Marking the first year-over-year increase since 2004, single-family home sales in Rhode Island jumped nearly 12 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, according to ""The Warren Group"":http://www.thewarrengroup.com/portal/, a Boston-based provider of real estate data in New England.[IMAGE]
With a total of 7,669 single-family home transactions recorded in 2009, sales were up 11.9 percent from 2008. The Warren Group said this increase was in sharp contrast to the previous three years when sales declined by double-digit percentages.
In addition, home sales for the month of December showed notable growth year-over-year. Surging 30 percent from December 2008, sales in December 2009 marked the strongest sales pace for the month since 2006.[COLUMN_BREAK]
""Single-family home sales statewide have been increasing by double-digit percentages since August,"" said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. ""The homebuyer tax credit and low mortgage interest rates helped fuel home sales in Rhode Island and other parts of New England.""
Despite an increase in sales, median home prices for the year continued to sink. Compared to the median price of $232,000 in 2008, home prices in 2009 fell 13.8 percent to $200,000, the lowest annual level since 2002. However, the median home price in December managed to inch up 3.8 percent to $197,200, up from $190,000 during the same month in 2008. This marked the second consecutive month that median home prices increased year-over-year.
The Warren Group also reported on Rhode Island's condo sales in 2009, which dropped to the slowest pace since 1998. With a total of 1,400 condo transactions recorded in 2009, sales fell 6.9 percent from 2008. The month of December, though, was a different story. Condo sales skyrocketed 65.6 percent from December 2008, marking the fourth straight month that condo sales increased from the prior year.
At $180,000, the median condo price in 2009 plummeted 14.5 percent from $210,600 in 2008. The median price during the month of December fell to $186,000, retreating 7 percent from the same month in 2008.