R.I.’s real estate market gets hotter

In the last week, Rhode Island was treated to good news on the residential and commercial real estate fronts, with one major caveat.

In its annual report, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors said the Ocean State saw record single-family home sales in 2017, even as home prices increased.

The only bad news is the fact that inventory has tightened to such a point that prices might reach unaffordable levels.

When it comes to commercial real estate, the absorption of office-space inventory has been driving rents up, with that trend likely to continue. In fact, the pressure is becoming so great that the panel at the CB Richard Ellis New England annual market survey said it is time for the iconic “Superman” building at 111 Westminster St. in Providence to be put back into service.

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After years of ignoring the Art Deco masterpiece, public- and private-sector leaders do need to find a way to make this central property a contributing part of downtown’s landscape once again. And if they can’t, then all options, including removal, should be on the table.