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REAL ESTATE

R.I. home sales soar 25% in 4Q

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WARWICK – Rhode Island’s single-family home sales soared 24.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

Despite the quarter being hampered by Hurricane Sandy, 2,137 homes were sold during the quarter, up from 1,716 during the fourth quarter of 2011.

According to the realtors’ association, home prices rose 5.4 percent during the quarter to a median price $195,000.

“Prices finally began some upward momentum this fall. Falling inventory put pressure on prices,” Victoria Donar, 2013 RIAR president, said in a statement. “At the end of December, Rhode Island had a six month supply of single-family homes on the market, so we’ve finally achieved a balanced market. It’s a great starting point for the new year.” According to the release, a six-month supply of homes for sale typifies a market balanced between sellers and buyers.

Condominium sales increased 27.2 percent during the fourth quarter, with 370 condos sold in Rhode Island at a median price of $192,250. The median sale price of Rhode Island condos rose 24.03 percent compared with the same quarter in 2011.

According to the RIAR, multifamily home sales activity dropped 3 percent, but the median home sales price rose 10 percent to $120,000 year over year in the fourth quarter.

During the quarter, foreclosures and short sales fell “dramatically,” according to the release, which said that this helped to boost the median price in all three real estate categories.

The number of distressed sales in the Ocean State fell 9 percent among single-family homes, 21 percent among condominiums and 26 percent in multifamily homes during the three months ended Dec. 31.

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