RI Housing Market Shows Robust Rebound in July

Warwick, RI – Seven months into the year, the Rhode Island real estate market continued to show signs of significant recovery with existing single family home sales rising 22 percent in July from 12 months earlier and median price rising to $216,000 from $207,000 in July, 2012. July marked the tenth consecutive month of increase in median price from the previous year. The number of foreclosure and short sales accounted for 16 percent of all single family home sales in July, down from 25 percent a year ago, and homes under contract but not yet sold increased three percent. All single family housing indicators continue to point in the right direction.

The condominium market also showed significant growth with a 67 percent increase in the number of sales and a 22 percent increase in median price. Distressed sales fell from 25 percent of all condo sales in July, 2012 to 11 percent last month.

“Agents have been really busy in the past few months which is a drastic change from what we saw a few years ago. Evidence of the housing rebound is clear and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping,” said Victoria Doran, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. Pending sales – those under contract but not yet closed – are also up in condominium sales, she further explained.

Even the multi-family market which has a history of being the most affected by foreclosure and short sales, is showing signs of returning to normal market conditions. July’s sales activity increased nine percent from the prior year and median price rose seven percent to $144,900, a level achieved only once in the past five years. Distressed sales have fallen to 33 percent of all multi-family sales, a dramatic decrease since 2009 when such sales comprised more than 85 percent of total sales. Median price – the halfway point of sales prices with half selling for more and half selling for less – is surging due to the decrease in distressed sales, which are typically lower-priced sales.

“We’ve got strong market conditions right now with all sectors of the market hovering around a six-month supply, the most common indication of a market balanced between buyers and sellers. We’re optimistic that it will continue into the fall,” said Doran.

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