Island property increased 15.8 percent year-over-year, New York buyers grew by 30.6 percent, and Florida buyers increased 33.8 percent. The only decrease was seen by Connecticut buyers who numbered 167 this year, compared to 221 from April through September last year.

“The shutdown last spring curtailed what would likely have been another record-breaking year for Rhode Island home sales but the silver lining was a boost from those people from out of state who made the decision to buy in Rhode Island. If you’re going to work remotely, this is a great place to do it,” said Buss.

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