Single Family Home Sales and Prices Rise in Fourth Quarter

family home sales soared and prices rose in the fourth quarter of last year according to statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors (RIAR).  Sales activity increased  by 25 percent from the previous year and median price increased five percent to $195,000 from $185,000.

“Prices finally began some upward momentum this fall.  Falling inventory put pressure on prices.  At the end of December, Rhode Island had a six month supply of single family homes on the market so we’ve finally achieved a balance market. It’s a great starting point for the New Year,”  said Victoria Doran, 2013 RIAR President.  A six-month supply of homes for sale typifies a market balanced between sellers and buyers.

Condominium sales also made a strong showing in the fourth quarter, with median price increasing 24 percent to $192,250 and the number of sales increasing 27 percent.  There was a 7.6 month supply of condos on the market at the end of the fourth quarter.

The median price of multi-family home sales rose ten percent to $120,000, though sales activity decreased three percent, following a flurry of activity which began in the fall of 2011 as investors recognized the bottom of the market.  There is nearly a six-month supply of multi-family properties for sale which indicates that the investor market has also stabilized.

Foreclosure and short sales have fallen dramatically which also helped to boost median price in all three categories.  (Median price reflects the midpoint of sales with half selling for more and half selling for less.)  The number of distressed sales fell nine percent among single family home sales, 21 percent among condominium and 26 percent in multi-family homes in the months of October through December.

“We saw a lot of movement last fall, particularly in the higher price brackets,” said Doran.  “It appears that some may have been making a move in advance of anticipated tax code changes.  As it turns out, the housing market was relatively unscathed during the fiscal cliff negotiations – only the highest earners face a reduction in their deductions.  Everything is up for grabs in the next few months though, as Congress tries to tackle the deficit.  It’s critically important that people let their Congressmen know that changes to the mortgage interest deduction or anything else that takes away key benefits of home ownership for that matter, could be extremely detrimental to the housing recovery.”

About the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®

The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®, the largest trade organization in Rhode Island with approximately 4,300 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.

Last year, Rhode Island REALTORS® were involved in over 11,000 real estate transactions with a total sales volume of $2.5 billion. 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.

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