Updated March 30 at 6:25pm

Home sales rise, prices fall in 1Q


PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island single-family home sales rose 22 percent in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2011, but the median purchase price sank 11 percent, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

There were 1,500 homes sold in the first three months of the year compared with 1,231 during the same period last year.

Distressed sales, including foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 34 percent of the transactions during the quarter, an increase of 32 percent from the first quarter of 2011.

Those distressed sales helped drive the median single-family sales price down to $173,250 from $195,000 last year. The median sales price of conventional sales was $215,000.

Single-family homes stayed on the market for an average of 108 days in the first quarter, down only one day from the same period last year.

In other areas of the market, condominium sales rose 4 percent year-over-year while the median price dropped 21 percent to $135,000. The condominium sales volume increase was driven by distressed sales, which jumped 51 percent compared with the first quarter of 2011 and made up 35 percent of all purchases.

First quarter sales of multi-family homes rose 13 percent year over year and the median sales price dropped 4 percent to $115,000. Distressed multi-family sales rose 8 percent year-over in the first quarter and accounted for 55 percent of all transactions.

“We'll see more price stabilization as the distressed properties are sold,” said Rhode Island Realtors Association President Jamie Moore.

“We're getting there, little by little,” added Moore. “Fellow Realtors statewide are telling me that they're seeing more activity in the market. They're feeling more confident and it appears that consumers are as well.”


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