In the most recent Real Estate Market Report – The Real Estate Outlook, Redfin warned that the Rhode Island real estate market had started to stagnate in the past year or so – while other states like Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York had been largely revitalized with a rising tide of investor activity, Rhode Island was still struggling to attract new buyers to the region.
While the real estate market across the country was opening up – and attracting investors – Rhode Island’s, at least according to Redfin, was starting to contract. For example, a “lifestyle home” sales statistics chart for January 2016, the latest month available, shows how RFR’s “average number of sales per week fell to 11.5 in the second quarter.” The chart for the first quarter (Jan. – June) was similarly grim with just one sale per week.
Although no one could have predicted the downturn in the first quarter, the falling overall sales numbers are a worrying sign for the real estate industry.
Investors have traditionally played a dominant role in Rhode Island’s real estate market. However, as more and more housing starts were coming from outside of New England (the Northeast was once the only geographic region where new construction was taking place), more Rhode Islanders were no longer willing to fall for the property pump & dump tactics that had dominated the Providence area for years.
It has been an uphill battle for the local real estate industry as well, as prices have not been driven up by investment and sales are only playing a small part.