Market Trends

Year-over-year gains in R.I.’s 2019 housing market

Warwick, R.I. – January 22, 2020 – The Rhode Island Association of Realtors today released 2019 home sales data which showed year-over-year increases in median price for all residential property types. Multifamily homes reaped the largest gain with an 11.1 percent increase compared to 2018. The 2019  median sales price of multifamily properties was $270,000.

At $285,000, the median sales price of single-family homes hit the highest price point of all property types. That figure represented a 5.6 percent increase from the prior year and highest on record to date. It also represented a 43 percent increase from a decade earlier.

The $234,900 median of 2019 condominium sales reflected an 8.8 percent annual increase.

“Yes, prices are rising but when taking the pulse of the housing market, it’s important to remember that prices had fallen drastically following the boom of the earlier part of this century and it’s taken us some time to fully catch up. In fact, 2019 was just the second consecutive year following the housing boom and subsequent downturn, in which a median-priced, single-family home sold for more than it had ten years earlier. We’re back to where we should be, seeing good, but not exaggerated gains in equity,” said Shannon Buss, president of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

With the exception of the multifamily home market, increasing prices didn’t quell home sales. After falling nearly six percent from 2017 to 2018, single-family home transactions increased by 3.1 percent from 2018 to 2019. Sales of condominiums remained consistent year to year, rising .3 percent while multifamily home sales decreased 2.4 percent.

“We can thank a good economy and continued low interest rates for the momentum in the housing market. Overall, 2020 looks bright. Our biggest concern in the year ahead is lack of inventory. Rhode Island has a shortage of starter homes because they’re just too expensive to build here. We need to grow our supply of workforce housing at the entry level if we’re to keep momentum in the market overall,” commented Buss.

Both median price and sales activity statistics showed higher rates of gain in the fourth quarter compared to year-end, showing little sign of weakness in Rhode Island’s housing market leading into 2020.

See all statistics and infographics here.

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