Updated July 29 at 5:44pm

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REAL ESTATE

R.I. home sales rise, prices fall in September

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WARWICK - Sales of Rhode Island single-family homes rose 8 percent in September compared with the same period last year, the 15th consecutive month of increased year-over year sales, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

There were 668 houses sold last month, 52 more than September 2011.

But despite more than a year of stronger sales volume and reduced inventory, the median sale price fell 7 percent in September from last September, the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year price declines.

The median single-family sale in September was $185,000, down from $197,750 last year.

Although prices keep falling, Rhode Island Association of Realtors President Jamie Moore said the September figures show the market heading in the right direction, especially with the inventory of houses for sale declining 18 percent compared with the same period last year.

“The market is gaining ground little by little,” Moore said. “Excess housing is receding every month and that’s the best thing that can happen. Now that we’re seeing some gains in employment, consumer confidence seems to be building.”

The percentage of single-family houses sold through short sale or foreclosure fell 5 percentage points year over year in September to 24 percent.

In other areas of the market, multi-family property sales fell 17 percent in September, but the median sale price rose 10 percent compared with September 2011. The median multi-family sale price was $130,250, up from $118,575 last year.

The inventory of multi-family homes on the market declined 28 percent from last year as the share of distressed sales fell from 80 percent of all multi-family transactions to less than half.

Condominium sales rose 3 percent in September compared with the same period last year.

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