Single-family home sales in area towns rose in February on a year-over-year basis, according to the latest report of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, but the onset of the coronavirus pandemic is expected to slow activity in the market for the foreseeable future.
In her commentary on Friday, Shannon Buss of North Kingstown, president of the association, said, "The steps needed to limit the spread of the virus will most certainly reduce the number of buyers in the market, at least temporarily, and cause some potential sellers to hold off from listing their homes."
“Our priority right now is keeping our clients and associates safe and healthy to minimize the effects of the virus," Buss said. "We also need to realize that the shortage of housing on the market should help insulate home prices.”
Here are the February figures from local towns:
Westerly: 20 homes sold last month, 6 more than in February 2019. The median prices was $316,000, compared with $419,000 a year earlier, and the homes averaged 74 days on the market, down from 84 the year before.
Hopkinton: 9 homes sold last month, the same as last year. The median price rose to $349,000 from $200,100 in February 2019, and the average days on the market was 69, one fewer year-over-year.
Richmond: 8 home sales, 1 more than February 2019. The median price was $337,500, up from $286,000, and the home spent an average of 109 days on the market, compared with 46 a year earlier.
Charlestown: 7 homes sales, down 3 from February 2019. The median price was $379,000, compared with $341,250, and the average days on the market was 80, 1 fewer than the year before.
One of the homes in Charlestown, at 20 Stumpy Point Lane, sold for $2 million on Feb. 18. Lori Joyal, sales manager of the Watch Hill office Lila Delman Real Estate, represented the seller, Claire M. O'Connell, and Kate Leonard, a Lila Delman sales associate, represented the buyers, the Rachel Crosse Lifetime Trust, of South Salem, N.Y., and Rachel D. White, according to real estate records.
Delman said the transaction, for one of the waterfront properties in the Arnolda development bordering Ninigret Pond, was one of the top six sales in Charlestown January 2018, according to data maintained by the Rhode Island State-Wide Multiple Listing System. The 2,457-square foot house, built in 1950, is located on a 1.48-acre lot and has a floating dock, mooring, and access to the Arnolda Association's tennis courts and private boat beach. The town has it assessed at $1,590,800.
Statewide, the Realtors said that 609 single-family homes changed hands in February 2020, up 14% from the 534 homes in February 2019. The median price was $274,900, a 10% increase from 12 months earlier. However, the supply of homes for sale dropped 12% to 2,435 listings.