2012 Sales Continue to Head Upward
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Sales statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® (RIAR), show home sales up 16 percent in January from the year prior. Four hundred and fifty-four (454) existing single family homes sold last month, more sales activity than any other January since 2007.
"We're glad to see properties changing hands because that indicates that we're pushing through this struggling market. Affordable prices and the lowest interest rates ever are translating into a strong motivator for buyers," said Jamie Moore, 2012 RIAR President. "We've been seeing sales rise and the number of properties on the market decrease since last summer. Historically, we've seen that prices begin to rise after a period of increased sales."
Affordable pricing, in part the result of an annual 60 percent increase in the number of foreclosure and short sales, is helping to clear properties from the market. More efficient processing of foreclosures and short sales by lenders also seems to be a major factor in the number of increased sales. The percentage of distressed sales has increased during the past three months, while industry researcher, CoreLogic, reported decreased foreclosure filings in the Providence Metropolitan Statistical Area in November and December, 2011. (January is yet to be released.). Foreclosure filings refer to the entry point of foreclosure proceedings, when owners are notified that they are behind in their payments and foreclosure proceedings begin. Distressed sales, on the other hand, refer to the end of the foreclosure process, when such sales are removed from the market through closings. Fewer filings and more sales indicate a growing depletion of the distressed market.
“Moving the foreclosure and short sale inventory through to closing is the key to a market turnaround and we seem to be doing that. We’re on the right path,” commented Moore.
The median price of single family homes sold in January was $172,750, down 13 percent from the prior year. The median price of non-distressed sales was $215,250.
Condominium sales also rose, up nearly four percent, since January, 2011 while median price fell 25 percent to $155,450. The number of condo foreclosure and short sales grew 38 percent and the non-distressed median price fell 17 percent from the prior year to $193,750. RIAR explained that the sale of low end condominiums could be attributed to a rise in home ownership in the under 25 demographic, as reported by the National Association of Realtors. The 25 years of age and under category was the only age bracket that saw an increase in home ownership in recent years, resulting from the increased affordability of owning compared to renting. Condominium living has historically been appealing to first time homebuyers due to ease of maintenance and affordability.
The multi-family market saw a significant increase in sales of 28 percent with a 38 percent increase in the number of foreclosure and short sales from year to year. A larger increase in sales has not been recorded since August, 2009, when 77 percent of the properties sold were foreclosures or short sales. Last month, 60 percent of all multi-family sales were sold under financial duress. The median price fell 18 percent to $110,100 and the median price of non-distressed sales was $149,900.
Pending sales rose in the single and multi-family market by 16 and 1 percent respectively, while falling in the condo market by 3 percent. In general, pending sales, or those under contract but not yet closed, have shown an upward trend in all three categories since last summer. Pending sales are believed to be the most current indicator of the housing market.
View January 2012 Single Family Sales By Town
Note: Information is provided by State-Wide Multiple Listing Service, Inc. Readers are cautioned that the median sales price --- with half the prices higher and half lower --- generally reflects the quality and the mix (type and size) of the properties being sold at the time and is not a true measure of home values.