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22 May 2012

R.I. Realtors Release Signs of a Strengthening Housing Market

Warwick, RI, May 22, 2012 – According to the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS, Rhode Island home sales were up 24 percent from the previous year. April marked the 10th consecutive month of rising sales. Sales under contract but not yet closed, deemed the most current indicator of the market, were also up 28 percent.

Though activity in the market has increased, the median price of existing home sales was down in 25 of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns, and down eight percent statewide to $175,000. Seven towns however – Tiverton, Portsmouth, Warren, Johnston, Cumberland, Hopkinton and Westerly – saw double digit appreciation.

The number of foreclosure and short sales in the single family market rose 35 percent from a year ago and accounted for 34 percent of total sales. The median price of homes not selling through foreclosure or short sale was $224,750, just $250 less than a year ago. Statistics indicate that the biggest loss in value occurred among distressed properties and that the price of those selling through conventional means remained relatively stable.

“We’re definitely seeing the distressed sales getting pushed through the pipeline to closing as banks are getting more efficient at processing them. Plus, more buyers seem to be jumping into the market to take advantage of the fantastic prices and low interest rates. As supply gets pushed down, prices will go up,” said Jamie Moore, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

The multi-family market saw improved trends in all areas. Sales rose six percent and pending sales increased 13 percent. Median price was up three percent to $127,499 and the median price excluding distressed sales rose six percent to $172,500. The number of distressed sales remained relatively stable from a year ago, up only two percent, but still accounted for 49 percent of all multi-family sales.

Sales in the condominium market increased 19 percent from 12 months ago and pending sales increased nine percent. The April median sales price of $140,000 represents a six percent drop since April 2011 and the median price of properties not selling under duress decreased two percent to $190,000. The volume of distressed sales in the condo market went down three percent and accounted for only 27 percent of total sales, the lowest volume of distressed sales of all three categories.

Condominium owners and developers have had means to avoid foreclosure that many single family homeowners didn’t have,” commented Jamie Moore. “They were able to weather the struggling market by converting condos to rental units.”

The number of properties on the market went down in all three categories, indicating a market that is beginning to reach a healthy balancing point between supply and demand. The inventory of single family homes for sale fell nine percent while the number of available multi-family properties and condominiums, fell 16 and 14 percent, respectively.
None of the categories saw a decrease in median price from the month prior, a hopeful sign for homeowners that prices are beginning an upward trend.

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.

Source – http://www.riliving.com/PressReleases/Archives/2012/May/2012-05-22.asp
RI Association of Realtors, Inc. May Press Release

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