RHODE ISLAND ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, INC.
Contact: Kerry Park
Home Sales Continue to Increase in March
Warwick, RI, April 25, 2012...The number of single family resale homes sold last month rose 25 percent from March 2011. Pending sales – those under contract but not yet closed – also rose by 19 percent from a year ago. Single family home sales have increased year over year since last July and pending sales have been on the increase since June.
Single family distressed sales, comprised of short sales and foreclosures, also began climbing in July and accounted for 34 percent of all sales in March. The number of distressed sales climbed by 16 percent from March 2011, rising from 178 sales last March to 206 single family short sales and foreclosures last month. Such sales help to explain a six percent decrease in single family median sales price, from $186,250 last year to $175,000 last month.
"It appears that buyers are scooping up good deals in the marketplace. I think they're finally starting to think that they're seeing the bottom of the market," said Jamie Moore, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.
The supply of single family homes for sale also fell four percent, the first decrease since February. Restoring balance between supply and demand is essential to housing recovery so March's depleting inventory is seen as a positive sign.
Sales of multi-family properties, often fueled by investors, also saw an increase in sales of two percent and pending sales were up by three percent. Pending sales have been increasing since last summer, while the number of multi-family properties for sale has decreased.
In contrast to the single family market however, the multi family median sales price increased, up six percent to $126,950 – another healthy sign for recovery. Distressed sales among multi-family sales fell by 11 percent in March but still accounted for 51 percent of all multi-family sales.
"People have been picking up bargains in the multi-family market but we would like to see even more of an increase in sales. Some of the cities and towns like Central Falls, Woonsocket and Providence, are having significant fiscal problems which seems to be working against sales, even with the exceptional affordability conditions right now," said Moore.
In the condominium sector, sales fell five percent from March 2011 to March 2012, and median price fell 20 percent to $128,750. The number of distressed sales rose 50 percent and accounted for 39 percent of all condo sales in March. On the positive side, the supply of condominiums for sale dropped 13 percent and pending sales rose seven percent.
"We've seen condo sales struggle as single family and multi-family have become more affordable options," said Moore. "Also, developers have turned units for sales into rentals, which depletes the inventory for sale," she said.
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.
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.