R.I. second-quarter home sales show improvement as distressed sales drop

TOM MCNULTY, President of McNulty Real Estate, in front of a Cumberland home he is marketing. Rhode Island Association of Realtors second-quarter statistics show home sales increased in the period. /
TOM MCNULTY, President of McNulty Real Estate, in front of a Cumberland home he is marketing. Rhode Island Association of Realtors second-quarter statistics show home sales increased in the period. /

WARWICK – Sales and prices of existing single-family homes edged higher during the second quarter compared with the same period last year, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

The Realtors said 2,232 homes sold during the second quarter, a 10.8 percent increase from the 2,015 sales last year. The median price increased 9.1 percent to $210,000 from $192,500 a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of homes sold through short sale or foreclosure fell to 27 percent of sales, down from 37 percent during the second quarter of 2009. In June there was just under a seven-month supply of homes for sale, compared with a nine-month supply in June 2009. (Realtors generally consider a six-month supply a balanced market.)

“Our housing market was ahead of the national curve heading into recovery. We’ve seen steady growth in the number of home sales and prices for several months now,” association President Karl Martone said. “Consumers are recognizing good values and great terms on mortgages.”

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On a percentage basis, Jamestown led the way in sales increase. The number of home sales on the island doubled to 20 from 10. Bristol saw a 95.7 increase in sales, going to 45 from 23 sales. And sales in Richmond increased to 29 from 19, a 52.6 percent increase.

At the other end of the spectrum, home sales in Providence fell 28.6 percent to 135 from 189.

Elsewhere in the real estate market, the number of condominiums sold during the second quarter increased over last year, although the median price remained virtually unchanged.

The Realtors said 385 condos sold last quarter, a 26.6 percent increase from the 304 during the second quarter of 2009. The median price increased to $179,625 from $179,450.

Sales of multifamily homes during the second quarter dropped 26 percent compared with a year earlier, the Realtors said. The association recorded 476 sales, down from 644. The median price, however, went up 55.8 percent to settle at $120,000 compared with $77,000 a year earlier.

Additional information is available at http://www.riliving.com .