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By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
WARWICK – Single-family home sales in Rhode Island jumped 16 percent in January from the same period a year earlier in what was the highest volume of January sales since 2007, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors said Tuesday.
There were 454 homes sold during the month, up from 392 in January of 2011 and 395 in January of 2010.
And just as sales volume has continued to rise since the second half of last year, the median sales price continued to plummet in January, dropping 13 percent from January of 2011 to $172,750.
“We’re glad to see properties changing hands because that indicates that we’re pushing through this struggling market,” said Realtors Association President Jamie Moore. “Affordable prices and the lowest interest rates ever are translating into a strong motivator for buyers. We’ve been seeing sales rise and the number of properties on the market decrease since last summer. Historically, we’ve seen that prices begin to rise after a period of increased sales.”
Also continuing a recent trend, sales of distressed properties, including foreclosures and short sales, was strong in January, up 60 percent from 2011 as lenders ratcheted up the speed of processing foreclosures.
The accelerating pace of distressed sales has boosted sales volume and kept downward pressure on prices.
In other areas of the market, year-over-year condominium sales rose 4 percent in January as the median price plunged 25 percent to $155,450. Distressed condominium sales grew 38 percent compared with 2011.
Multi-family year-over-year sales were up 28 percent in January while the median price fell 18 percent to $110,100.