Warwick, RI, January 23, 2015…The year ended on an upswing in Rhode Island’s housing market, with December’s single family home sales increasing 18 percent from the previous year. The statistics, reported today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, also showed a four percent uptick in median price from 12 months earlier.
Though the housing market fluctuated during 2014, general trends continued to show a recovering market. Foreclosure and short sales fell from 20 percent of total sales in December, 2013 to 14 percent of all single family sales last month. Sales under contract, which foretell sales activity in the market in the months ahead, increased in December for the fifth consecutive month.
“Both sales activity and median price rose from the prior year for three out of the last four months of 2014. We seem to be heading in a positive direction as we enter the New Year,” said Bruce Lane, 2015 President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. “Though sellers are gaining an advantage due to a slight shortage of homes for sale, the number of properties on the market will likely increase now that the holidays are over.” There was a five-month supply of homes for sale in December. A six-month supply indicates a market balanced between supply and demand.
Sales rose 27 percent in the condo market while median price dropped ten percent year over year. Distressed sales accounted for 16 percent of total condo sales last month compared to 14 percent last year. The increase in such sales helps to explain the decrease in median price. Fluctuations in median price in the condo market can also be skewed significantly by a price increase or decrease for units in just one or a few developments.
Sales activity in the investor-driven, multi-family housing market skyrocketed 35 percent in December, as many sellers likely sought to get investments off of their books before year end. The median price of multi-family property sales decreased seven percent. Foreclosure and short sales fell to 29 percent of total multi-family sales compared to 35 percent in December, 2013. At the market’s worst, such sales accounted for more than 80 percent of total multi-family sales.
“Eliminating the distressed market is the key to getting back to complete normalcy in the housing market. We’re making significant progress on that front every month,” said Lane.
The Rhode Island Association of Realtors will release fourth quarter and end-of-year data on January 28th.
RHODE ISLAND ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, INC.
Contact: Kerry Park