Town-by-Town Single-Family Home Sales, October

Election season and other contingencies led me to miss the single-family home sales data for September, but compared with August, Rhode Island’s real estate market appeared to near or perhaps finally to reach the bottom in October. For the state as a whole, median sales prices were lower in the last 12 months than in the 12 months prior, but the number of sales continues to increase, and inventory is finally decreasing.

Good news depends on one’s perspective, of course, but what October’s results indicate is that the market is equilibrating.  In other words, enough people are willing to buy houses at prices for which Rhode Islanders are willing to sell them that they are selling more quickly than new houses are going on the market.

One could argue, of course, that the financial loss that comes with selling a house for less than is owed has become so large that homeowners are making the decision to stay put.  Nonetheless, a shrinking inventory would typically be required for prices to begin going up.

As the following table shows, for the month of October, only four Rhode Island cities and towns continued to have negative Downward Spiral Index scores: Central Falls, Woonsocket, Tiverton, and West Greenwich.  That means that the sales change minus the inventory change plus the sales price change results in a negative number.

Rhode Island Cities and Towns Single-Family Home Sales, Twelve Months Ending in October, 2011 to 1012

Sales Sales change (%) Inventory change (%) Median sales price change (%)
Rhode Island 7,684 17.1 -8.6 -5.1
Barrington 229 10.6 -14.3 -13.2
Bristol 123 6.0 -12.1 -3.8
Burrillville 137 31.7 -8.6 0.0
Central Falls 16 33.3 33.3 -12.7
Charlestown 136 25.9 -7.4 -6.5
Coventry 380 26.2 -16.8 -1.2
Cranston 636 19.1 -14.8 -5.7
Cumberland 298 16.9 -12.1 -3.5
East Greenwich 169 35.2 4.7 -1.8
East Providence 326 24.0 -13.5 -7.2
Exeter 59 11.3 -11.1 -4.6
Foster 46 39.4 -32.5 12.6
Glocester 93 16.3 -14.8 -5.9
Hopkinton 78 52.9 8.2 -19.8
Jamestown 55 -11.3 -8.4 26.6
Johnston 245 10.4 -19.2 -7.6
Lincoln 142 9.2 3.4 3.0
Little Compton 33 10.0 -18.3 4.9
Middletown 122 31.2 2.6 -6.7
Narragansett 216 49.0 -12.6 5.9
Newport 169 18.2 -18.6 10.7
North Kingstown 230 5.0 0.0 -1.7
North Providence 249 19.7 -18.7 -8.8
North Smithfield 89 18.7 -12.0 4.8
Pawtucket 335 9.5 -15.3 -8.8
Portsmouth 164 20.6 2.9 -4.9
Providence 623 22.4 -12.1 -0.8
Richmond 76 5.6 -11.4 -8.5
Scituate 87 35.9 -3.0 -11.0
Smithfield 116 -2.5 -2.4 0.1
South Kingstown 290 12.0 2.8 -3.4
Tiverton 120 8.1 1.2 -13.8
Warren 65 27.5 -8.6 -11.1
Warwick 945 13.7 -7.0 -6.0
West Greenwich 48 23.1 2.4 -21.0
West Warwick 200 13.0 -8.7 -9.7
Westerly 202 8.6 2.9 -0.5
Woonsocket 137 3.0 0.0 -10.1

 

The communities in the five worst conditions, according to this index, have shuffled around a bit (August’s rank is in parentheses):

  1. Central Falls (6)
  2. Woonsocket (1)
  3. Tiverton (18)
  4. West Greenwich (3)
  5. Smithfield (2)

On the opposite end, the following cities and towns are improving most decisively:

  1. Foster (2)
  2. Narragansett (6)
  3. Newport (4)
  4. Coventry (12)
  5. Burrillville (11)

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 property sold.  Rather, it’s the sales price compared with the asking prices of houses still on the market.

In August, the average time on the market was 89 days, with the sale-list ratio as 72%, so it continues to take longer to sell houses for less.

Rhode Island Cities and Towns Single-Family Home Sales, Time on Market and Average Sales Price to Average List Price Ratio, October 2012

Market time (days) Sale-list ratio
Rhode Island 95 59.9
Barrington 71 47.1
Bristol 95 56.7
Burrillville 54 106.8
Central Falls 148 169.0
Charlestown 71 129.0
Coventry 87 90.5
Cranston 92 76.4
Cumberland 98 77.3
East Greenwich 77 82.2
East Providence 87 72.7
Exeter 58 62.7
Foster 118 66.9
Glocester 111 58.2
Hopkinton 103 63.2
Jamestown 174 34.2
Johnston 51 85.2
Lincoln 115 80.2
Little Compton 191 164.6
Middletown 121 36.8
Narragansett 148 76.8
Newport 168 49.7
North Kingstown 96 63.2
North Providence 77 84.2
North Smithfield 44 60.0
Pawtucket 91 83.0
Portsmouth 79 36.3
Providence 71 79.8
Richmond 252 47.6
Scituate 72 75.2
Smithfield 102 80.4
South Kingstown 97 73.5
Tiverton 190 54.1
Warren 77 93.6
Warwick 70 81.8
West Greenwich 68 64.3
West Warwick 107 109.0
Westerly 227 64.5
Woonsocket 93 79.1


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