Updated January 29 at 1:29pm
real estate

R.I. 3Q home sales rise, prices drop

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WARWICK – Sales of single-family homes in Rhode Island rose 17 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period 2010, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

The sales increase was in part due to strong sales of distressed properties, which contributed to the median price of single family homes during the same period dropping 8 percent over last year, according to the realtors association.

“We're getting things moving again and that's important,” said association President Stephen Antoni.

“When homes sell, supply diminishes, which is what usually drives pricing. In the past few months though, sales through short sales and foreclosures increased for the first time in over a year. The good news is that we're much better at getting them through to closing than we were a few years ago.”

From July through September, 1,940 single-family homes were sold in the Ocean State, up from 1,657 during those three months last year.

At the same time, the median sales price for single-family homes dropped to $202,250, down from $219,200 in the third quarter 2010.

September mirrored the third quarter trend. Single-family home sales rose 8 percent to 616 last month while the median sales price declined 7 percent to $197,750.

Similarly, condominium sales rose 4 percent for the quarter, but the median sales price slipped 7 percent year-over-year to $200,000.

Sales of multi-family properties dropped 4 percent for the quarter, with the median sales price dropping 2 percent year-over-year to $125,000.

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