3rd Quarter Real Estate Sales Data Shows Home Sales Up
Friday, November 30, 2012
Single family homes sales rose 15 percent from the previous year in the third quarter, with 2235 single family homes sold. Median price, while down three percent from July through September, 2011, has begun to stabilize and distressed sales - those involving foreclosure or short sale - dropped to 23 percent of total sales from 25 percent last year.
Seventeen cities and towns saw increases in median price in the third quarter and 10 towns saw increases in both sales and price. The median price of all single family homes sold from July through September was $197,500 while those which sold through conventional means only, (not through foreclosure or short sale) was $230,000. Median price reflects the midpoint of sales, with half of the properties selling below the median and half selling for more. It does not represent an increase or decrease in the same property over time.
"It is noted that the lack of closed sales in a particular neighborhood has sometimes made it difficult to find value to support a sales price negotiated between a buyer and seller. This ends up lowering the final purchase price in some cases. Fortunately, we have a strong number of arm's length sales as pending inventory that will ultimately become the benchmark. We still have a bit more active inventory than we would like which also restrains price gains. The good news is that the supply of homes for sale has continued to decrease over the past several months, which is generally followed by rising prices," said Jamie Moore, 2012 President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.
Historically low interest rates and affordable prices have driven sales upward for fifteen consecutive months. According to the National Association of Realtors, housing affordability conditions are forecast to remain favorable through next year, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage staying near record lows for the balance of this year but gradually rising to four percent in the second half of 2013.
Multi-family unit sales also increased in the third quarter, rising six percent, while median price declined nearly four percent to $120,600. Distressed sales have decreased to 47 percent of total sales, down from 54 percent in the third quarter of 2011. The median price of non-distressed sales only was $159,900.
Condominium sales held relatively stable, increasing just .95 percent, and median sales price decreased six percent to $186,900. Foreclosures and short sales fell to 20 percent of total sales from 21 percent last year. The median price of non-distressed sales was $213,900.
"Although the elections can create uncertainty in the market, sales have not slowed down. Home sales and housing starts are up and local economists are reporting that things are looking better," said Moore. "This all bodes well for the housing market as we move toward 2013."