Recently the RI Association of Realtors came out with their statistics on the state of the market here in Lil Rhody. The overall sales volume is down significantly in our state and the association and it's President focused on the unfair comparison to last year due to the First Time Buyers Tax Credit program that pushed a lot of demand forward to April/May of 2010. True, very true, the tax credit did push a lot of demand foward, not only in our state, but in the entire country.
I heard the President of RIAR on the radio last week explaining this difference in the statistics and also complaining on how hard it is for buyers to get financing in today's market and how the slow down in sales has pushed many agents into getting second jobs. I strongly disagree with this statement and feel this is exactly the PR we DON'T need!!
In fact, if you peel back the onion a bit, several counties in our state are enjoying year over year INCREASE or STABILIZED numbers in sales volume - not DECREASES! It's all about where there is JOB CREATION!!
Newport County, RI, encompassing the cities and towns of Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, Jamestown and Little Compton, RI saw a total of 90 sales in 2010. 2011 had 91.
Bristol County, RI (Barrington, Bristol & Warren, RI) from January 1, 2011 to May 31, 2011 saw a total sales volume of 156 sales - same period in 2010 was 158.
Washington County (Narragansett, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Exeter, Richmond, Charlestown, Hopkington and Westerly) had 499 sales in the first five months of 2010. In 2011 we have seen 509.
The real issue is demographics and jobs. Metropolitan Providence area is not creating jobs, just yet. We will see significant job creation in Providence next year and the relocation of I-195 will open up significant acreage for development and job creation. But for now, the major population center in RI is experiencing a reduction in sales volume - thereby increasing supply and depressing prices. This will continue in this area for a while - 12 to 24 months - at least.
However, the sales volumes in Newport, Bristol and Washington Counties illustrate how we as professionals need to live by the famous words, "Like politics, all real estate is local".