By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
WARWICK – Rhode Island single-family home sales finished 2011 down 2 percent from 2010 despite a 10-percent year-over-year rebound during the fourth quarter, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors said Tuesday.
There were 6,701 single-family homes sold in 2011 compared to 6,843 in 2010. The fourth quarter of 2011 saw 1,715 single-family sales, up from 1,556 in 2010.
Median home prices continued to lose ground during 2011, dropping 7 percent for the year, to $195,000, and 12 percent year over year during the fourth quarter to $185,000.
The Realtors Association pointed to a 28 percent year-over-year jump in the number of distressed sales to explain the fourth quarter price decline. For the year, the number of single-family properties sold through short sale or foreclosure was flat.
“Sales increased in the second half of the year without the aid of any homebuyer tax incentives. That's what we want to see,” said Rhode Island Association of Realtors President Jamie Moore. “Sustained growth in sales is the only way we're going to get back on solid footing, and that's what we started to see again in the last half of last year."
In other areas of the market, condominium sales decreased 2 percent in 2011, but rose 17 percent compared with a year earlier in the fourth quarter. There was a 76 percent increase in distressed condominium sales during the fourth quarter.
The median condominium sales price also plunged 5 percent for the year and 17 percent during the fourth quarter to end at $155,000.
Multi-family sales declined 18 percent during 2011 while rising 6 percent in the fourth quarter. The median multi-family sales price declined 1 percent for the year and 20 percent during the fourth quarter to end at $108,500.