Updated March 26 at 12:27am

R.I. single-family home sales up 12.4% in 2016

The Ocean State housing market surged ahead in 2016, regaining its footing for the first time since the Great Recession ended, according to an annual report by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

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R.I. single-family home sales up 12.4% in 2016

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WARWICK – The Ocean State housing market surged ahead in 2016, regaining its footing for the first time since the Great Recession ended, according to an annual report by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Sales of single-family homes rose by 12.4 percent compared to 2015, according to the association’s data. In that category, the median price rose 6.6 percent, to $239,900.

The activity was up at every level in single-family stock, the association found, from modest starter homes on small lots to multimillion dollar oceanfront mansions.

Although the median price for a single-family is 15 percent lower than the highest annual median on record, most homeowners in Rhode Island have recouped their home equity lost during the economic downturn, said Brenda Marchwicki, president of the association.

“As our economy has improved, so too has our housing market,” she said. “There was activity at all ends of the market in 2016.”

Even the unexpected result in the presidential election didn’t quell activity, she reported. The market experienced a combination of pent-up demand from buyers, rising confidence among consumers and the improving economy, Marchwicki said. New mortgage options and continuance of historically low interest rates also played a factor, she reported.

In the condominium market, sales were up 15.6 percent from 2015 levels. The median price declined by less than 1 percent, to $199,900.

Condo sales were bolstered by a state law change that loosened financing for buyers, according to the association.

In multifamily sales, a category dependent on investors, the sales activity rose by 7.9 percent over 2015 levels. The median price rose by 8.9 percent, to $182,900.

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