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Press Release

Contact: Kerry Park
Ph: 401-432-6948
Cell: 401-207-4502


Home Sales Continue to Climb in October

Warwick, RI, November 25, 2009…Rhode Island existing single family home sales rose 28.9 percent in October from the year prior, marking the seventh consecutive month of rising sales in the Rhode Island market.  Inventory also continued its downward trend, down 5.4 percent, the lowest supply of single family homes on the market since early 2006. Currently, there is a 6.3–month supply of homes on the market.  A six-month supply is considered a normal balance of demand between buyers and sellers.

Though median price dropped 6.4 percent to $200,000, last month tied with August for the least amount of price depreciation since February of 2008.  Distressed sales accounted for 28.8 percent of all sales in the Rhode Island single family market. That number dropped from 31.4 percent of all sales in October, 2008. The median price of sales that sold only through conventional means – not short sale or foreclosure – was $230,000.

Sales activity was likely pushed by the $8000 tax credit for eligible buyers who had not owned a home in three years which buyers believed was set to expire on November 30th.  Congress renewed the tax credit earlier this month and expanded its reach. People who have owned their current homes for at least five years can now claim a tax credit of up to $6,500 for a home purchase. To qualify, buyers must sign a purchase agreement by April 30.

“The expansion of the tax credit should help bolster the spring market. The new credit will help the move up buyer as well as the first time buyer, which is critical if we want to see a full housing recovery,” said Karl Martone, 2010 President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.  Mortgage rates below five percent are also helping home affordability.  The National Association of Realtors reported earlier this week that home affordability conditions were the best on record since 1970.

The number of sales in the multi-family market fell for the second consecutive month, down 3.1 percent, from 193 in October 2008 to 187 in October, 2009.  Though median price had dropped by double digit percentages throughout the year, the rate of decline slowed to 5.2 percent last month, from $116,000 in October of last year to $110,000 last month.  The number of distressed sales decreased to 68 percent from 81 percent the year prior.  The median price of non-distressed multi-family properties was $170,000.  The inventory of multi-family properties dropped sharply year to year, from 1397 in October of 2008 to 969 in October of this year.  There is just over a 5-month supply of multi-family properties for sale, which normally indicates a seller’s market.

Condominium sales made strong sales gains, up 35.4 percent.  The Rhode Island condo market began the year with sales down 42.5 percent in January.  The increase in sales and an 18.7 percent drop in inventory were likely spurred by the falling median price, down 29.2 percent from October 2008 to $161,000 last month, the lowest monthly median price since RIAR began keeping monthly records in 2007. The median price of non-distressed sales, which accounted for 84.7 percent of all condo sales, was $181,500. 

“Buyers who previously looked to the condo sector as a great first-time option found other affordable alternatives in the multi and single family home sectors when the downturn occurred,” Martone commented.  “Now that those sectors have seen the bulk of their correction, the condo market should start to stabilize.”


Karl Martone

State President

Single Family Sales
By Town

About the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®

The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS┬«, one of the largest trade organizations in Rhode Island with more than 7,000 members in approximately 900 offices, has been serving Rhode Islanders since 1948. Collectively, RI REALTORS┬« transacted nearly $7.9 billion in residential real estate sales last year and nearly $8.1 billion in total transactions including rentals and commercial real estate. 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.

The Association is one of more than 1,400 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 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries and who subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics.

REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.