October Home Sales Stay Strong in RI

WARWICK, RI –  October was another good month for the Rhode Island housing market, with the number of single family home sales up 19 percent from the prior year and median price rising to $204,000 from $200,000 in October, 2012. The increase represented the 13th month of consecutive median price increases.  Distressed sales slipped to 19 percent of total sales from 21 percent twelve months earlier. Median price, which has been elevated by the decrease in foreclosure and short sales, represents the midpoint of sales with half selling for more and half selling for less, and is not an indication of value for specific properties. The housing sales statistics were released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

The association also reported that the condominium market continued to make strong gains with sales up 11 percent and median price up 17 percent. Sales of multi-family properties, typically attractive to investors, also increased six percent and median price rose eight percent. Though distressed sales accounted for 42 percent of all sales in the multi-family market, that number is down from 45 percent of total sales last year.

“We’re not running off the charts in any direction. We’re just seeing slow, steady improvement,” said Robert Martin, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. “Looking ahead, we’re seeing the number of pending closings down, likely due to a shrinking supply of homes for sale, fluctuating interest rates and an easing of the pent up demand seen earlier in the year.”

Nationally, though median prices have been rising significantly, sales have been falling for the past two months, as most markets deal with constrained inventory. The Rhode Island housing market appears to be lagging slightly behind the national trend.

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