Single-family home sales in South County declined nearly 18 percent in January, compared with the same month last year, according to figures released by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors and its subsidiary, the State-Wide Multiple Listing Service. There were closings in all nine towns, totaling 74 in January, down from 90 last year. Here are the numbers from local towns:
Westerly: 10 homes sold this past January, compared with 17 a year earlier. The median price was $579,750, compared with $325,000 in January 2018, and the homes spent an average of 85 days on the market, up from 79 the year before.
Hopkinton: 10 homes sold, 2 more than a year earlier. The median price was $362,950, compared with $276,000 in January 2018, and the home had an average days on the market of 101, compared with 81 days the year before.
Richmond: 5 homes sold in January, 3 more than a year earlier. Year over year, the median price rose to $302,500 from $161,200, and the homes spent an average of 89 days on the market, compared with 30 days in January 2018.
Charlestown: 5 homes sold, the same as last year. The median price dropped to $380,000 from $449,900, and the homes averaged 16 days on the market, down from 59 a year earlier.
Statewide, there were 587 single-family closings in January, compared with 616 last year — a drop of 4.7 percent. The Realtors' association said that low inventory levels continued to move prices upward: At $253,000, January’s median sales price was 3.6 percent higher than that seen a year earlier and was the highest median sales price in January since 2007.
The association commented that moderating sales were beginning to replenish supply. There were 2,790 homes on the market in January, 293 more than at the same point in 2018.
“Fewer homes and higher prices priced out many first-time homebuyers in 2018, but we’re hopeful that continued growth in inventory will provide buyers with more choices in the 2019 spring market,” said Dean deTonnancourt, of Warwick, president of the Realtors' association.
Ten years after the recession battered property values in Rhode Island, so-called distressed sales, representing transactions involving foreclosures or underwater mortgages, continue to have an impact on the market. The number is going down: 35 such sales were reported in January (including 3 in Hopkinton and 1 in Charlestown), compared with 50 in the first month of 2018. But according to the Realtors' calculations, the median sale price statewide would have been $259,950 without the distressed properties.
Median prices are subject to wide fluctuations, especially in the town-by-town reports. The average price of the January closings, a different measurement, was $331,877, compared with $313,408 a year earlier.