The multifamily home sector ruled Rhode Island's housing market in April according to the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.
In a release this week, the association said investors looking to capitalize on rising rents drove a 43 percent increase in sales over April of 2016. The median price of those sales rose 6.9 percent from the prior year, to $192,500 according to statistics.
“When investors are participating in the market, that’s a good sign that consumer confidence is high and there are still good deals out there. The trick is being able to act quickly and competitively when spotting a hot property,” Brenda L. Marchwicki, president of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, said in the release.
In contrast to the multifamily home market, sales of single-family homes fell 4.1 percent. Such sales had a median sales price of $245,500, a 1.9 percent increase over the prior year. As it has month after month, Warwick led the state in single-family home sales posting 97 out of the 823 sales statewide. While the Warwick numbers are up 9 from April 2016, the median price slipped from $227,500 to $195,000 or more than 14 percent. The average days on market for a Warwick single-family house was 56 as compared to the state average of 67, indicating that the inventory in the local market continues to be tight.
Condo sales fell two percent last month but saw the most significant increase in median sales price of all property types with a 19.3 percent gain. At $234,900, the median price of condo sales in April was the highest it has been since November of 2014.
“The availability of smaller and less expensive starter homes is extremely limited right now and investors are edging out first-time buyers in the multifamily market. Ultimately, that has made condos an enticing option for many people. And, since lending restrictions on condos eased last year, more buyers are able to seal the deal,” said Marchwicki.
The supply of homes for sale dipped among all property types last month and sales in process fell as well. Slower sales in the months ahead are likely as a result of tightening inventory.