Single-family home sales in Rhode Island continued to edge toward equilibrium, in November, meaning that the number of sales increased at an accelerated rate, while the inventory of houses on the market continued to go down. The median sales price continued to go down, too, but its rate of decrease remained steady.
These trends are of the most recent twelve months compared with the corresponding twelve months the year before. The data derives from a local real estate tool available on the Web site of William Raveis Real Estate.
As the state’s economy improves (if it improves), more demand should keep sales increasing, while the moderating inventory leaves fewer options, thus driving sales prices back up. At the moment, the market appears still to be seeking the bottom at which sellers don’t have to continue lowering prices. That’s the case in nine cities and towns, although as the size of the town decreases, the less reliable the numbers are, because individual cases can skew them so much.
The shaded cells in the following table mark results that point in the direction that is, in general, not desirable. This is the first month since I began collecting these numbers in July that none of the cells in the sales change column are shaded.
Rhode Island Cities and Towns Single-Family Home Sales, Twelve Months Ending in November, 2011 to 1012
|Sales||Sales change (%)||Inventory change (%)||Median sales price change (%)|
The Downward Spiral Index that I’ve been compiling — sales change minus inventory change plus median price change — is a bit of a misnomer, at this point, inasmuch as no cities or towns are in negative territory, but the five worst-performing communities are the following (with October’s rank in parentheses):
- North Kingstown (6)
- Central Falls (1)
- Tiverton (3)
- West Greenwich (4)
- Woonsocket (2)
The following are the top 5 communities on the desirable side of the index:
- Narragansett (2)
- Foster (1)
- Little Compton (8)
- Coventry (4)
- Newport (3)
The other angle that I’ve been taking to present these numbers is an index of the time that houses have spent on the market before being sold and the ratio of average sales price to average asking price. It’s important to note that this ratio isn’t the sales price compared with the asking price for the actual property sold. Rather, it’s the sales price compared with the asking prices of houses still on the market.
Last month, the average time on the market statewide was 95 days, with the sale-list ratio as 59.9%, so the improvement by this measure has been very slight.
Rhode Island Cities and Towns Single-Family Home Sales, Time on Market and Average Sales Price to Average List Price Ratio, November 2012
|Market time (days)||Sale-list ratio (%)|