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Healthier Spring Selling Season for RI Housing Market

6/16/2013

Warwick, RI - May 30, 2012... Rhode Islands housing market continued to show progress in April with the number of sales of single family homes up seven percent from April, 2012 according to data released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. The median price of $180,000 was three percent higher than a year ago owing to a 22 percent reduction in the number of foreclosure and short sales. Distressed sales accounted for one in four sales in April compared to more than one in three twelve months earlier. Median price which indicates the midpoint of sales prices with half selling for more and half selling for less - generally moves up as distressed sales decrease.

Sales under contract but not yet closed also rose four percent, indicating continued movement in the single family market. With the number of homes available for sale dropping 13 percent in April, Rhode Islands housing market is left with a 7.5 month supply of homes for sale, indicating a market which slightly favors buyers. A six-month supply of inventory is typically considered balanced between buyers and sellers.

"This is the best spring selling season we've seen in years. The rebound has been slow but the important thing is, the economy and the housing market are improving. That's good news for Rhode Islanders all over the state. Still, we need to emphasize the importance of realistic pricing. I've seen a lot of sellers who think they can get astronomical prices now because theyre hearing about a shortage of inventory. Those are national reports. Rhode Island still has a good amount of homes for sale so its important to price competitively," said Victoria Doran, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

According to Realtor statistics, the condominium market saw a 16 percent increase in sales last month and median price rose 13 percent to $157,500. The number of distressed sales fell seven percent and pending sales were up 12 percent from last year. The number of condo listings on the market fell ten percent leaving a nine-month supply of condominiums for sale. Though Rhode Island still has a significant amount of condominiums for sale, a surge in sales in recent months is beginning to restore balance between supply and demand.

Sales in the multi-family market also rose, with sales up 11 percent last month from the prior year, reversing a downturn in sales reported in the previous month. The median price of $107,000 however, was 16 percent below the previous year's price as the number of distressed sales rose four percent. Foreclosure and short sales continue to account for nearly 50 percent of all multi-family sales. The number of multi-family properties for sale fell 22 percent in April leaving a six-month supply of properties for sale.

"All indications are that we are firmly planted in recovery but Rhode Island remains a bit behind the rest of the country in moving excess inventory. We're almost there but we still have a bit to go to restore a balance of supply and demand. That said, we're very encouraged by what weve been seeing in the past few months," said Doran.

 

Consumer alert: Is your home inspector licensed?

5/11/2013
Consumer alert:  Is your home inspector licensed?

"I always remind my buyers to use an inspector who is licensed.  It's okay to have 'Uncle Bob' at the showings or even at the home inspection.  In fact, I welcome 'Uncle Bob.'  'Uncle Bob' may have worked in construction and built his own home, but can still miss important damage that would have been caught by a licensed home inspector.  This piece was put together by WPRI channel 12.  Enjoy!"

Find your perfect home at:  My Re/Max Home Finder

Many RI home inspectors unlicensed

Updated: Saturday, 11 May 2013, 4:28 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 10 May 2013, 9:28 PM EDT

(WPRI) -- Buying a home is one of the most important purchases that most people make.
Home inspectors are often the last line of defense for home buyers and their findings can sometimes make or break a deal on a dream home. While home inspectors in Massachusetts and Connecticut need licenses, hours of experience and insurance Eyewitness News uncovers the ongoing effort to require licenses for Rhode Island inspectors.

A Rhode Island state law enacted in 1999 created a separate home inspector licensing law requiring all home inspectors to be licensed. As part of the law, all home inspectors were also required to maintain $250,000 of liability insurance, pass the National Inspector Examination, abide by standards of practice and a code of ethics.

Yet, with no money from the General Assembly to fund a licensing program, the law is on the books but not enforced allowing a loophole for untrained and unlicensed inspectors in Rhode Island.



"You've got some people out there making some bad opinions, giving bad opinions, making some bad calls," said Paul Brunetti, a certified home inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors.

A modified version of the 1999 law was re-submitted this past March and with approval from the state House of Representatives, the bill's future lies in the hands of the state senate.

Officials tell Eyewitness News that this time there's money to fund the bill's licensing program.

"The governor has been able to give us additional staff, so we'll be able to staff the position," said George Whalen, executive director of the state Contractors' Registration Board. "So, now it's just a matter of putting the law together so that we can start enforcing it hopefully as of January of next year."

Without proper licensing and insurance, homebuyers in several states have reported issues of inspectors failing to point out damage and structural problems. Many home inspection contracts only require that the home inspector refund the inspection fee to a client.

Under the new law, Rhode Island home inspectors would be required to have several types of insurance covering errors, commissions and liability in addition to requiring home inspectors to be bonded.

Experienced home inspectors like Paul Brunetti want the law to pass, ensuring that homeowners make buying and selling decisions based on the findings of the most qualified inspectors.

"It's important because the consumer really should feel at ease that they're getting a good inspection and that the person has credentials and criteria," said Brunetti. "It will raise the bar for all of us home inspectors."

A vote on the amended home inspector licensing law is expected in the coming weeks. If the bill becomes law, the Rhode Island Contractors' Registration Board will oversee the licensing of home inspectors.

Find your perfect home at:  My Re/Max Home Finder
 
Tammy J. Pelletier, GRI
Re/Max 1st Choice
980 Reservoir Avenue
Cranston, RI  02920
Cell - 401-263-6913


tjpeltier1@gmail.com
TammyPelletierSells@gmail.com




Home Prices Continue to Rise

5/5/2013

Warwick, RI,April 26, 2013 - The median price of single family home sales rose nine percent in March from a year ago, to $190,000 according to statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. The single family median sales price has also increased from month to month since January, when it was $175,000.

The price increase was accompanied by a drop of two percent in the number of homes sold. The number of homes available for sale decreased by 16 percent and the number of pending sales - or sales under contract declined .2 percent.

The imprint of distressed sales on the market continues to diminish, improving the overall health of the market. Foreclosure and short sales accounted for roughly one in three of all sales a year ago compared to one in four last month.

"We're ushering in the spring market with interest rates at historic lows and prices, though rising, are still extremely reasonable," said Victoria Doran, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. "We still have a little way to go to a completely balanced market but were definitely on the right track."

Nowhere is falling inventory more apparent than in the multi-family market. The number of properties available for sale has fallen each month by double digit amounts for more than a year. March statistics show a 22 percent decline in properties for sale from the prior year and distressed sales accounted for 42 percent of all sales compared to 51 percent last year. The median price of multi-family homes dropped two percent in March from the year prior but rose 30 percent from February. Sales activity declined by 16 percent year to year, but rose 11 percent from the prior month.

The condominium segment of the market showed the most significant headway in the market recovery last month. The median price rose 38 percent to $177,750 from $128,750 in March, 2012. Sales activity also increased by 31 percent - the eighth consecutive month of sales increases. The number of condominiums under contract also rose by five percent and the number of units for sale fell by 14 percent - both strong indications of continued positive trends in the condo market.

"The condo market is bouncing back remarkably. It could be that people who rented condos that had been temporarily converted to rentals during the downturn, are now choosing to stay in place and own," said Doran.

Homemade Air Freshener

4/15/2013

Homemade Air Freshener

Into make these little beauties?  You first need a heat-proof jars, food coloring colors of your choice, and essential oil. You can find inexpensive essential oils of various scents at craft stores and some grocery stores. I chose a raspberry scented oil...it smells delightful!


Into each jar, drop a few drops (I repeat...a few...it doesn't take more than 2 or 3) of food coloring.

Then, put in about 30 drops of essential oil, give or take. The more essential oil you put in, the stronger the smell.

Now for the fun part. Gather up 4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin, a tablespoon of salt, and 2 cups of cold water.

Why salt? Salt (or vodka) apparently help to keep the gel from molding. Interesting fact, isn't it?!?

Get one cup of water boiling on the stove. When it begins to boil, whisk in the gelatin, stirring until it's all dissolved.

Then, pour in the other cup of cold water and the salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved.

Quickly pour the hot gelatin mixture in each of your jars, and then use a disposable stick or spoon to stir it into the oil and food coloring.

Let these gel overnight, and then voila! Air freshener!

 


What Would MacGyver Do? 6 Ways to Save the Day with Toothpaste

4/14/2013

You know you're getting older, when you start your blog with "I remember when . . . " Well, here it is again, one of my favorite TV shows was MacGyver. Over the years we have come up with MacGyverisms like "I MacGyvered it" or "I tried a MacGyver move." HouseLogic.com has a series of articles called "What Would MacGyver Do?" I will be posting these articles here. You never when you may need to disable the helicopter of an evil dictator with a stick of gum and chapstick while hanging off the chopper's runners. Oh, and visit HouseLogic.com. ~~ Tammy

What Would MacGyver Do? 6 Ways to Save the Day with Toothpaste

Published: June 24, 2010 If you like to get your moneys worth by squeezing every ounce from a tube of toothpaste, youll be happy to know it has many other uses around the house besides cleaning your teeth. Rolling up the Colgate tube to squeeze out every last dollop before you buy another one is a simple, smart way to save money, but did you know that toothpaste also makes a good adhesive, deodorizer, and cleaner (for other things besides your teeth)? Weve collected some MacGyver-inspired ideas from the Internet.

What MacGyver did: Used plastic explosives disguised as toothpaste to create a diversion, allowing him to disarm his captor.

What you can do:

  • Patch small holes in your walls. Use a putty knife or butter knife to smooth the toothpaste into the hole. Then sand the toothpaste to smooth the surface.
  • Erase crayon marks from walls. Grab some non-gel toothpaste and a scrub brush, then just wipe until the marks are gone.
  • Shine chrome. Smear non-gel toothpaste on the chrome surface, and use a soft, dry cloth to wipe it down. The fine abrasive in the paste polishes the chrome to a spotless shine.
  • Deodorize a baby bottle. Apply toothpaste to your bottle brush to scrub out the stale milk smell. Then rinse it away.

Tammy J. Pelletier Re/Max 1st Choice
980 Reservoir Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920
Cell: 401-263-6913
Office: 401-943-6111 ext 221
TammyPelletierSells@gmail.com
tjpeltier1@gmail.com

Over 24 Years Bringing Buyers and Sellers Together In Rhode Island

Accessoring Your Deck

4/12/2013

Accessorizing Your Deck

You've spent the last few weekends in back of your house building the deck of your dreams. Your craftsmanship is second to nonea real work of art, if you do say so yourself! So why does it seem that something's missing when you stand there in the middle of all that lumber? Because you're not finished. It's time to accessorize! Whether you've just built a new deck or you're working with an existing one, make your outdoor living space more beautiful and comfortable with a little thoughtand a few finishing touches. Just like the inside of your home, furnish and accessorize your deck to really make it come to life. Then it will truly become an extension of your indoor living areas for you and your family and friends to enjoy.

Clean It Up, Spruce It Up, Trim It Up - If yours is an older deck, before you begin adding accessories, take time to do a little outside-the-house cleaning by renewing and brightening the wood surfaces. It's a good idea to thoroughly clean and seal your deck to prolong its life and enhance the natural beauty of the wood. Many products are available for cleaning the wood; many which require no scrubbing. Penetrating sealers are also available for protecting the wood. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.  

Accessorizing Poles and Posts   - With all the wonderful wooden elements now available, there's no excuse for having an uninteresting deck! Look for turned posts and rail components to add architectural distinctiveness.

  • Top posts with decorative caps can be plain or clad in brass or copper.
  • Top off post caps with wooden shapes such as elegant acorn toppers and ball finials.
  • Conceal the space between your deck's perimeter and the ground below (and gain useful semi-concealed storage space underneath) by installing pre-constructed decorative lattice panels.
  • For a custom look, construct your own screens using lattice strips framed in a pattern of your own design. Paint or stain the screens to match your deck for a unified appearance.  

Outdoor Furniture and Accessories  -  If you built your deck from scratch, you probably took time to size up your needs to determine what kinds of activitiesdining, relaxing, grilling, etc.you'd be doing there. And from that assessment, plan the furnishings and accessories just as you would for an interior room.

  • Take time to think about not only furniture arrangements, but the traffic paths and circulation spaces.
  • Choose furniture that is appropriately scaled for your deck as well as pieces that will seat the required number of people.
  • No matter what type of furniture you choose, look for styles and colors that blend with those of your house to achieve a unified look with your home's exterior decor. Outdoors the scale of your accessories may need to be "pumped up" to increase their impact and functionality.
  • Candles and candle holders should be large and heavy enough to remain stable even under wind-blown conditions.
  • Wall plaques made from pottery or stone-like material add visual weight and architectural character to your exterior.
  • Substantial planters designed to hold groups of plants provide great fill-in elements. Those large enough to hold tall plants add height to the predominantly horizontal space.  

Getting the Most From Your Surroundings  -  When you're outside on your deck, you're there with the wind in your face, the sun on your arms and the sounds of nature all around. You can take advantage of all the good things by choosing accessories for your deck that enhance what nature has already provided.

  • If you're a bird lover, hanging birdhouses in strategically located spots increases visits from feathered friends. Many styles are availablenatural wood and bark constructions, painted wood, sturdy plastic styles and decorative metal structures.
  • As the wind blows, capture more than just a breeze by hanging wind chimes from an eave or a nearby tree branch. The gentle tinkling of the chime provides a relaxing melody that becomes soothing background music.
  • Mount a flagpole on a nearby surface to display colorful flags that are available in a wide variety of seasonal patterns.

Plants and Flowers  -  Your deck is the perfect place to showcase lots of beautiful plants. Plants add a natural softening element to the hard-edge components of a wood deck. The lush, green and/or blooming color is a sure way to make your outdoor space come to life. Place the plants in and around furnishings or hang them from overhangs and posts, to provide interesting textures and shapes to complement other furnishings.

  • If space for freestanding planters is a problem, use wrought iron shepherd's hook hangers that can either be mounted in the ground or attached to nearby walls, posts or rails.
  • Attractive planters are available that include hooks that fit over deck railings. Fill these planters with cascading blooming plants for beautiful color all season long.

To Swing, To Bounce Or Perhaps To Glide -    One of the most important elements of furnishing your deck is the kind of seating you choose. The great thing about outdoor furniture is that it's not only designed for function (such as dining), but for fun and relaxation as well. Seating can be stationary, but it can also bounce, glide back-and-forth, swing or rock. Many pieces are designed not only for one, but for two or more people. Take time to consider how you'll use the seating pieces and then try out available styles.

  • Stationary or cantilevered chairs are a good choice for dining or general use.
  • Gliders, rockers and swings are wonderful for just sitting or relaxing.
  • For the ultimate in relaxation, choose chaise lounges or hammocks. If your deck is under a roof, swings and hammocks can be hung from the joists in the ceiling.
  • Cushions and covers designed for most outdoor furniture styles add even more comfort while adding color and pattern.

The Best Dining Room Under The Sun Or The Moon!  -  A deck is the perfect place to enjoy warm-weather meals with friends and family. A great selection of tables designed for 2, 4, 6 or more people are available. Think about the size of your deck when choosing outdoor furniture. Add to your dining atmosphere by choosing accessories that complement not only your 

(See More) . . .

Cleaning and Sealing Your Deck

4/7/2013

Cleaning and Sealing Your Deck

Wood left exposed to sun and moisture will quickly begin to degrade. Leave your deck untreated and you can expect it to turn grey with age. In addition, the decking boards are likely to cup, warp and split. Ignore the problem for too long and youll have to make major repairs or even replace sections of deck. Deck sealing is a three-part process. Remove any old stains or coatings, clean the wood, and seal it against weather damage.

If the deck has never been sealed before you wont have to strip it, but brand new wood has special pre-stain preparation needs. If your deck has been sealed before, use the water test to see if its time to seal it again. Drizzle some water onto the boards. If the water beads, the wood is still sealed and protected. If the water is absorbed into the wood, its time for a treatment. Remember to test several different areas of the deck. High-traffic spots are likely to wear down before corners and rail spindles.

Stripping Stripping is essential for creating an even surface on which the new sealant can adhere. If the high-traffic areas of your deck have worn down, but there is still sealant remaining in other areas, strip the entire deck before you re-stain. Stripping is most important if you are changing colors. Traces of an old color left underneath will affect the way a new color appears. Choose a stripper that is formulated for:

  • Removing clear and toned finishes and sealers, which requires less stripping power.
  • Removing semi-transparent or opaque stains, which requires more stripping power. Consult the manufacturers instructions to determine which stripper is right for your project.

Cleaning After the deck is free from existing stain or sealant, clean it. (If you didn't have to strip the deck, this will be your first step.) When looking at deck cleaners, you'll probably find one these active ingredients:

  • Chlorine bleach, which appears on the label as sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite or dichloroisocyanurate.
  • These chemicals do a good job getting rid of mildew, but they are less effective at removing dirt. They are usually mixed in with other ingredients.
  • Chlorine bleach products can be harsh on wood if used improperly, causing fuzzing and uneven coloration. Use a chlorine bleach product if you have a mildew problem, but be careful not to mix it any stronger than the manufacturer recommends. Also, rinse well.
  • Oxalic acid, which usually will be listed that way in the ingredients list. Oxalic acids are particularly effective at removing tannin stains and iron stains a particular consideration with cedar and redwood decks.
  • Oxalic acid is not as effective against mildew. If you have a mildew problem, try a cleaner made with bleach before using oxalic acid to attack the tannin and iron stains.

Sealing There are four main options for deck sealers: clear, wood-toned, semitransparent and solid/opaque. As a general rule, wood that is older and more weathered requires a more opaque stain to cover imperfections. Think about these other considerations: The best sealers penetrate the wood the most to provide the most protection. Look for an oil-based product that is mixed with latex for easy clean-up.

  • Clear treatments allow the wood to fade to a natural weathered, silver grey, while still providing protection from UV and water damage. The other types will retain a constant color.
  • Its tricky to work backwards on the spectrum. For example, if your deck is currently covered in an opaque stain, it will take a great deal of stripping and surface preparation to ready it for a clear or wood-toned stain. Its usually easiest to continue with solid/opaque coverage.
  • The more opaque a stain, the quicker it will show wearing and weathering. A solid stain might need re-application every year, while a clear or wood-toned treatment probably will last longer.
  • Solid/opaque stains are better suited for vertical surfaces (railings, pillars, caps) than for horizontal (decking, stairs). The wearing from foot traffic is particularly noticeable with an opaque stain, and it's possible to track the residue inside the house.
  • Solid/opaque stains do not show the grain of the wood. All others do.
  • Darker colors, particularly solid/opaque and semitransparent stains, will absorb heat more easily. They could make the deck uncomfortable for barefoot walking.
  • Choose a color that matches the siding on your house, or one that contrasts with it nicely. Use the color wheel to determine pairings.
  • For a decorative look, select two or more colors that work together for decking and rails, post caps, stencil work, etc.

Special Considerations

  • If you have ChoiceDek® or some other type of composite decking, not all cleaners will work for you. Consult the manufacturer for the correct types of products to use.
  • If you have a brand new deck made of treated lumber (as opposed to cedar or redwood), you should wait at least a few weeks before sealing it for the first time. This allows the wood to dry so the stain can be absorbed. To find out if the wood is dry enough to stain, use a moisture meter that tests the moisture content (MC) of wood. The wood can feel dry to the touch but still be too wet to absorb the stain properly. If you don't have a moisture meter, press the head of a flat screwdriver into the decking in an inconspicuous place. If any moisture appears, the wood is still too wet to stain.
  • Be sure to remove grade marks and other markings before staining. They will show through all but solid/opaque stains.

Accessories Your deck restoration shopping list will contain more that just cleaner and sealer. Here are some other products that will make the job easier:

  • A pump-action sprayer to apply cleaning solutions. You can buy one labeled "deck sprayer" or "garden sprayer," but do not use it for spraying your garden once it has had deck cleaning chemicals in it.
  • A stiff brush on a long handle for scrubbing. Do not use one with metal bristles, because it might damage the wood.
  • A paint roller on a long handle for spreading stain or sealant. Look for a 1/2" or 3/4" nap.
  • Paintbrushes made to apply the stain you have chosen.
  • Plastic tarps to protect nearby plants from overspray.
  • Tape to mask off areas that you dont want to stain.

If you have ChoiceDek® or some other type of composite decking, not all cleaners will work for you. Consult the manufacturer for the correct types of products to use.

 

Double Digit Growth for RI Home Price in February

4/6/2013


Warwick, RI, March 28, 2013 - Rhode Island's
single family home sales showed double digit price appreciation from a year earlier in February, with median price rising from $170,000 to $189,500. February marked the fifth consecutive month of increasing prices.<br><br>

While median price rose 12 percent, sales activity seems to be slowing, rising just two percent last month from February, 2012. Sales under contract but not yet closed, considered by many to the most current market indicator, were down one percent. The supply of homes for sale dropped 18 percent from the prior year, a contributing factor in the slowdown in sales activity, according to statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

"We've definitely turned the corner in terms of price," said Victoria Doran, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. "The flip side of that is that sales are slowing down. It appears that many of the people that wanted to take advantage of low prices have already done so. We may need to wait until the typical factors that influence people to buy job changes or the need for a larger or smaller home for example motivate buyers before activity picks up."

Condominium prices rose an amazing 55 percent in February with median price rising to $193,400 from $125,000 twelve months earlier. The number of sales also continued to rise significantly, up 29 percent, despite a 17 percent decrease in the supply of condos for sale. Pending sales sales under contract remained up six percent, indicating continued strength in the condo market.

Multi-family properties, on the other hand, showed an eight percent decrease in median price, with sales activity moderating. Seventy-nine multi-family properties were sold in February, a three percent increase from the 77 units sold in February of 2012. Pending sales however, decreased, six percent, the first decrease since July, 2011, likely due to a 26 percent decline in for sale inventory.

Foreclosure and short sales among all property types fell to 31 percent of all sales last month from 37 percent of all sales 12 months earlier. Diminished distressed sales, coupled with a decreased supply of properties for sale, should cause a continued rise in prices in the months ahead.

Housing Market Pointed in Right Direction for 2013

3/24/2013

Warwick, RI, February 1, 2013..While the median price of all 2012 single family home sales fell slightly from the prior year in 2012, the year closed on a positive note with both median price and sales activity on the upswing in December.  The price gains are a result of diminishing inventory which has led to a market balanced between buyers and sellers for the first time since the housing downturn began.  The supply of single family homes for sale dropped 18 percent in December, ending the year with a six-month supply of properties for sale, the typical measure of a balanced market. 

In 2012, distressed sales dropped markedly. In January, the year began with distressed sales accounting for 35 percent of all single family sales. By December, that number dropped to just under 27 percent.

For 2012 overall, single family median price fell three percent from 2011 to $190,000, though December alone showed an uptick in median price of three percent from December, 2011.  Sales activity jumped 20 percent in 2012 but began to move toward more normal levels by the end of the year, rising nine percent in December.  Pending sales sales under contract but not yet closed - also increased six percent in December, pointing to continued sales activity in the first quarter of 2013.

The number of homes sold increased consistently throughout 2012 but we didnt see price gains until the fourth quarter.  Median price has been up from the prior year for three consecutive months now.  Thats a strong indication that were heading out of the woods, said Victoria Doran, 2013 President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. 

The median price of condominium sales fell just one percent in 2012 to $175,000 while sales activity increased 11 percent. At the end of the year however, December showed a significant jump in the condo market, with sales up 14 percent and median price up 23 percent to $200,000. The sharp rise in sales left a 7.6 month supply of condos for sale at the end of the year.  Though inventory fell nearly 16 percent in December, the condo market appears to be tapering off as indicated by an increase in pending sales of just one percent in December.

The distressed market accounted for 17 percent of all condominium sales in December, down from 28 percent at the end of 2011, again a major factor in the rising median price.

Fourth quarter condo sales could have been motivated by end-of-year tax incentives or tremendous values in price and mortgage rates.  People are just beginning to realize that they can own just as cheaply as they can rent, if not more so.  And, with condo ownership, many homeowner responsibilities are taken care of, said Doran. 

Since 2010, the median price of multi-family properties has hovered around 2012s median price of $120,000, rising 33 percent from the markets year end price of $90,000 in 2009, an annual low.  Sales activity has been up and down in the multi-family market but ended up with a three percent gain in 2012 overall. 

Though the year closed in December with a four percent drop in multi-family sales, pending sales increased seven percent from December, 2011 - an indication that increased sales are likely in the beginning of 2013. As in the single family home and condo markets, inventory is tightening, falling 27 percent in December and leaving just over a five month supply of multi-family properties for sale. Distressed sales fell as a percentage of total sales to 48 percent from 59 percent a year earlier.

Pent up demand and great affordability are carrying into 2013. I think the spring selling season will be particularly robust, as long as Congress doesnt derail the recovery with further changes to the tax code that erode homeowner benefits, said Doran.  Any changes to the mortgage interest deduction, even if only to second homes, could derail the forward momentum were experiencing.  I hope our Congressional delegation realizes that, she said.

Sales activity increases 25 percent in Rhode Island

1/27/2013

Warwick, RI, January 23, 2013Despite a quarter hampered by Hurricane Sandy, Rhode Island single family home sales soared and prices rose in the fourth quarter of last year according to statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors (RIAR). Sales activity increased by 25 percent from the previous year and median price increased five percent to $195,000 from $185,000.

"Prices finally began some upward momentum this fall. Falling inventory put pressure on prices. 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 balance market. It's a great starting point for the New Year," said Victoria Doran, 2013 RIAR President. A six-month supply of homes for sale typifies a market balanced between sellers and buyers.

Condominium sales also made a strong showing in the fourth quarter, with median price increasing 24 percent to $192,250 and the number of sales increasing 27 percent. There was a 7.6 month supply of condos on the market at the end of the fourth quarter.

The median price of multi-family home sales rose ten percent to $120,000, though sales activity decreased three percent, following a flurry of activity which began in the fall of 2011 as investors recognized the bottom of the market. There is nearly a six-month supply of multi-family properties for sale which indicates that the investor market has also stabilized.

Foreclosure and short sales have fallen dramatically which also helped to boost median price in all three categories. (Median price reflects the midpoint of sales with half selling for more and half selling for less.) The number of distressed sales fell nine percent among single family home sales, 21 percent among condominium and 26 percent in multi-family homes in the months of October through December.

"We saw a lot of movement last fall, particularly in the higher price brackets," said Doran. "It appears that some may have been making a move in advance of anticipated tax code changes. As it turns out, the housing market was relatively unscathed during the fiscal cliff negotiations only the highest earners face a reduction in their deductions. Everything is up for grabs in the next few months though, as Congress tries to tackle the deficit. It's critically important that people let their Congressmen know that changes to the mortgage interest deduction or anything else that takes away key benefits of home ownership for that matter, could be extremely detrimental to the housing recovery."

 

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