2013 a Year of Solid Growth in Rhode Island’s Housing Market

WARWICK, RI – Rhode Island sales of single family homes remained relatively flat in the fourth quarter of 2013, rising just one percent from the fourth quarter of 2012. The median price of those sales rose three percent to $201,000. Data released by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors today shows evidence of a moderating market in the last few months of last year, but overall, the housing market showed solid recovery in 2013. Year-end single family home sales were up ten percent overall in 2013 from 2012, while median price rose eight percent.

“The Rhode Island housing market definitely made good strides last year. Agents were busy and homeowners regained some lost equity,” said Robert Martin, 2014 President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. “Though things slowed down in the fourth quarter, we’re hopeful that homeowners who have been waiting for the market to get on more solid footing will decide to sell in the next few months. The number of homes for sale decreased significantly by the fourth quarter and that had a big impact on sales toward the end of the year. The government shutdown last fall also delayed closings and hindered fourth quarter sales.” According to Realtor statistics, the number of single family homes for sale fell below 4000 in December, a level not seen since 2005.

Pending changes in flood insurance, which could result in higher premiums for many Rhode Islanders, could also quell the market for the next few months as potential buyers and sellers wait to see how rates are affected. Fortunately, mortgage rates, which were expected to rise, have done the opposite in recent weeks, giving buyers more affordability in their home search.

“We have an attractive mix of fair prices and low interest rates right now.  The rise in prices is good news for sellers and the continued low interest rates is good news for buyers. Plus, while prices have risen, they haven’t shot out of sight.  We’re optimistic that we will see a good spring selling season,” said Martin.

Little change was seen in the condominium market in the last three months of the year with sales up just two percent and median price less than one percent to $195,000. The fourth quarter sales were pale in comparison to the previous months of 2013.  Throughout the year, sales of condominiums escalated by 29 percent over the previous year and median price rose 13 percent.

Activity in the multi-family market also remained stable, with four less sales from October through December of last year than during the fourth quarter of 2012.  Median sales price jumped 17 percent to $139,900.  When comparing the multi-family market in 2013 to 2012, Realtor statistics show an eight percent increase in median price.

In all sectors of the market, the number of properties selling through foreclosure or short sale fell, another sign that the market is returning to more normal conditions.  The number of distressed sales decreased last year by 17 percent in the single family home market, 16 percent among condominium sales, and 24 percent in the multi-family sector.

About the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®

The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®, the largest trade organization in Rhode Island with approximately 4,000 members in nearly 750 offices, has been serving Rhode Islanders since 1948. Advocating for Rhode Island ‘s property owners, the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® provides a facility for professional development, research and exchange of information among its members and to the public and government for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system and the right to own real property.

The Association is one of more than 1,437 local boards and associations that comprise the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America ‘s largest trade association, representing over 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries and who subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics.

Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author:

previous arrow
next arrow