Strong Gains in Housing Market in October
Friday, November 30, 2012
Both the number of single family home sales and median price rose in October, according to statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. Though sales activity has been increasing year over year for 16 months, October was the first month that showed evidence of an increase in median price since May, 2011. Single family home sales increased 24 percent last month and the median sales price of single family home sales in October was $200,000, ten percent higher than the median price of sales in October, 2011.
"Sales activity has been increasing for such a long time that prices were bound to go up eventually. As the supply of excess housing inventory depletes, prices will adjust accordingly. It's all about supply and demand. Diminishing foreclosure sales is also helping to boost median price," said Victoria Doran, 2013 President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. RIAR reported that the number of single family homes for sale fell 18 percent in October, resulting in a seven-month supply of single family homes for sale. A six-month supply is considered to be a balanced market between sellers and buyers.
Foreclosure activity is also adjusting downward with just 21 percent of total single family home sales being sold through short sale or foreclosure last month, compared to 25 percent a year ago. The median price of sales selling through conventional means was $220,500.
The condominium market also fared particularly well last month, with sales rising 37 percent and median price increasing 21 percent to $170,000. The percentage of distressed sales fell to 19 percent from 22 percent last year and the median price of non-distressed sales only was $205,000. The number of condos available for sale fell 16 percent from a year ago. There was a nine-month supply of condominiums for sale at the end of October.
Multi-family properties rose significantly as well, rising 15 percent from the year prior. Median price increased 20 percent to $120,400. Short sales and foreclosures accounted for 45 percent of total sales (compared to 46 percent in October, 2011), and the median price of conventional sales only was $149,500. There has been a 26 percent decrease in multi-family properties for sale in the past year which has led to six-month supply of inventory for sale.
"The market has been gaining strength gradually for some time now but it's been a while since we've seen such strong indicators of recovery in every area," said Doran. "As we move toward the New Year, interest rates are still extremely low, prices are reasonable and the housing market seems to be on the right track. It's critically important that Congress not derail this positive momentum with changes to the mortgage interest deduction or capital gains exclusion."